The penultimate round of the EnduroGP World Championship saw GASGAS Factory Racing’s Andrea Verona take an Enduro2 win on day one, while placing on the EnduroGP overall podium both days in Valpacos, Portugal.
Hot, hot, spicy hot! That’s the best way to describe both the racing and weather for the penultimate round of the FIM EnduroGP World Championship in northern Portugal. With the times super tight and temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius, it was an all-action weekend in Valpacos for sure!
Fired up to put in a strong showing at round six, Andrea Verona wasted no time on day one getting settled in at the front of the pack. The Italian had been working overtime with his EC 350F during the lengthy summer break and was hungry to reap the rewards.
From the off the fight for the EnduroGP overall win developed into a three-way battle between Andrea, Josep Garcia and Steve Holcombe. Staying in the hunt and claiming three special test wins along the way, Andrea never dropped outside the top three times during the 12 special tests. Unfortunately missing out on the EnduroGP overall to Garcia, he was able to narrowly beat Holcombe by two seconds to top the Enduro2 podium.
Waking up on Sunday eager for more, Andrea got back to work in the intense heat and beaten up special tests. Clearly enjoying his racing and having fun, the defending EnduroGP champ kept the pressure on. As the day wore on he won the penultimate enduro test to set up a thrilling showdown.
Putting it all on the line chasing the win, he unfortunately overcooked it a little on the final enduro test and took a heavy tumble. Dusting himself off, but with no time to recover, Andrea had to settle for third in EnduroGP and second in Enduro2.
The FIM EnduroGP World Championship concludes next weekend in southern Portugal on October 6-8.
Andrea Verona: “Wow, that was a big weekend of racing. The pace was incredible. I’m super happy to take the win in Enduro2 on day one and finish on the EnduroGP podium both days. On Saturday there was nothing in it between myself, Josep and Steve. We were pushing hard, but Josep just got me at the end for the overall victory. We were all fighting again for the win on Sunday. I felt ready to go for it, but on the final enduro test I crashed and hit a tree. I was pretty sore from that so I just did what I needed to do to finish on the podium. The championship finishes up next weekend, I just want to give my best again and see where we can finish up!”
Results: Round 6 - GP of Portugal
Day 1 - EnduroGP
1. Josep Garcia (KTM) 1:12:01.87
2. Andrea Verona (GASGAS) 1:12:08.24
3. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 1:12:10.45
Day 1 - Enduro2
1. Andrea Verona (GASGAS) 1:12:08.24
2. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 1:12:10.45
3. Samuele Bernardini (Honda) 1:13:42.94
Day 2 - EnduroGP
1. Josep Garcia (KTM) 1:11:51.62
2. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 1:11:53.52
3. Andrea Verona (GASGAS) 1:12:50.45
Day 2 - Enduro2
1. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 1:11:53.52
2. Andrea Verona (GASGAS) 1:12:50.45
3. Nathan Watson (Honda) 1:13:16.32
Championship Standings (After round 6)
1. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 196pts
2. Andrea Verona (GASGAS) 177pts
3. Josep Garcia (KTM) 170pts
1. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 228pts
2. Andrea Verona (GASGAS) 210pts
3. Hamish MacDonald (Sherco) 166pts