Jonathan Barragan – THE EWC’S DARK HORSE
Jonathan Barragan could prove to be the dark horse in the race for Enduro 3 honours in 2015
With the opening round of the Enduro World Championship just days away in Chile, Gas Gas’ Jonathan Barragan heads there as one serious outside bet for a podium result.
The former MXGP race winner made his EWC debut last year and despite some tough learning experiences he did, at times, show both potential and speed in the Enduro 2 ranks.
Switching to Gas Gas and two-stroke machinery during the off-season seems to be working for the Spaniard. Very much on form in the Spanish Enduro Championship, he claimed a confidence boosting outright win at round two against some stiff opposition.
Now ready to prove that he’s stepped his game up on the world scene, Barragan is pushing hard to follow in the footstep of former MXGP classmates Alex Salvini, Pela Renet and Aigar Leok…
Based on your form during the Spanish championships you’re a dark horse for a surprise result this weekend in Chile. How do you feel about that?
Jonathan Barragan: “My move to Gas Gas has so far gone great with wins in the Spanish Enduro Championship but I’m not getting carried away with things yet. I’m just waiting to see what happens in the EWC. Of course I want to deliver similar results but Chile will be another level – it’s where the best of the best are at.”
It’s almost ten years since you last raced a two-stroke in anger. How are you finding it?
“It’s been awesome. I think it was 2004 when I last race one but I feel like I’ve adapted well to the bike. Almost everyday it surprises me – it’s been a lot of fun this winter training and competing. The EC 300 has an excellent base and seems to suit me a lot. It’s light and has got great power. I feel comfortable on it in the tight and extreme stuff which, due to my motocross background, is something I haven’t felt in the past.”
And as a Spanish rider on a Spanish team, things must be going well with Gas Gas?
“There’s a good vibe in the team too. From the beginning they’ve made me feel very comfortable. Also the fact that everyone is Spanish makes everything much more fluent and easier than being on a foreign team. We’ve worked hard, so hopefully it will show this weekend.”
Well, judging by your results in the Spanish championship things are on track. Did you expect an outright victory there?
“It’s been a great start. Obviously with it being in Spain the conditions are the same as what we’ve been testing on but it’s been good to win in tough company. But like I said I’m trying not to get carried away with it. It was just one race and the EWC is a lot different.”
Finally, now that the EWC is finally here, where do you think you’ll stack up in 2015?
“The immediate target is top five. I think that would be a great result for us. This is still only my second season of EWC competition so I’ve more to learn and be more consistent. Aiming for the top five at every round will help to achieve that. It’s going to be hard though. Enduro 3 is a strong group of riders and any mistakes or crashes can knock you from fighting for the podium to 10th. But I’ll give it my best shot!”