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World Enduro Portugal Highlights
Day two of the FIM Maxxis Enduro World Championship GP Polisport of Portugal delivered yet another scorching day of race action. Snatching victory from Pela RENET (F-Husqvarna) in the final moments, KTM’s Antoine MEO (F) took a thrilling victory in the Enduro 2 category. Ivan CERVANTES (KTM) won the Enduro 3 class to remain unbeaten so far this series while Christophe NAMBOTIN (KTM) was the runaway victor in the Enduro 1 category.
Continuing their epic battle from day one, both MEO and RENET set a stunning pace out front in the E2. Leading for the majority of the race, RENET appeared set to take the victory. But by delivering a stunning time in the final extreme test, MEO bettered his rival by four seconds to record the win. “I gave it everything I had on that final test and it worked out for me,” laughed MEO. “That was an unbelievable race with Pela – we pushed each other so hard. It’s been brilliant to win both days here in Portugal because this was such a tough race.” Despite his best efforts, RENET was unable to hold the hard charging MEO at bay and was pushed back to the runner-up result. In the fight for the final step of the podium Italy’s Alex SALVINI (Honda) beat Beta’s Johnny AUBERT (F) by 10 seconds to secure third. With AUBERT in fourth, Spain’s Jonathan BARRAGAN (Husqvarna) recorded his second top five result of the season with fifth.
Firmly establishing himself as the rider to beat in Enduro 3, Ivan CERVANTES (S) recorded his fourth consecutive victory. Building his advantage as the race passed the halfway point, the Spaniard claimed a healthy 17-second margin of victory. “Winning my fourth victory is incredible. I never expected this before the season started,” commented CERVANTES. “The conditions were really tough so to come away with the win is fantastic.” Behind CERVANTES, Matti SEISTOLA (FIN-Sherco), Matt PHILLIPS (AUS-KTM) and Portugal’s Luis CORREIA (Beta) fought for the final steps of the podium. Edging early leader PHILLIPS out by just over one second, SEISTOLA secured the runner-up result. With PHILLIPS third, CORREIA frustratingly placed less than one second behind the Australian in fourth. France’s Mathias BELLINO (Husqvarna) completed the top five.
In the Enduro 1 category, the day belonged to France’s Christophe NAMBOTIN (KTM). Growing in confidence, NAMBOTIN recorded a massive 80-second win over runner-up Eero REMES (FIN-TM). “Today was much better for me,” told NAMBOTIN. “I was disappointed with how I rode yesterday and wanted to improve. It’s still only my fourth race in E1 but already things are coming good. It was nice to win by a big margin today.” Unable to respond to NAMBOTIN’s pace, REMES instead battled with Spain’s Cristobal GUERRERO (KTM) for the runner-up result. Holding off the Spaniard, REMES took second with GUERRERO third. Placing a further one-minute behind, France’s Anthony BOISSIERE (Sherco) was fourth with his teammate and countryman Jeremy TARROUX fifth.
For the fourth time in a row, Britain’s Danny MCCANNEY (Beta) remained the rider to beat in the Enduro Junior class. Fastest in six of the day’s 12 special tests, MCCANNEY comfortably recorded the victory. Claiming his second runner-up result of the weekend, Italy’s Giacomo REDONDI (Beta) was second with France’s Loic LARRIEU (Husqvarna) completing the top three. Unable to repeat his podium result from day one, Britain’s Jamie MCCANNEY (Husqvarna) finished fourth with Italy’s Nicolo MORI (KTM) rounding out the top five. Proving unpredictable as ever a new winner emerged in the 125 Youth Cup with Sweden’s Mikael PERSSON (KTM) taking his debut EWC victory. Ensuring a Swedish 1-2, Husqvarna’s Albin ELOWSON was second with Italy’s Davide SORECA (Yamaha) third.
The FIM Maxxis Enduro World Championship continues with round three in Greece on May 10/11.