The Borilli FIM EnduroGP World Championship fires back into life this coming weekend with the first of two long-awaited final rounds, the TERRA ÚNICA GP of Portugal. With 11 weeks having passed since the GP of Sweden, during which time the 95th running of the FIM International Six Days of Enduro took place in Italy, the series is set to deliver fireworks as riders chase championship titles and strong end-of-season results before heading directly to Langeac in France for the grand finale – the GP of France.
Returning to the country where the 2021 Borilli FIM EnduroGP World Championship started, the TERRA ÚNICA GP of Portugal will also see a return to sandy conditions. In contrast to the grass tracks and forest trails that riders will face in France, the Portuguese special tests will ensure all-out action and full-gas racing.
Headed into the closing rounds of the championship, the narrative in the EnduroGP class remains the same as it has since round one – Brad Freeman (Beta) leads, is very much the rider to beat, and now has a 22-point championship lead. Extending his class advantage with every stop of the series, the tall Brit is unlikely to back down, even if he can now manage that advantage and not worry too much about day wins. Never a rider to ease off, Freeman will likely do all he can to further strengthen his lead ahead of the final round in France.
Still in with a mathematical chance of denying Freeman the 2021 EnduroGP title, Josep Garcia (KTM) and Wil Ruprecht (TM) will be first in line to challenge the Brit in both Portugal and France. Separated by just four points, the Spanish and Australian duo will lead Freeman’s challengers, with the return of Great Britain’s Nathan Watson expected to mix things up further. 2020 EnduroGP World Champion Steve Holcombe will also be looking for a strong end to the series, while Andrea Verona (GASGAS), Davide Guarneri (Fantic), and Hamish MacDonald (Sherco) will also have their sights set on the EnduroGP podium.
The Italian battle for supremacy in the Enduro1 championship is set to continue through the final two EnduroGP events of 2021. With current class leader Andrea Verona (GASGAS), second placed Davide Guarneri (Fantic), and EnduroGP rookie Samuele Bernardini (Honda) – the only three riders to have earned triple-digit points from the opening four rounds of the series – it’s all eyes on Verona and Guarneri in Portugal and France as only 10 points separate the two riders with 40 points up for grabs.
At the top of the Enduro2 World Championship standings, and separated by just five points, both current class leader Wil Ruprecht (TM) and second placed Josep Garcia (KTM) will be going all-out to put their name at the top of the class at the close of the Terra Unica GP of Portugal. With little to separate the two riders in Portugal, Italy, Estonia, and Sweden, neither can afford to hand any kind of an advantage to the other. Topping day two at the GP of Sweden before going on to top the FIM International Six Days of Enduro in Italy as the outright fastest competitor, Garcia arguably enters the final rounds of the series a faster rider than when he started it. But, having recently wrapped up the Italian Enduro Championship, Ruprecht will be every bit as determined, and ready, to win as Garcia.
One rider who could cause an upset this weekend in Santiago do Cacem is Nathan Watson (Honda). Returning to the series to compete in the final two rounds, the British rider will want to make an immediate impression. Despite his recent lack of special test racing, Nathan is known to have the speed to challenge for the podium. If things ‘click’ for the Brit, he could well find himself on the top step of the podium. Steve Holcombe (Beta), Hamish MacDonald (Sherco), as well as Eero Remes (TM), Joe Wootton (Husqvarna), and Albin Elowson (Husqvarna), will also all be focused on positive end-of-season results.
If things go the way Beta’s Brad Freeman hopes they will, the Brit might wrap up the Enduro3 World Championship at the TERRA ÚNICA GP of Portugal. A country mile ahead of his nearest class rival Jaume Betriu (KTM) in the point standings, Freeman is so far undefeated on his 300cc two-stroke and will unquestionably be a hard rider to beat in Santiago do Cacem. If Betriu can maintain his impressive form and place as runner-up to Freeman on both days, the title won’t be decided until the GP of France. But if Betriu runs into any issue on either day, Freeman, and Beta, could be celebrating come Sunday night.
One of the closest battles for supremacy in the Enduro Junior World Championship is between TM team-mates Matteo Pavoni and Lorenzo Macoritto. Separated by just six points in Pavoni’s favour, the junior title fight will unquestionably go down to the wire in France.
In contrast, in the Enduro Youth World Championship, Sweden’s Albin Norrbin (Fantic) all but has one hand on the championship trophy. 32 points ahead of his nearest challenger, Brit Harry Edmondson (Fantic), Norrbin could well secure the title at the TERRA ÚNICA GP of Portugal.
Sure to inject even more excitement into the closing round of the 2021 Borilli FIM EnduroGP World Championship, the GP of France will welcome the return of the Enduro Women’s class back to the series. With Laia Sanz (GASGAS) having etched out a slender eight-point advantage at the top of the class – as well as winning the TrialGP Women World Championship title since the GP of Sweden – the Spaniard will be going all-out to become a double world champion in 2021. But with both Mireia Badia (GASGAS) and Jane Daniels (Fantic) certain to make it a three-way fight for the win in Langeac, just like in most classes, victory is anything but assured in the Enduro Women’s class.
Stay tuned to www.enduroGP.com throughout the weekend for championship updates and live results, and to @Enduro_GP on Instagram for event story content.