The Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship signed off on a terrific inaugural GP FunnelWeb Filter of Belgium with closely fought racing across all classes. Despite a late downpour of rain, Antoine MEO (KTM), Mathias BELLINO (Husqvarna) and Eero REMES (TM) all made it two wins in a row in their respective classes in St Hubert.
With heavy rain catching the majority of riders on the fourth and final lap of the day, the GP of Belgium gave competitors a complete test of fitness and mental strength this weekend.
Making it two wins on the bounce, Husqvarna’s Mathias BELLINO (F) claimed the overall win in Enduro 3. Strong throughout the day, the Frenchman secured a 14-second margin of victory. “Winning both days has been the perfect weekend for me,” told BELLINO. “After having trouble with my wrist in Italy I wanted to come back fighting here in Belgium and I have been able to do exactly that. It’s been great for the championship too and now I have a healthy 24-point lead heading into the final round in France.” Improving one position over his previous day’s result, KTM’s Matt PHILLIPS (AUS) ended his day as runner-up to BELLINO. Finishing just four seconds behind Phillips, Sherco’s Matti SEISTOLA (FIN) is proving to be now almost fully recovered from his broken finger. Luis CORREIA (P) brought his Beta home in fourth while KTM’s Jeremy JOLY (F) completed the top five.
Topping the podium for the second day in a row, TM Racing’s Eero REMES (FIN) was the winner of Enduro 1. Trailing close rival Christophe NAMBOTIN (F-KTM) for the majority of the day, REMES was handed the victory when NAMBOTIN crashed on the final test of the day. “The win feels a little bit lucky but a win is a win,” confirmed REMES. “Christophe was riding great all day and I knew he was going to be hard to beat. But the rain on the final test shook things up and the victory came my way.” With NAMBOTIN slipping back to second, Sherco’s Lorenzo SANTOLINO (S) narrowly beat Husqvarna’s Danny MCCANNEY (GB) by less than one second to take the final step of the podium. With MCCANNEY fourth, Yamaha’s Marc BOURGEOIS (F) rounded out the top five.
Inching ever closer to the Enduro 2 World Championship title, KTM’s Antoine MEO (F) secured his second victory of the weekend in St Hubert. Faced with a challenge from Honda’s Alex SALVINI (I), MEO kept his cool when conditions deteriorated due to the rain to win. “Alex was riding really well and he was pushing me for the win,” commented MEO. “Honestly I felt a little off my game when Pela crashed yesterday because that completely changed my outlook on the championship fight. Overall it’s great to come away with two more wins and now the title is looking more in reach for France.” Behind the leading duo, Sherco’s Loic LARRIEU (F) delivered another strong ride to end his day in third. In the battle for fourth, Husqvarna’s Jaume BETRIU (S) just edged out David KNIGHT (GB-KTM) by one second.
In the Enduro Junior class, Husqvarna’s Jamie MCCANNEY (GB) returned to the top step of the podium. Capitalising on a mistake by race leader Steve HOLCOMBE (GB-Beta) on the final enduro test, MCCANNEY took the win to further strengthen his title hopes. Having claimed his debut Junior podium on day one, Beta’s Davide SORECA (I) proved it was no fluke by improving one position to second. Adding to the Beta celebrations, Italy’s Giacomo REDONDI completed the top three. Alessandro BATTIG (I-Honda) and Kirian MIRABET (S-KTM) were fourth and fifth respectively.
The Enduro Youth Cup saw Yamaha’s Mikael PERSSON (SWE) secure a comfortable win. Recording another podium result, KTM’s Jack EDMONDSON (GB) was the runner-up with Quentin DELHAYE DE MAULDE (F-TM) third. Luca GARELLO (F-Yamaha) and Lorenzo MACORITTO (I-KTM) rounded out the top five.
Day two of the GP of Belgium marked another clear victory for the Women’s Cup championship leader Laia SANZ (S-KTM).“It’s been a brilliant weekend for me,” told SANZ. “Getting two more wins was fantastic and now the title is almost within reach at the final round in France.” Winning three special tests, Husqvarna’s Jane DANIELS (GB) closed the gap to SANZ on day two and placed as the runner-up. Australia’s Jemma WILSON (Yamaha) joined both SANZ and DANIELS on the podium in third.
The Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship concludes with the final round of the season with the GP AMV of France in Requista on October 3/4.