Coming as close to a winning result without quite managing to top the podium, Nathan Watson finished just 0.29 seconds from the top spot in the EnduroGP class on day two, earning a well-deserved runner-up result for his efforts on the KTM 350 EXC-F. Unable, like many riders, to feel comfortable on the unpredictable terrain on day one, Christophe Nambotin managed to finish fourth before battling throughout day two for the win on his KTM 300 EXC.
“The only real difference between the two days of the GP for me was that I didn’t crash on day two, but I did on day one,” explained Nambotin. “I pushed a lot to fight at the front of the EnduroGP class, but I wasn’t really able to ride like I wanted to. The conditions were very unpredictable and it was hard to feel comfortable. I’m happy that I made improvements on day two. It was still difficult to feel settled, but I’m happy. I know that my speed is good, so I will work hard to be ready for the GP of Italy and push for the win again there.”
Following a strong third place EnduroGP class result on day one Watson was frustratingly forced to retire from day two after just one special test. Struggling with tendonitis in his left wrists he opted to stop on the grounds of safety having been unable to hold onto his bike during the opening special test.
Reveling in the incredibly dry and dusty conditions, Josep Garcia set a pace on the KTM 250 EXC-F in the Enduro 2 class that no one could match on day one. Topping the class time sheets during the Friday night Super Test the youngster quickly hit his stride during Saturday’s opening lap, topping each of the three special tests. Remaining out front despite a fall on the Enduro test on lap two, Garcia topped the day 15 seconds ahead of his closest challenger, Jamie McCanney.
Day two was a very different day for Garcia. With a small technical issue hampering his performance he nevertheless finished fifth and sits a strong second in the Enduro 2 championship standings.
“It’s been a little bit of a mixed weekend for me, but to win on day one and get my first ever senior class victory at my home GP was incredible,” enthused Garcia . “A lot of riders struggled with the conditions but I felt great on my bike. Everything went very well. Day two wasn’t so good. I felt great before the start but I had a small technical issue and my bike didn’t start. I took a 10 second penalty and generally the day didn’t go perfectly. I was fastest in the Motocross test on the first lap but I finished fifth.”
Garcia’s Enduro 2 classmate Daniel Sanders endured a tough weekend on his KTM 250 EXC in Spain finishing 11th on day one and ninth on day two. “This weekend just didn’t go well for me,” admitted Sanders. “I tried to get comfortable with the terrain but things just didn’t work out like I wanted. I pushed as hard as I could but, well, I wasn’t able to come away with the results I wanted.”
Enjoying a double class winning result, Laia Sanz made the perfect start to her Women’s championship campaign. Topping day one by 10 seconds following a hard-fought battle with Germany’s Maria Frank, she claimed a 21-second margin of victory on day two.
“It’s been a great weekend for me but I had to work so hard for these victories,” said Sanz. “Both days myself and Maria were pushing so much. I pushed so much during the second Enduro test today, and it was nice to have a small advantage after that. I’m really relived that after all the hard work I managed to get two wins. It could easily have been Maria who won, so I expect some great battles between us this year.”
The KTM Enduro Factory Racing team’s next outing in the EnduroGP World Championship will be round three of the series in Spoleto, Italy on May 26/27/28.
Next Race: May 26-28, 2017 – Spoleto (ITA)
Results EnduroGP Puerto Lumbreras 2017
1. Matthew Phillips (AUS), Sherco (1-1)
2. Steve Holcombe (GBR), Beta (2-3)
3. Christophe Nambotin (FRA) KTM (4-2)
4. Loic Larrieu (FRA), Yamaha (5-4)
5. Christobal Guerrero (ESP), Yamaha (6-6)
8. Jaume Betriu (ESP), KTM (7-8)
11. Nathan Watson (GBR), KTM (3-DNS)
Standings EnduroGP 2017 after 4 of 18 rounds
1. Phillips, 88 points
2. Holcombe, 80
3. Antti Hellsten (FIN), Husqvarna, 74
4. Larrieu, 61
5. Nambotin, 55
7. Watson, 51
Results Enduro 2 Puerto Lumbreras 2017
1. Eero Remes (FIN), TM (3-1)
2. Jamie McCanney (GBR), Yamaha (2-2)
3. Josep Garcia (ESP), KTM (1-5)
4. Pascal Rauchenecker (AUT), Husqvarna (5-4)
5. Daniel McCanney (GBR), Husqvarna (6-3)
8. Daniel Sanders (AUS), KTM, 30 (11-9)
Standings Enduro 2 2017 after 4 of 18 rounds
1. Remes, 95 points
2. Garcia, 79
3. J. McCanney, 75
4. Rauchenecker, 67
5. Henric Stigell (FIN), Husqvarna, 62
6. Sanders, 52
Results/Sandings Enduro Women Puerto Lumbreras 2017 after 2 of 8 rounds
1. Laia Sanz (ESP), KTM, 50 points (1-2)
2. Maria Franke (GER), KTM, 44 (2-2)
3. Jane Daniels (GBR), Husqvarna, 40 (3-3)
4. Sarna Karkkainen (FIN), KTM, 34 (4-5)
5. Jessica Gardiner (AUS), Yamaha, 33 (6-4)