Mende, France – June 8, 2018 — Yamaha’s Marc Bourgeois has set the pace on the opening day of racing at round three of the World Enduro Super Series – Trèfle Lozérien AMV in France. Bourgeois led home a Yamaha-mounted French 1-2-3 with teammate Loic Larrieu placing second and Emmanuel Albepart ending day one of France’s most important Classic Enduro in third.
With 600 competitors confirmed for the 32nd edition of the Trèfle Lozérien AMV, the three-day race began early this morning, Friday. A long day awaited riders with 200 kilometres of trails and five unique special tests to contest. Despite some threatening rain clouds, the weather held strong and all were treated to a sunny day in the saddle.
At the head of the field the action was hot and hectic from the off as France’s grass track specialists looked to establish dominance over the main WESS contenders. On the opening test it was Bourgeois who jumped to the top of the rankings, setting the fastest time over Sherco Factory Racing’s Junior rider Theo Espinasse (FRA) and 2007 winner Emmanuel Albepart (Yamaha).
Following a crash on test one, Larrieu fought back to set the fastest time on stage two and then again on the fifth and final test of the day. But it wouldn’t be enough to steal the opening day win away from his team manager. Bourgeois, showing experience counts in these grassy conditions, backed his performance up with the fastest time in stage three to take a near six-second lead heading into day two.
Ending his day just one-second behind Larrieu, Albepart ensured the battle for the top three positions remains tight. Putting in one of the day’s most impressive performances, Espinasse was on top form to provisionally lead the Junior category with fourth outright. Former world champion and 2015 Trèfle Lozérien AMV winner – Gas Gas Factory Racing’s Johnny Aubert (FRA) – completes the top five.
Eighth overall at the end of day one and 20 seconds behind Bourgeois, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Nathan Watson (GB) is currently the best placed WESS regular, while Josep Garcia (KTM – ESP) is 10th. Ending day one 12 seconds behind Garcia, WESS championship leader Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) sits 11th.
Racing continues on Saturday, June 9, with day two’s Gévaudan Aubrac circuit.
Marc Bourgeois (Yamaha – FRA): “Today was a great way to start the race. I think I surprised myself to end it as the fastest rider because I don’t ride every day due to my commitments as a team manager. However, experience can count a lot in these conditions and I knew what I was capable of and pushed to that limit. We’ve two more days to go so I’m not going to get too excited yet. With this being a WESS round there are so many great riders here and I’m sure the speed will increase over the next few days.”
Loic Larrieu (Yamaha – FRA): “I crashed on the first special test this morning and lost some time, so I was playing catch up for most of the day. I think I started off with a little too much confidence and misjudged this morning’s conditions. After that I had to keep pushing hard to come back. Second at the end of day one is a good position to be in, however I did get beaten by my team manger Marc, so I know he’s going to make fun of me for that. But he’s a great rider on these grassy special tests – one of the best. Tomorrow I’ll see if I can beat him.”
Jonny Walker (KTM – GB): “I’m happy with how today went with a top five time on one test and fighting for top 10 overall. With last week’s Erzbergrodeo being such a contrasting event to this, I was worried how I would adapt, but I felt pretty good. I made one mistake when I stalled the bike entering a corner but that was about it. The pace of the top French guys is to be expected here, but now that I feel more settled and have completed day one I can begin to think about upping my pace and trying to climb up the overall ranking.”
Results: WESS Round 3 – Trèfle Lozérien AMV, Day 1
1. Marc Bourgeois (Yamaha – FRA) 15:41.572; 2. Loic Larrieu (Yamaha – FRA) 3. Emmanuel Albepart (Yamaha – FRA) 15:48.323; 4. Theo Espinasse (Sherco – FRA) 15:50.509; 5. Johnny Aubert (Gas Gas – FRA) 15:54.341; 6. Jeremy Miroir (Husqvarna – FRA) 15:54.341; 7. Julien Gauthier (Yamaha – FRA) 15:57.075; 8. Nathan Watson (KTM – GB) 16:02.440; 9. Pierre Vissac (Beta – FRA) 16:05.084; 10. Josep Garcia (KTM – ESP) 16:05.799; 11. Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) 16:18.166…
Trèfle Lozérien AMV 2018 Schedule
• Friday, June 8: Gorges du Tarn circuit
• Saturday, June 9: Gévaudan Aubrac circuit
• Sunday, June 10: Margeride circuit
Paddock located in the heart of Mende at the Place du Foirail.
Trèfle Lozérien AMV Event Information
Photo credit: Future7Media