NAMBOTIN ON A CHARGE IN SPAIN
A hot and dusty day one is on the books at the Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship GP of Spain in Jerez
Here’s the overview of the day…
Wow, what a ride for Christophe Nambotin. He absolutely bossed it. Winning all the E1 tests, he also claimed the ‘unofficial’ outright victory. Good days work that!
Antoine Meo and Pela Renet had a right battle today. Entering the penultimate test they were separated by just six tenths of a second. A crash by Renet handed advantage, and the win, to Meo.
Mathias Bellino ain’t messing about this year. Gunning for his second Enduro 3 win, the Husqvarna rider did exactly that following a titanic battle with Matt Phillips.
Phillips rebounded hard and fast after his ‘disappointing’ outing in Chile. Back in business, he was haulin’ hard and looked much more like his old self. The rev limiter on his KTM got a serious work out today.
Competitive as ever, Enduro 3 saw four different manufactures finish inside the top five. TM were best of the bunch with both Manuel Monni and Aigar Leok claiming third and fifth.
Give it up to Cristobal Guerrero. Putting his Yamaha on the E1 podium in third, the Spaniard showed he’s now dialled on his new steed.
Sick as a small hospital all week, Jamie McCanney wasn’t sure if he’d take the start in Spain. But come race day it never showed in the results – were you bluffing! – he pulled clear of the Junior class to win by 21 seconds.
He wasn’t the only Brit on the podium though. Starting at the back of the pack, Steve Holcombe – on Danny McCanney’s old Boano Beta ride – certainly turned a few heads with his third place result.
Day one didn’t fair well for some and in particular Taddy Blazusiak. Blocked on a hill climb in the enduro test, Blazusiak crashed awarkdly himself with his rolling over on top of time. It was an uncomfortable looking crash that cut short his day.
After all the midweek turmoil, day one was met with mixed reviews. The trail was overly simple but the hot, hot weather meant a lot of guys and gals were pleased they only had three and bit laps to do.
Following some major gardening by the organisers the tests – in particular the enduro test – rode well.
Nambotin Leads The Way In Spain
Christophe Nambotin sets the pace on day one of the Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship in Spain
Delivering the goods in extremely hot and dusty terrain in Jerez, KTM mounted Nambotin topped the standings in the Enduro 1 class. There was a third win in a row for KTM’s Antoine Meo in Enduro 2 while Husqvarna’s Mathias Bellino was the rider to beat in the Enduro 3 ranks.
Kicking off the start of her Women’s Cup title, Spain’s Laia Sanz (KTM) delivered the home crowd the victory they all came to see.
The fight for top honours in the Enduro 2 class was extremely close between both Antoine Meo (F-KTM) and Pela Renet (F-Husqvarna). With unfinished business from Chile, Renet was determined to not let Meo get the better of him and held a tiny six tenths of a second lead with two tests to go.
But a crash on the final cross test from the Husqvarna rider was all it took for Meo to sneak into the lead and claim his third win on the bounce.
“The battle between Pela and myself was incredible. It was so close and was anybody’s race to win,” told Meo. “Unfortunately for Pela he made a mistake and crashed but we were riding on the very limit.”
Behind the leading duo, Alex Salvini (I-Honda) held station in third. Although matching the pace of the leaders, the Honda rider just wasn’t able to close their advantage and ended his day 14 seconds behind Renet in third.
Keeping the pressure firmly on Salvini, France’s Johnny Aubert (Beta) hoped to capitalise on a mistake from the Italian rider. But with Salvini holding his ground Aubert had to settle for fourth. Delivering an impressive ride on home turf, Spain’s Jaume Betriu (Husqvarna) cracked the top five with fifth.
Similar to E2, the Enduro 3 class featured a head-to-head battle for victory. Defending champion Matt Phillips (AUS-KTM) was back on form and fighting for the win with Husqvarna’s Mathias Bellino (F).
Constantly swapping and changing position throughout the day, it was a costly mistake from Phillips that finally offered Bellino enough breathing room to secure the win.
“The racing was so close all day,” remarked Bellino. “Matt was hungry to win but so was I and I wasn’t going to give up without a fight. Each lap the positions were changing and then on the final lap I knew I had to give it my all. Luckily he made a slight mistake and the win was mine. I’m happy with today.”
Ensuring three different manufactures featured on the podium, Italy’s Manuel Monni ended his day third for TM. Behind Monni, Finland’s Matti Seistola (Sherco) had a mixed day of racing and placed fourth while Aigar Leok (EST) added to TM’s success on day one by finishing fifth.
In the Enduro 1 class there was absolutely no stopping Christophe Nambotin (F-KTM). The Frenchman was simply unbeatable and managed to set the fastest time in all of the E1 special tests. Securing a near one-minute margin of victory, Nambotin also unofficially ended his day as the fastest outright.
“It’s been a perfect day – I can’t fault it,” confirmed Nambotin. “I managed to win all 11 special tests – I don’t think I’ve done that before in E1 – it’s been great.”
With Nambotin running away with proceedings, TM’s Eero Remes (FIN) and Spain’s Cristobal Guerrero (Yamaha) took the remainder of the podium positions. Securing his first top three result with Yamaha, Guerrero proved that he’s firmly settled in with his new team.
Pushing hard in the hot and dusty conditions, Sherco’s Lorenzo Santolino delivered a strong ride at his home race for fourth. Yamaha’s Marc Bourgeois (F) completed the top five.
Returning to the top step of the podium, Husqvarna’s Jamie McCanney (GB) claimed the Enduro Junior win. Continuing to impress in the 2015 series, Gas Gas mounted Diogo Ventura (P) ended his day as runner-up.
Making his first appearance in the 2015 season, EWC newcomer Steve Holcombe (GB-Beta) turned a few heads with his standout performance to place third.
Behind the top three, Luis Oliveira (P-Yamaha) edged out Italy’s Giacomo Redondi (Beta) by three seconds for fifth.
Spain’s Josep Garcia (Husqvarna) took a commanding victory in the Youth Cup class. Mikael Persson (SWE-Yamaha) and David Abgrall (F-Yamaha) completed the top three.
Making a winning start to her championship defence, newly mounted KTM rider Laia Sanz claimed victory in the Women’s Cup. Australia’s Jessica Gardiner (Sherco) placed as runner-up to Sanz while Jane Daniels (GB-Husqvarna) completed the top three. Yamaha’s Jemma Wilson (Aus) and France’s Samantha Tichet (KTM) were fourth and fifth respectively.