Few days only after the Grand Prix of Agadir that reserved a lot of surprises and offered an outstanding first race of the season, theEnduroGP is on the road to Portugal, more precisely in Gouveia, two than riders know really well from last season…
Strong from a good first experience, the brave Club Natureza Eventos is back for one year more. This Moto Club, chaired by Jose BRITO, is very dynamic and has great ambitions. Moreover, they will be helped by Pedro MARIANO (FIM Race Director) for the sporting part and by the staff of Foz Motor represented by Jorge SIMOES for the communication side.
Natureza Eventos has, once again, drawn a nice and technical track and the rain that’s announced during the weekend should make it even more difficult… As last year, the paddock will be situated in « Senhora dos Verdes » (8 kms from Gouveia) like the three special tests of the weekend: the Maxxis Cross Test, the Enduro Testand the Technomousse Xtreme Test. A perfect and compact choice for the public who will have the opportunity to follow the race from start to finish. On its side, the Super Test will be located in the center ofGouveia.
Charming town in the North-East of Portugal, Gouveia has approximately 15 000 inhabitants. This town from the district of Guarda is situated 168 kilometers from Porto and 92 kilometers from the Spanish frontier. Nice city from the Center region of Portugal, Gouveiais situated on the foothill of the biggest Mountains of Portugal (until 1300 meters) and in the North point of the National Parc of Serra da Estrela…
Serra da Estrela
The rain can change everything!
Very first leader of the EnduroGP category, Mathias BELLINO (F – Husqvarna) will surely look to dig the gap. But we remember his difficulties last year in this same track… If we add to this a rainy weather, it could be pretty difficult then for the French. The weather awaited this weekend should put more than BELLINO in difficulties… Indeed, if Matthew PHILLIPS (AUS) has also started the season pretty well on his new bike of Fabrizio AZZALIN’s team, we never really saw him racing under the rain. There are also some interrogations around Taylor ROBERT (USA – KTM) and Loïc LARRIEU (F – Yamaha) that are in the Top 10 of the class and will seek their first podium of the season? In another hand, some other riders look to be ready and looking forward to race under the rain. Indeed, Johnny AUBERT (F – Beta), but also the Brits Steve HOLCOMBE (Beta), Jamie MCCANNEY (Yamaha) and his brotherDanny (Husqvarna) will look to take profits of this opportunity to reach the overall Top 3. Nice surprise and best KTM rider of the Grand Prix of Agadir, Antoine BASSET (F) can also be a force in that kind of conditions and why not grab a place on the podium of the EnduroGP! Italians Thomas OLDRATI (Husqvarna) and Simone ALBERGONI (Kawasaki) seem to be really waiting this weekend after a difficult first round. Making the double in Enduro 1, we still wait a bit more from Eero REMES (SF – TM), who can’t be happy to such ups and downs (9/3 in EnduroGP). We are waiting a bit more also from Alex SALVINI (I – Beta) who, even if he finished twice 5th, lost the podium each time at the end of the race. It’s the same for Cristobal GUERRERO (E – Yamaha), Davide GUARNERI (I – Honda) or also Manuel MONNI (I – TM)… Biggest deception of this GP of Morocco, Ivan CERVANTES (E – KTM) will have to react in Gouveia if he still wants to look for a good place in EnduroGP and also if he still wants to keep all his chances for the E1 title. Finally, we will take a look to the good surprises of Morocco like Nathan WATSON (GB – KTM) and Gianluca MARTINI (I – Kawasaki) on another type of track than the one met in Africa. To note also that Six-times SuperEnduro World Champion Taddy BLAZUSIAK (PL – KTM) will be racing and will look to shine and forget all the bad luck he had since the Grand Prix of Spain 2015 where he get injured.
Steve HOLCOMBE (GB – Beta)
Can REDONDI continue his winning streak?
In the Junior class, Giacomo REDONDI (I – Honda) signed a perfect double in Morocco and will look to continue his winning streak inGouveia where he was pretty fast last year. But he can’t lose his focus. Indeed, Josep GARCIA (E – Husqvarna) was pushing behind last weekend. The Catalan will certainly look to make a comeback and get closer from the Italian. He also has to be aware ofKirian MIRABET (E) who climbs for the first time in his career the podium. Albin ELOWSON (S – Husqvarna) and Jeremy CARPENTIER (F – Honda) will have to be more consistent if they really want to pretend to the podium while Davide SORECA (I – Honda) should absolutely react after a deceiving first stage… Home rider, Diogo VENTURA (Gas Gas) will really want to show his skills in front of his audience and why not win his first GP. He is for sure the biggest Portuguese chance. We’ll see also his fellow Luis OLIVEIRA (Yamaha) making his debut in E1 Class.
In FIM Youth Cup 125cc, Jack EDMONDSON (GB – KTM) will be absent. Indeed, the Brit broke his hand (metacarpus) during the first day in Africa. His rival Jean-Baptiste NICOLOT (F – Yamaha) will look to take advantage of this injury or maybe other riders likeValerian DEBAUD (F – Yamaha), Mirko SPANDRE (I – KTM) and the two locals Andre MARTINS (KTM) and Tomas CLEMENTE (KTM) can impress everyone on a very selective terrain…
So, this Grand Prix Polisport of Portugal is really awaited despite the bad weather announced. Local fans are ready to enjoy it in the charming town of Gouveia, National Park Serra da Estrela, which will become for the second time in a row the place to be for every Enduro fans!
– Gouveia (District of Guarda) – Friday, April 15th: Super Test around 19.00 – Saturday, 16th and Sunday, 17th April: Starts 9h00 – Finish around 16h00; – Organizer: Natureza Eventos – Website: www.endurogp.org and www.wecportugal.com; – Track: 48kms – 3 laps; – Free Access; – Airport: Porto (168 kms)
Diogo VENTURA (P – Gas Gas)