As expected after the Grand Prix of France and this domination all season, this first day of the final round of 2018 saw Steve HOLCOMBE (GB – Beta) conquer both the E3 and EnduroGP titles, and Brad FREEMAN (GB – Beta Boano) win his first senior title, becoming the World E1 Champion. Let’s look back at this day full of emotion…
Steve HOLCOMBE only needed a handful of points to win his second consecutive title in EnduroGP… but instead of just doing what was necessary, he rode brilliantly, and the Factory Beta rider took his 5th win of the year after a good battle with Brad FREEMAN. Today was confirmation of his dominance and rise to power throughout a year which started with fractures to his ribs in Spain and ended in style; riding at a very high level in the last three GPs of the season. FREEMAN, anxious to finish the job in E1, kept his compatriot honest all day in the overall and lost out on the EGP win by just 5 seconds! Behind the two stars of this day, it was Eero REMES (SF – TM) who took the 16 points for 3rd place, 9 seconds ahead of Loïc LARRIEU (F – Yamaha). Alex SALVINI (I – Husqvarna) closed out the top 5 in front of the MCCANNEY brothers, Danny (GB – Gas Gas) and Jamie (GB – Yamaha). Special mention also for the local rider Christian BROCKEL (D – KTM) who finished 15th on this first day of the Maxxis German GP!
In Enduro 2, the gap is narrowing between Eero REMES and Alex SALVINI after a strong victory from the Finn today. The Italian had to relent halfway through the day and he even saw Loïc LARRIEU (F – Yamaha) sneak in ahead of him! Mathematically, the official Yamaha Outsider rider still retains a very small change of the title since he is 19 points behind the Jolly Enduro Team rider. “SALVO” now has a 10 point lead ahead of REMES before the last day of this 2018 season! Behind the usual trio was Thomas OLDRATI (I – Honda RedMoto), 4th, and Deny PHILIPPAERTS (I – Beta Boano), 5th. Followed by the German trio of BROCKEL, HÜBNER (D – KTM) and VON ZITZEWITZ (KTM). Tomorrow the thousands of spectators present will be eagerly watching the E2 class to see who will win the final title of the year!
Overall winner, RUPRECHT, also won the J1 category ahead of VERONA and Kirian MIRABET (E – Honda) while Matteo CAVALLO remained in charge of the Junior 2 class ahead of Joe WOOTTON and Tosha SCHAREINA.
In Youth 125cc, Ruy BARBOSA (CL – Husqvarna) proved strong again despite already having the title under his belt since France. Hamish MACDONALD (NZ – Sherco) took second on the day and looks to be on for the Vice-Champion spot against Roni KYTONEN (SF – Husqvarna) who was 3rd today, Dan MUNDELL (GB – Sherco), 4th, and Matthew VAN OEVELEN (B – Sherco), 5th.
Finally, in the Women’s Cup, Sanna KARKKAINEN (SF – KTM) moves close to the title after winning this first day of action. With the difficulties faced by the double Womens MX Champion, Livia LANCELOT (F – Honda RedMoto) and the very disappointing injury of the great favourite and triple World Vice-Champion Jane DANIELS (GB – Husqvarna), who broke her collarbone on the first lap, the Finn is now the potential winner of the Women’s Cup… Despite her difficulties, LANCELOT finished second ahead of Mireia BADIA (E – Husqvarna) and newcomer Nieve HOLMES (GB – Sherco).
This first day of the Maxxis German Grand Prix gave us three World Champions through Brad FREEMAN in E1 and Steve HOLCOMBE in E3 and EGP. See you tomorrow for a thrilling final day of the 2018 season, where we will see who out of REMES and SALVINI will win the Enduro 2 title!
What They Said:
Steve HOLCOMBE : “I’m so relieved to win this second title! The year started so badly with my rib fracture, but after the GP of Trentino I refocused and I spent my summer preparing for the last three GPs… It worked perfectly and I am very proud to be crowned EGP World Champion for the second year in a row!”
Brad FREEMAN : “So many emotions … so many emotions! It’s just amazing … I can hardly speak! We did it … World E1 Champion! It sounds so good to say it! So many sacrifices all year but it’s worth it!”
Eero REMES : “I stayed focused all day and it paid off. 10 points behind is nothing and everything could still happen tomorrow. So we will keep this action plan and we will count the points up at the end of the day…”
Alex SALVINI : “I never really found a good feeling on this terrain. I could have lost fewer points but LARRIEU got second place today and he deserves it. I will have to ride tactically tomorrow and keep an eye on the points…”