Yamaha kept their dominant win-streak alive in the Enduropale du Touquet with a 1-2 finish in Sunday’s race in Northern France.
In what was a near start-to-finish victory, young gun Daymond Martens beat the reigning three-time champ Adrien Van Beveren for the win.
With about 1000 starters lined up for the iconic race on the Normandy sands, it was Martens and Suzuki’s Steve Ramon who initially swapped the lead before the younger Belgian Martens took control of the race lead.
Setting a blisteringly fast pace, the Yamaha rider hammered down a fast opening half of the race.
Third at mid distance, Van Beveren sat about 50 seconds behind his teammate and looking unable to make it four wins in a row. But as the clocked ticked down towards the end of the three hour marker, Van Beveren put his Dakar-stamina into overdrive and rapidly began to reel a fading Martens in.
With only 18 seconds seperating them starting the 14th and final lap, Van Beveren almost made it onto Martens rear wheel when the young Belgian became stuck in a sand bank — his only mistake of the race.
But then when a pass by Van Beveren looked possible, the defending champ mis-timed a sand whoop and crashed in traffic, allowing Martens to escape and claim a momentous vicotry.
Behind the leading duo, Honda’s Richard Fura completed the top three, while Yentel Martens (Husqvarna) and Stephane Watel (KTM) rounded out the top five.
Finishing 12th, Romain Dumontier (Yamaha) was the top EnduroGP rider.
Results - Enduropale du Touquet