British riders were totally dominant in the weekend’s Portuguese Enduro GP, winning both classes on both days. In the Enduro GP class, Nathan Watson dominated day one, and Steve Holcombe won day two. And Jamie McCanney won both days in the Enduro 2 class to take the overall win and move closer to the title lead.
Completely at home in the fast, dry and dusty Portuguese conditions Nathan Watson dominated the first day of competition, winning seven of the nine special tests. Cautious around the technical, slow-speed extreme test, on the faster motocross and enduro tests he was untouchable.
Frustratingly for Watson his hopes of a double EnduroGP class win were ended when he damaged his gear shift lever in the extreme test on lap two of day two. Forced to replace the shifter inside the special test and with the clock ticking, Nathan lost more than four minutes. Despite bouncing back to win the very next enduro test he was able to finish higher than 10th.
Watson: “I guess you could say I had good speed but some bad luck this weekend. Obviously, day one was amazing. I liked the look of the special tests before the race and felt really comfortable on them. Day one was almost perfect, and to win by more than one-minute was amazing. Despite waking up feeling a little tired I was confident of a good result on day two. Winning the first test by nearly ten seconds was great. I went into the enduro test and dropped it twice ending up stalling my bike both times, which was really disappointing. I made up for the lost time in the motocross test and got back to within a couple of seconds of Steve Holcombe, who was leading. Unfortunately, in the second extreme test I caught a rock and ripped my gear lever clean off, with the bike stuck in neutral. After losing so much time fitting a new gear lever it was hard to concentrate for the rest of the day and I ended up making more mistakes. I know my speed was good, I just wasn’t able to get the day two result I feel I should have.”
Enjoying the most successful GP of his season so far, Outsiders Yamaha Official Enduro Team rider Jamie McCanney wrapped up round six of the 2017 FIM EnduroGP World Championship claiming two Enduro 2 class victories during a hot and dusty EnduroGP of Portugal.
In dominant form throughout the weekend, the Manxman battled through extremely hot and dusty conditions to top the Enduro 2 class podium on both days in Castelo Branco.
Posting the second fastest time in the short opening SuperTest on Friday, the WR250F mounted rider entered the first full day of racing in Portugal determined to battle for victory. Winning eight out of nine tests on Saturday, Jamie wrapped up the day with a well-deserved 23-second margin of victory.
Not letting the physically demanding tests phase him, Jamie continued his impressive form into the second day’s competition, focused only on repeating his podium topping day one result. Involved in a day-long battle with championship rival Josep Garcia, McCanney kept pushing until the end to secure his fourth victory for the season in style.
Earning 50 valuable championship points in Portugal, Jamie has reduced the gap to the provisional championship leader Josep Garcia to just six points.
He said: “We had a great battle with Josep Garcia throughout the weekend and I’m so happy I secured two victories. From the first to the last test on both days there was no room to relax – I had to give my best in every single corner. I was feeling confident so kept my head down and tried to avoid mistakes. I was probably a little bit too cautious in the short extreme test, but my speed was very good in the enduro test and the cross test. Overall, it was a tough weekend and the tests were pretty long. But I proved I’ve done my homework. I’m so happy with how things turned out in Portugal. The gap to Josep, who’s leading the championship, is now down to six points. With two more rounds to go anything can happen.”
Next round: September 23-24, EnduroGP of Great Britain, Hawkstone Park.
Results – 2017 FIM EnduroGP World Championship, Round 6
1. Nathan Watson (KTM) 1:12:26.83
2. Matthew Phillips (Sherco) 1:13:50.33
3. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 1:13:51.49
4. Loic Larrieu (Yamaha) 1:14:09.32
5. Christophe Charlier (Husqvarna) 1:14:16.49
6. Jaume Betriu (KTM) 1:14:36.57
10. Christophe Nambotin (KTM) 1:15:45.48
1. Jamie McCanney (Yamaha) 1:12:43.29
2. Josep Garcia (KTM) 1:13:06.92
3. Davide Guarneri (Honda) 1:13:37.28
4. Eero Remes (TM) 1:13:58.68
5. Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna) 1:15:01.53
9. Rudy Moroni (KTM) 1:15:55.17
13. Daniel Sanders (KTM) 1:17:20.06
1. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 1:14:26.51
2. Christophe Charlier (Husqvarna) 1:14:30.24
3. Matthew Phillips (Sherco) 1:14:40.29
4. Loic Larrieu ( Yamaha) 1:14:45.42
5. Jaume Betriu (KTM) 1:15:04.54
10. Nathan Watson (KTM) 1:18:50.72
1. Jamie McCanney (Yamaha) 1:13:40.93
2. Josep Garcia (KTM) 1:13:52.70
3. Eero Remes ( TM) 1:14:38.50
4. Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna) 1:15:06.26
5. Manuel Monni ( TM) 1:15:55.47
9. Rudy Moroni (KTM) 1:16:42.55
13. Daniel Sanders (KTM) 1:18:25.67
Championship Standings (after round 6)
1. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 259 points
2. Loic Larrieu (Yamaha) 222
3. Matt Phillips (Sherco) 202
4. Nathan Watson (KTM) 200
5. Christophe Nambotin (KTM) 180
8. Jaume Betriu (KTM) 139
1. Josep Garcia (KTM) 267 points
2. Jamie McCanney (Yamaha) 261
3. Eero Remes (TM) 237
4. Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna) 204
5. Danny McCanney (Husqvarna) 167
9. Daniel Sanders (KTM) 143
13. Rudy Moroni (KTM) 81
23. Lars Enockl (KTM) 10