Double delight for Freeman at Acerbis GP of Italy

davide.guarneri_EnduroGP_2021_Rnd2Britain’s Brad Freeman (Beta) had a lot to celebrate at the close of the second round of the FIM EnduroGP World Championship in Italy having put the finishing touches to a superb weekend with a dominant victory on day two. Claiming a double EnduroGP class win in Edolo, the Beta rider extends his lead at the top of the standings over his closest rival, Australian Will Ruprecht (TM). In Enduro Junior home favourite Matteo Pavoni topped the classification for the second day running, while Sweden’s Albin Norrbin led home a Fantic 1-2-3 in Enduro Youth.

EnduroGP class – Freeman has them covered
After an incredibly close-fought battle for victory on day one in Edolo between Freeman and Ruprecht, all eyes were focused on the duo to see who would have the edge on Sunday. A fast-starting Ruprecht put his TM out front on the opening CHAMPION Enduro Test, but Freeman then hit his stride, topping the next three tests. Pulling nine seconds clear, he broke the spirits of the Australian and kept extending his lead. Picking up another four wins from the remaining eight tests, it allowed the Beta rider to take charge of the proceedings and top the podium by 27 seconds.

While proving super consistent, Ruprecht never quite had the measure of Freeman in the afternoon and had to be content with the runner-up result. But with three podium results from four starts after two rounds, the EnduroGP class rookie is certainly proving himself to be the real deal in 2021.

After a disappointing outing on day one for eighth, Britain’s Steve Holcombe (Beta) regrouped strongly for third overall. The EnduroGP champion looked out of sorts yesterday due to a broken rib sustained last weekend in Portugal. Highlighted by a top time in the ACERBIS Cross Test, Holcombe was back on the pace.

Looking for his first podium of the year in EnduroGP, Italy’s Andrea Verona (GASGAS) got close, but just not close enough. Two seconds behind Holcombe, he missed his shot of a home podium with fourth following a mistake on the day’s closing special test. Slipping two places back down the order over his Saturday result, Spain’s Josep Garcia (KTM) completed the top five.

“It’s been brilliant to pick up a double win this weekend, I can’t ask for more than that!” told Freeman. “After yesterday’s effort I knew another four laps today would be hard work. I rode good this morning and that made the difference for sure , I was able to control things from there.”

Enduro1 – Verona does the double
While an EnduroGP podium eluded him, Verona made it count in Enduro1 by claiming his second victory of the weekend. Best mastering the technical Edolo terrain, the GASGAS rider controlled the proceedings throughout the day. Runner-up for the second time in Italy, Fantic’s Davide Guarneri didn’t get the home GP win he came for. Another consistent ride from Belgium’s Antoine Magain (Sherco) saw him complete the podium with third. Davide Soreca (Husqvarna) and Samuele Bernardini (Honda) ensured Italy locked out four of the top five Enduro1 placings.

Enduro2 – Ruprecht leads the way
With the EnduroGP victory escaping him, Ruprecht added to his Enduro2 win tally on day two. Holding the upper hand over his classmates, the Australian had things under control with a 57-second margin of victory. Feeling more on pace than the previous day, Holcombe ended his day in second, while Garcia completed the top three. Hamish MacDonald (Sherco) remained solid as ever taking a fourth-place result for the fourth time, but the New Zealand rider must surely be looking to land that podium finish next time out. After his stunning top-three finish yesterday, Hard Enduro specialist Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) backed it up with fifth today.

“It’s been a tough weekend,” said Holcombe. “I actually came into this race with a broken rib following a crash last time out in Portugal, so it’s been a struggle to be honest. I lacked strength on the bike and that showed yesterday. Today I just accepted the injury and rode for enjoyment, and it definitely helped me to find a better rhythm for third.”

Enduro3 – Fourth win for Freeman
As ever Freeman ruled supreme in Enduro3, securing his fourth win in as many races. With yet another clean sweep of special test times, he remains untroubled in the class. Behind Freeman, Spain’s Jaume Betriu (KTM) appears to have the measure of everyone else, finishing in second for the fourth time. While Freeman won by three minutes yesterday, the Spaniard narrowed that gap to just under two minutes today. Daniel McCanney (Sherco) got the better of his brother Jamie on day two to make a return to the Enduro3 podium with third. With the McCanney brothers third and fourth, Giacomo Redondi (GASGAS) took fifth.

Enduro Junior – Double victory for Pavoni
The Enduro Junior class saw Matteo Pavoni record a double victory on home soil thanks to his win on Sunday. But he was pushed all the way by teammate Lorenzo Macoritto (TM). Locked in a battle for much of the day, Pavoni held his nerve to secure the win by just two seconds. Behind the Italian duo, France’s Leo Le Quere (Sherco) took third, with Finland’s Roni Kytonen (Honda) fourth and Max Ahlin (Husqvarna) fifth.

“It’s been a fantastic weekend. To win on home soil is just an amazing feeling,” said Pavoni. “It’s been a great battle today with my teammate Lorenzo. He had the pace in the Enduro Test, but I think I controlled things better and got it done.”

Enduro Youth – Norrbin and Edmondson lead the way
Setting a trend so far in 2021, Albin Norrbin rose to the top of the Enduro Youth podium on day two. Norrbin and his Fantic teammate Harry Edmondson are proving the dominant pair of the category, sharing wins between them. With Edmondson second to Norrbin, the duo end round two tied on points for the championship lead. Kevin Cristino secured his fourth podium result with third place, while Leo Joyon (Beta) and Gabriele Pasinette (Beta) finished fourth and fifth respectively.

The 2021 FIM EnduroGP World Championship takes a two-week break before returning with back-to-back rounds, beginning with the GP of Estonia on July 16-18, and followed by the GP of Sweden on July 22-24.