KTM’s Antoine MEO and Christophe NAMBOTIN moved one step closer to securing their respective world titles with victory on day one at the Maxxis Enduro World Championship GP Maxxis of Greece in Kastoria. Husaberg’s Pela RENET returned to the top step of the podium in the Enduro 2 category while Husqvarna’s Matt PHILLIPS took the win in the Enduro Junior class. With temperatures soaring above 35 degrees, the competitors of the EWC faced an extremely hot and tiring day of racing. Battling their way around the cross and enduro test located high in the mountains above the picturesque lakeside town of Kastoria they then returned to the lakeshore for the extreme test.
Edging ever closer to the successful defence of his Enduro 3 world championship, France’sChristophe NAMBOTIN (KTM) was the clear winner on day one. Aside from a small mistake on the third extreme test, the KTM rider enjoyed a comfortable victory. “It was a good day but it was also a tough one,” remarked NAMBOTIN. “The weather was very hot and tiring but I’m pleased to have won. Hopefully I can have another good day like this tomorrow and win the championship.” Proving fast and confident in the dry and dusty terrain, France’s Fabien PLANET (Sherco) delivered his debut podium in E3. Hampered by a crash on the first cross test, France’s Mathias BELLINO (Husaberg) fought hard to recover from his mistake and ended his day third overall. Placing ten seconds behind his teammate, Sweden’s Joakim LJUNGGREN (Husaberg) was fourth with Estonia’s Aigar LEOK (TM) in fifth.
Despite getting his GP Maxxis of Greece off to the worst possible start with a crash on the Friday SuperTest, France’s Antoine MEO (KTM) still claimed the Enduro 1 class win. “I was unfortunate to crash in the SuperTest and I had to fight hard to win,” told MEO. “Winning the first test really helped me to catch up and once I got into the lead I just tried to maintain it. Thankfully it all turned out good in the end.” Holding the runner-up position until the second lap, France’s Nicolas DEPARROIS (Yamaha) dropped out of contention with a mechanical issue. His misfortune was Spain’s Cristobal GUERRERO’s gain and the KTM rider secured second place. Claiming his debut senior podium, France’s Jeremy JOLY (Honda) completed the top three. Still struggling with a broken toe, Finland’s Matti SEISTOLA (Husqvarna) delivered a gritted performance to finish fourth while France’s Jeremy TARROUX (Sherco) rounded out the top five.
Finally returning to the top step of the podium since his day one win at the season opener in Chile, France’s Pela RENET (Husaberg) claimed the E2 win. Battling hard with Italy’s Alex SALVINI (Honda), RENET placed just over two seconds clear of his rival to take the victory. “I’m so happy to have finally won again,” remarked RENET. “It was a really close battle with Alex but I managed to give it my best. Today the win was mine.” Hindered by a crash midway through the day, SALVINI placed as runner-up to RENET. Unable to consistently match the pace of the leading duo, France’s Johnny AUBERT (KTM) ended his day in third. Securing his best ever result in E2, Spain’s Lorenzo SANTOLINO (Husqvarna) placed just nine seconds behind AUBERTto take fourth. Spain’s Victor GUERRERO (KTM) rounded out the top five.
In the Enduro Junior class the battle for the win went right to the final special test with Australia’sMatt PHILLIPS (Husqvarna) emerging victorious. With nothing to separate the top three riders,PHILLIPS set the fastest time in the final test to win day one. Italy’s Giacomo REDONDI (KTM)finished as runner-up to PHILLIPS with France’s Loic LARRIEU (Husaberg) completing the top three. Spain’s Mario ROMAN (Husaberg) placed just one-second behind Larrieu to take fourth while Sweden’s Robert KVARNSTROM (Beta) rounded out the top five. In the Enduro Youth Cup class, newly crowned champion Jamie MCCANNEY (Husaberg) claimed the victory on day one. Sweden’s Albin ELOWSON (Husaberg) finished as runner-up to the Manxman with Italy’s Dawid CIUCCI (KTM) completing the top three. Chile’s Benjamin HERRERA (TM) and France’s Jeremy MIRIOR (Yamaha) rounded out the top five.