Eero Remes tops EnduroGP on day one at the GP of Greece
Finnish TM rider Eero REMES has claimed his first overall EnduroGP class win of 2016, topping day one of the GP of Greece in Grevena. Despite heavy rain throughout the day the defending Enduro 1 World Champion battled his way to the top of the overall results aboard his 250f machine before a stand-out performance on the final test of the day saw him claim a well-earned victory. Behind REMES enduro rookie Nathan WATSON rode his KTM to second overall with third going to Matt PHILLIPS (Sherco).
No fewer than four riders put their names at the top of the EnduroGP class results during the opening day. First to hit the front was Super Test winner Mathias BELLINO (Husqvarna) before Beta mounted Steve HOLCOMBE took over the top spot. With costly mistakes halting both BELLINO and HOLCOMBE’s chances of the win it was EnduroGP championship leader Matt PHILLIPS who took over the top sport, looking most likely to earn victory. Eventually, it was REMES who stole the top spot. The only rider to dip under nine minutes on the day’s closing Enduro Test, the Finn would eventually claim a near 14-second margin of victory over Nathan WATSON. Some 34 seconds slower than REMES on the final test PHILLIPS rounded out the top three and remains at the head of the EnduroGP championship standings. With BELLINO enduring a mistake filled day, Steve HOLCOMBE moved to the runner-up position behind PHILLIPS after placing fourth.
As the top two riders in the overall EnduroGP classification REMES and WATSON also placed at the head of the Enduro 1 class. First to find his rhythm around the slippery Greek tests it was Nathan WATSON who took the early class lead before Remes upped his speed during the third and final lap. Topping the last four tests in Enduro 1, and with it claiming the day win, REMES secured his fifth consecutive E1 victory of 2016. With just 14 seconds separating REMES and WATSON, Ivan CERVANTES (KTM) claimed third despite finishing more than two-and-a-half minutes adrift of the leading duo. Italian Gianluca MARTINI (Kawasaki) continued his impressive form to claim fourth with Rudy MORONI (KTM) in fifth.
Matt PHILLIPS (Sherco) claimed a convincing win in Enduro 2, placing 44 seconds ahead of Loic LARRIEU (Yamaha) with Taylor ROBERT (KTM) a further five seconds back in third. “It was a good day for me today,” admitted PHILLIPS. “It was really easy to make mistakes, like a lot of the guys did, but I didn’t have too many problems. I got close to the EnduroGP class win but REMES was incredibly fast on the final enduro test. I didn’t want to take any risks and maybe eased off a little too much. But to win Enduro 2 is great.” For LARRIEU the day’s result saw the Frenchman claim his first podium finish of 2016. However, third placed Taylor ROBERT was the day’s fastest E2 class rider on special test times. But a time keeping error saw ROBERT pick up a 60-second penalty, dropping him to third. Alex SALVINI (Beta) placed fourth with Mathias BELLINO (Husqvarna) fifth.
Despite a big get off on the Enduro Test on the second lap, which cost him some 30 seconds, Steve HOLCOMBE (Beta) topped the Enduro 3 class results ahead of team-mate Johnny AUBERT (Beta). Separated by less than two seconds, the Beta duo placed comfortably ahead of third placed Antoine BASSET (KTM) who on the second lap crashed heavily on the Extreme Test. Fourth went to Italian Manuel MONNI (TM) with Romain DUMONTIER (Yamaha) fifth. “When I crashed on the enduro test I knew it was going to be tough to get the E3 class win, but I kept pushing and just managed to finish in front of Johnny,” explained HOLCOMBE. “My bike was a little twisted after the crash but it wasn’t too much of a problem. It was a tough day.”
Honda riders Giacomo REDONDI and Davide SORECA claimed a one-two at the top of the Enduro Junior class, with REDONDI placing 39 seconds clear of his team-mate. Diogo VENTURA (Gas Gas) rounded out the EJ class podium in third with Finland’s Henric STIGELL (TM) fourth and Swede Albin ELOWSON (Husqvarna) fifth.
Sweden’s Erik APPELQVIST (Yamaha) secured a 34-second margin of victory in the Enduro Youth class, placing ahead of France’s Jean-Baptiste NICOLOT (Yamaha) and Britain’s Jack EDMONDSON (KTM).