KTM’s Nathan Watson became the rider to beat at the opening round of the Italian Enduro Championship when he won both days of competition.
Ran over two days on the Lignano Sabbiadoro coast, day one was split into two with a morning special test on the beach and then an enduro test nearby. The evening featured the X-Cup Maxxis Galfer extreme test of an endurocross style race on the beach. Day two was a two-hour beach race.
Stepping up to a 350f for 2017, Watson meant business from the off and staked his claim at the top of the classification by winning six of the day's 10 tests.
After a shaky opening tests, enduro newcomer Christophe Charlier (Husqvarna) got to grips with his first serious enduro outing. Proving consistent and grabbing a test win, he jumped from 23rd on test one to finish behind Watson as the runner-up.
The battle for third was a close affair as KTM’s Rudi Moroni beating Giacomo Redondi (Honda). Davide Guarneri (Honda) completed the top five.
EnduroGP champ Matt Phillips (Sherco) ended day one in 12th, with European champion Brad Freeman (Beta) just behind in 13th.
Australian Daniel Sanders (KTM) was 20th overall.
The night time X-Cup race was another Watson show with the British rider clearing off to a 21-second margin of victory over Maurizio Micheluz (Husqvarna) and Thomas Oldrati (Husqvarna).
For Sunday’s two-hour beach race it was Watson all the way. Never leaving the top spot, he topped the standings, completing 11 laps and placing five minutes clear of runner-up Charlier.
In third place was Micheluz, followed by Simone Albergoni (KE Moto) and Freeman in fifth.
Completing the top ten were Guarneri, Alex Salvini (Beta Motor), Moroni, Sanders and Oldrati.
Redondi, who was fighting for the second place until 30 minutes before the end, suffered some bike problems that ruled him out of contention.
The Italian Enduro Championship continues with rounds three and four on March 11/12.
Results - Italian Enduro Championship