At the end of a day filled with drama there was delight for Christophe NAMBOTIN (KTM), Giacomo REDONDI (Honda) and Jack EDMONDSON (KTM) on the first day of competition at the Acerbis EnduroGP of Italy. Returning to his very best following a torrid season, NAMBOTIN secured the overall EnduroGP class win while Giacomo REDONDI finally secured the Enduro Junior world championship title, in front of his home fans. Jack EDMONDSON wrapped up the Enduro Youth title.
Conditions in Fabriano started out wet but ended dry. The heavy rain that fell throughout Friday ensured a slippery start to the day, but with clear skies and warmer weather returning mid-way through the day the last lap featured more typically Italian conditions.
For NAMBOTIN the opening day’s competition ended in the best possible way, with the French star claiming his first outright win of the season. Hampered by injury problems and bad luck, NAMBOT’ finally put his troubles aside to finish just under five seconds ahead of Matt PHILLIPS (Sherco). With PHILLIPS quickest during the first half of the day, NAMBOT then found his form and in winning three of the last five tests took the win. “It feels great to ride like I know I can,” explained NAMBOTIN at the finish of the day. “It’s been a tough year for me, and I will have a knee surgery very soon, so to show that I can still win is very important. I liked the conditions and felt good. Things started well with the win on the Super Test, which doesn’t happen too often. I made a few small mistakes but it was a good day. It’s good to win again.” Despite just missing out on the outright win the day also ended well for PHILLIPS, who secured more important EnduroGP World Championship points. Further stretching his advantage at the top of the class PHILLIPS put his disappointing results at the GP of Spain well and truly behind him. Rounding out the overall top three despite a less than perfect day was Steve HOLCOMBE (Beta). Giving his Italian team plenty to be pleased about at their home GP, HOLCOMBE wasn’t quite able to match the pace of NAMBOTIN and PHILLIPS but managed to do enough to edge out Mathias BELLINO (Husqvarna) for a sixth EnduroGP podium for the year. With BELLINO fourth Enduro 1 class winner Eero REMES finished fifth overall, the highest placed 250f rider by some way. Manuel MONNI (TM) continued his good form from the Spanish GP to place sixth with Loic LARRIEU (Yamaha) and Taylor ROBERT (KTM) seventh and eighth.
The Enduro 1 class podium welcomed not one but two Italian riders, with Oscar BALLETTI (Honda) returning from injury to claim the runner-up result while Alessandro BATTIG (Honda) claimed his first senior class podium result with third. But the day was all about REMES who finished more than one-and-a-half minutes ahead of BALLETTI and importantly secure important championship points. Mikael PERSSON (Yamaha) claimed his best result of the championship to date in fourth with Nathan WATSON (KTM) enduring a near disastrous day to finish fifth. Affected by more crashes than in the rest of the previous six rounds of the series put together, WATSON proved fast on the extreme test but lost too much time on both the enduro and motocross tests to challenge for the podium.
In winning the overall EnduroGP classification Christophe NAMBOTIN also topped the Enduro 2 class, ahead of PHILLIPS and Mathias BELLINO (Husqvarna). A little off the pace during the slippery, early stages of the race BELLINO upped his game during the closing stages of the day to finish 34 seconds behind NAMBOTIN. Loic LARRIEU (Yamaha), Taylor ROBERT (KTM), Cristobal GUERRERO (Yamaha) and Alex SALVINI (Beta) rounded out the top seven.
Securing his ninth Enduro 3 class win of the series Steve HOLCOMBE finished some 30 seconds ahead of Manuel MONNI (TM) despite a few slips during the day. Nevertheless topping four of the day’s special tests HOLCOMBE again distanced himself from his rivals and extended his championship lead. HOLCOMBE and MONNI were joined on the podium by Johnny AUBERT (Beta). Thomas OLDRATI (Husqvarna) enjoyed a strong day to finish fourth, ahead of a trio of Frenchmen – Jeremy JOLY (KTM), Antoine BASSET (KTM) and Romain DUMONTIER (Yamaha).
The biggest celebration at the end of the day went to the RedMoto Honda team as they enjoyed the crowning of Giacomo REDONDI as Enduro Junior World Champion. Dominating the series from its start in Morocco, REDONDI once again blitzed his opposition to win by more than one-minute, and with it secure the junior title that for the last few season had eluded him. “To finally win the Enduro Junior title after finishing as runner-up on so many occasions, it just feels great,” announced Red’ at the end of the day. “The team have been great, to be able to win here in front of my fans and at my home race is amazing.” Joining Giacomo on the junior podium was Davide SORECA (Honda) and Josep GARCIA (Husqvarna).
Another youngster with a big smile on his face at the end of day one was Jack EDMONDSON (KTM), who in topping the Enduro Youth class claimed the Enduro Youth World Championship. Enjoying a sizable margin of victory of more than one-minute Jack placed ahead of Valerian DEBAUD (Yamaha) and fellow Brit Lee SEALEY (Yamaha).