Enduro GP Preview E2: Will REMES Reign Supreme?

Eero REMES (SF - TM)With the redesign of the classes, the Enduro 2 category this year will be for bikes below 250cc (4 stroke and 2 stroke). This new class will be all to play for, and although many people wanted to see him switch to EnduroGP, E1 World Champion Eero REMES (SF – TM) has decided to stick to what he knows and fight for the Enduro 2 crown! Here’s our overview, and a look at the key protagonists, in the ‘small bike’ category…

The Big Favourite

Eero REMES (SF – TM) : E1 Champion for the second consecutive time and 4th EnduroGP last year, everyone thought they would see the Factory TM rider come face to face with PHILLIPS, BELLINO, HOLCOMBE, NAMBOTIN et al. But finally, the diminutive Finn preferred to stay in his comfort zone and on a bike he knows well: the 250 Fi 4 stroke… A shame, perhaps, for the fans but by making this choice, REMES becomes the undisputed favourite of this brand new Enduro 2 category.

Also in the Running

Daniel MCCANNEY (GB – Husqvarna) : 3rd in E1 in 2016, the elder of the MCCANNEY brothers has shown skill and progress over his years in World Enduro, and he will complete his third season in the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory team but this time with a 250cc 2-stroke! Last year MCCANNEY was curtailed by a knee injury, but in 2017 REMES will have to be ready to defend his crown now that the Manxman is fully fit…

Jamie MCCANNEY (GB – Yamaha): Not one MCCANNEY but two! After a fantastic start to 2016, Jamie was unfortunately injured in Greece, halting his progress. Back at the top level on his Yamaha WR250F 4 stroke, he keeps learning and progressing despite being one of the younger members of the class… perhaps he’ll become REMES’ biggest rival?

Manuel MONNI (I – TM): REMES will also have to keep an eye on his own team-mate at TM Factory Racing. Indeed, manager Luca CHERUBINI decided to place Manuel MONNI in Enduro 2 on a 250cc 2 stroke! 3rd in the E3 category last year, the rider from Perugia (who is sure to enjoy having the Italian GP on his doorstep this year) expects to do even better and move closer to a world crown…

Pascal RAUCHENECKER (AUT – Husqvarna) : 5th in the smallest category for his debut in the World Championship last year, the Austrian showed great strength of character throughout the eight Grand Prix. He also celebrated three hard-fought podiums. ‘RAUCHI’ has the speed, but he will now have to show more consistency in his efforts to fight at the front.

The Outsiders & Long Shots

Jérémy JOLY (F – Beta): After a 2016 season which saw him compete in only three Grand Prix in EnduroGP whilst recovering from injury and fighting for the E3 title in the French Championship, «JJ» is back with a Factory squad! This year, the 2011 Junior World Champion will race in the Beta Factory team on the 250RR 2-stroke… If he can settle into a good rhythm from the first GP onwards, the Frenchman could challenge the five main favorites!

Davide GUARNERI (I – Honda): Having arrived in EnduroGP after encouraging ISDE in 2015, the former MXGP rider ramped up his results throughout 2016 to finish in 7th position in the highly competitive Enduro 2 class. His Manager, Carlo CURCI, of the Honda RedMoto Racing Team has decided to put him on a CRF 250cc this season, and the Italian will aim for podiums…

Lorenzo SANTOLINO (E – Sherco): After a very difficult 2016 in Enduro 3, the Factory Sherco rider will hope for a strong comeback! Especially since he is back on a bike he likes and with which he finished 3rd in E1 in 2015. Will we see the return of the real SANTOLINO?

Thomas OLDRATI (I – Husqvarna): Last year was a season to forget for the 2009 Junior World Champion, and this year the goal will clearly be to reach the podium. Returning to the “small” Italian team BBM Racing, the experienced rider from Bergamo who is now 28 years old intends to prove that he still has a future in the discipline…

Josep GARCIA (E – KTM): After just one season in the Junior class where he finished 3rd behind a dominant REDONDI and a consistent ELOWSON, the Catalan has arrived in Enduro 2 on the 250 EXC-F 4-stroke. Fiery and very fast, Ivan CERVANTES protégé will have to show more consistency to break into the top ranks!

Rudy MORONI (I – KTM): “BOMBER” has always impressed with his speed. Unfortunately, he has so far failed to click into a rhythm that would allow him to finally claim a Top 5 in a World Championship season. If he can find the final piece of the puzzle, the rider who is highly throught of by his team manager, Fabio FARIOLI, could spring one of the biggest surprises of the season.

Victor GUERRERO (E – Yamaha): The little brother of Cristobal GUERRERO is back to his first love; a Yamaha WR250F. If he is finally spared injury, the Andalucian could have a fantastic 2017…

Gianluca MARTINI (I – Suzuki): The rider who was a big surprise at the beginning of 2016 remains in the small class, still with the Lunigiana team, but this time on a Suzuki! He will certainly seek more consistency in 2017, but his wild riding style should thrill the fans either way!

Jonathan BARRAGAN (E – Gas Gas): The former MXGP rider is already in his 4th year in Enduro, although it has not been an easy ride. 2017 will be a pivotal year for the rider who tends to get his best results on the second day of each race weekend. The Spaniard, from Madrid, will ride with a 250 4-stroke in the Gas Gas Factory Team managed by Miki ARPA.

The Newcomer

Daniel SANDERS (AUS – KTM) : In spite of a lack-lustre performance at the season finale in France in 2015 with a 250cc 4-stroke, the 2016 Australian Off-Road Champion is back in the small category but this time riding a 250cc 2-stroke. Definitely more comfortable on a 2-stroke, “CHUCKY” will aim for the honorary title of “Rookie of the Year”, and could well trouble the class favorites!

The ‘Mavericks’

Romain DUMONTIER (F – Yamaha): Even if he does not participate in the opening of the Championship in Finland, DUMONTIER remains a sure bet in Enduro and could aim for some Top 5 placing during the season.

Alessandro BATTIG (I – Kawasaki): After saying goodbye to the Honda RedMoto Racing Team, it’s hello to KE-Moto and Kawasaki! It is as yet unclear whether the Italian will compete in the entire Championship, but he will at least intend to race the ‘traditional’ Southern European GPs…

2017 will mark the first year in a Senior class for former Junior riders, Josh GOTTS (GB – TM) and Henric STIGELL (SF – Husqvarna). They will have to arm themselves with courage and tenacity to learn and perform at their best during the year…

Tommy SJOSTROM (Yamaha) is back in the World Championship and hoping to follow in the footsteps of Swedish legend Anders ERIKSSON. Initially he will aim for a place among the 15 fastest riders in the category.

KTM Ready to Race