In complete contrast to the sub-zero conditions at the opening round of the 2017 EnduroGP World Championship series in Finland, the AMV GP of Spain served up extreme dust as the world’s best enduro racers battled not only one another but also the hugely challenging, arid Spanish terrain.
Competition was certainly close at the top of the Enduro Junior class where just 12 seconds covered the top four riders. Italy’s Davide Soreca (Honda) eventually took the class win, completing the day just under 8 seconds ahead of Brad Freeman (Beta). Unable to compete in the season opener in Finland following a pre-event crash, despite being buried deep in the dust of the EJ class throughout the day the Brit showed impressive pace. Rounding out the podium was Sweden’s Mikael Persson (Yamaha). Eventually placing fourth Spain’s Kirian Mirabet (Sherco) saw his hopes of a class win ended when he crashed on the event’s final motocross test.
The battle for the top spot in the Women’s class saw Laia Sanz (KTM) and Maria Franke (KTM) distance themselves from eventual third place finisher Jane Daniels (Husqvarna) by more than two minutes. With Sanz fastest through Friday night’s Akrapovic SuperTest a mistake in the day’s opening Extreme Test saw her fall behind Franke before the pair became locked in battle throughout the day. Although it was Franke who claimed the most test wins, Sanz eventually placed 10 seconds ahead thanks in no small part to her speed through the Enduro Test. “Making a mistake on the first Extreme Test wasn’t a great start to the day, but eventually everything worked out ok,” admitted crowd favourite Sanz. “It was a really tough day but I enjoyed the battle with Maria a lot. We pushed each other on every test, there was no time to relax. Every part of the track – the tests and the trails – are so heavily rutted, tomorrow is going to be a very hard day.”
Italian Andrea Verona (TM) won in the 125cc Youth class, finishing 20 seconds ahead of Chilean Ruy Barbosa (Husqvarna) with Frenchman Leo Le Quere (TM) completing the podium in third.
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