The 2018 season has just drawn to a close with a stunning season finale where five amazing World Champions were celebrated. We look back on this thrilling weekend in Rüdersdorf, Germany with our Paddock News…
Full of Fans
For the second season finale held in Germany in a row after Zschopau in 2017, the public once again showed their support and passion for Enduro. MC Woltersdorf had everything planned for the reception of spectators from Friday evening onwards and during the Akrapovic Super Test 5,000 people were on site to witness the madness. But the support didn’t stop on Friday night because this Maxxis German Grand Prix gave plenty of action and excitement during the two days of racing. As well as German fans there were also French, New Zealand, Australian, British and Dutch Enduro enthusiasts present to attend this final. In addition to this large crowd in and around Rüdersdorf, more than 80,000 people followed the Live Super Test on Facebook. At the end of the GP, John COLLINS, Director of the CEN, and Bastien BLANCHARD (ABC Communication) gave thanks to the Moto Club for their seriousness and professionalism… Germany is very clearly a great nation for Enduro!
Bright Young Brits
For some seasons now, we have seen a strong generation of British riders led by Steve HOLCOMBE (Beta), Danny MCCANNEY (Gas Gas), Jamie MCCANNEY (Yamaha) and lately Brad FREEMAN (Beta Boano)… It seems that these four tops Guns who hold onto the podiums in Senior will soon be joined by a new wave composed of Jack EDMONDSON (Sherco), Dan MUNDELL (Sherco) or Alex WALTON (Yamaha). But the one who has made the most progress this season is Joe WOOTTON (Husqvarna). Last-minute guest in the Jolly Zanardo team, the Welshman seemed a step behind in the early part of the season. But his first podium in Trentino was a turning point for him and he never looked back. This allowed him to go for third place in Junior Overall! Despite being under the radar of many, WOOTTON was the Brit who made the most noise in the young categories and with this new batch of talent, the United Kingdom imposes itself a little more as the successor of France for a dominant generation of Enduro stars…
Best Privateer Team 2018
As every year, ABC Communication presented the prize for the Best Privateer Team 2018. After the RFME in 2017, the Finnish team Kytönen Motorsport received the trophy this year. The team managed by Harri LEPALAAKSO shone in Youth 125cc with a Top 5 through Roni KYTÖNEN (SF – Husqvarna) and a 6th place with Hugo SVÄRD (SF – Husqvarna). In addition to these two young talents, the team owned by Vesa KYTÖNEN took on two Junior riders in the form of Lari JUKOLA (SF – Husqvarna) and Antti AHTILA (SF – Husqvarna). Kytönen Motorsport has worked throughout the season to allow top Finnish hopefuls to compete with the best in the world, with several podiums as a reward. Really passionate work from Vesa KYTÖNEN, Harri LEPALAAKSO and the whole team.
Best Privateer Rider 2018
In addition to the honorary title of “Best Privateer Team 2018”, ABC Communication also awarded the title of “Best Privateer Rider 2018″… And after Antoine BASSET (F) in 2016 and Jaume BETRIU (E) in 2017, it was Anthony GESLIN (F – Beta) who was honoured with this distinction. The Basque rider has achieved a very solid season in Enduro 3 concluding with a beautiful 4th place behind the trio of HOLCOMBE – NAMBOTIN – MCCANNEY. He has even been on the podium in the category five times. In the EnduroGP standings, GESLIN was just outside the Top 10 (11th). The Frenchman has proved this season that he has the weapons to fight among the fastest riders in the World, we’re hoping that, like BASSET before him, it will allow him to join the ranks of a Factory team.
New Queen of EW
Ludivine PUY (F), Laïa SANZ (E), Maria FRANKE (D)… They were only three to have had the privilege to raise the winner’s trophy in the Women’s Cup during 9 years of competition. It is therefore a very difficult winners’ circle to join, but Finland’s Sanna KARKKAINEN (KTM) has done just that! After becoming European Champion a few weeks ago, KARKKAINEN achieved a perfect weekend, taking advantage of the injury on Day 1 of Jane DANIELS (GB – Husqvarna) and the difficulties of Livia LANCELOT (F – Honda RedMoto) in the Xtreme Tests, to get this title. By becoming a new “Enduro Queen”, KARKKAINEN is therefore bringing a second title home to Finland in 2018 along with that of Eero REMES (TM) in E2…
Since the departure of Matthew PHILLIPS (AUS) in Estonia, we have missed having an Australian in the EnduroGP paddock. This weekend, through the team Johansson MPE, this “anomaly” has been corrected since the young Wil RUPRECHT (20 years old) packed his bags and headed to Germany. Unknown by almost everyone in the paddock, the rider from Taree, close to Sydney, shocked by dominating the first day of racing in Junior. He won the day with more than 20 seconds advantage over the 2018 World Champion, Matteo CAVALLO (I – Beta Boano). The Yamaha rider was close to repeating the feat on Sunday. But, while he was in the fight with CAVALLO, an error saw him tumble to the 7th place. Although he was still on the podium in J1 (3rd). In any case, this first experience in EnduroGP has been extremely impressive for the Australian, and it should have given ideas to the teams… maybe we will see RUPRECHT again next year?
From Wild Card to Vice-Champion
“He arrived at the beginning of the season to do one or two races, without any contract… And he finds himself Vice World Champion in Youth 125cc. I hope we will find a way to keep him next year!” These are the words of Sherco CH Racing’s boss, Fabrizio AZZALIN, describing the season of Hamish MACDONALD. Indeed, the New Zealander landed in Spain only to participate in the Iberian tour. But with very good results during this tour, “HammyMac” decided to prolong the adventure a little more before winning his first Grand Prix in Italy and achieving three podiums. As a result of his determination over these races, the Kiwi finished as the Youth 125cc Vice-Champion! We’re hoping to see him back again in 2019 under the orders of ‘AZZA’.
Beta & TM, Manufacturers of the Year
For the second year in a row, Beta has been crowned EnduroGP Manufacturer’s World Champion! This season, the firm dear to Lapo BIANCHI leaves with no less than three manufacturer’s titles. In addition to the EGP crown, Beta also dominated the Enduro 3 class through Steve HOLCOMBE as well as the Enduro 1 class thanks to the team Beta Boano and Brad FREEMAN. Without forgetting the title of Junior World Champion Matteo CAVALLO… Beta has won 3 manufacturer titles out of a 4 possible and 4 individual titles out of 6! The other manufacturer to win a title was TM Factory Racing. The small firm from Pesaro therefore leaves with the E2 title through Eero REMES. A clean sweep by the Italian manufacturers that proves that the seriousness, the professionalism, and especially the passion of Luca CHERUBINI, Fabrizio DINI and Jarno BOANO and their respective teams are real driving forces in the Enduro World Championship!