EnduroGP Results: The Garcia and Freeman show on day 1 in Sweden
2023 EnduroGP World Championship results from the GP of Sweden in Skovde where Josep Garcia and Brad Freeman fought another fierce battle for the overall with the Red Bull KTM rider taking his second day win on the bounce.
2023 EnduroGP of Sweden Day 1 in a nutshell:
- Glorious sun in Sweden treated riders to a hard graft day in the dirt at the Swedish GP. Based largely on a military training ground, the conditions may have looked sandy but it all sits on a hard base which didn’t break down much and tyres struggled to bite.
- The story of the day is how close Josep and Brad were. Test times were within half a second multiple times, twice they were precisely 0.03s apart and it wasn’t even the same test. It was nuts to witness.
- Steve Holcombe and Nathan Watson took test win apiece away from the Garcia and Freeman show though and it was far from the runaway top three we’ve seen this year at otehr rounds.
- The penultimate test of the day proved crucial as Brad dropped eight seconds and allowed Josep the day in the bag. “I feel so good on the bike the whole day,” explained the Spaniard. “I made some mistakes and had one crash but it’s fine. The fight at the top is so close but I am happy to take this win and fight again tomorrow.”
- E3 day win but time gifted to Josep meant a disappointed Freeman at the finish: “Today was a little bitter sweet. I feel like I let that one go again. Me and Garcia were going at it all day, fighting every test within less than a second. I just had one little problem in the last enduro test and that was it. Anyway, I gave my best and we come back tomorrow.”
- It was another E2 day win for Holcombe who says he booted out the demons from a dismal last visit to Finland: “I had a lot of bad memories from 2021 which was probably the worst race of my career so, yeah, a pretty good day today. The tests were quite dry, I was expecting it to break down a lot more. I struggled to feel comfortable from the get go but managed to push on lap two and three and managed to put in some good times so I’m happy to finish on the overall podium again.”
- Nathan Watson got stronger as the day progressed to overhaul Andrea Verona, the pair completing the top five overall.
- Ride of the day went to Albin Norrbin who clocked eight from 11 test wins in the Juniors. Sadly a 30 second time penalty from the Super Test last night meant he had to claw back from 39th place in class. Remarkably the Swedish rider got back onto the podium, second by 14 seconds behind the day winner, compatriot Max Ahlin.
- Jed Etchells was the non-Swede on the Junior podium after robbing Jeremy Sydow of the place in the last test.
- French Youths tried to muscle a day win off Kevin Cristino for the first time this season after he injured his knee last night. Thibault Giraudon and Leo Joyon put the Italian under real pressure as they traded the podium places with each test.
- But in the end it was the Italian’s seventh day win of 2023, 3.84 ahead of Giraudon with Joyon cursing some mistakes on the last lap to finish third.
- Jane Daniels was once again the clear winner in the Women’s Enduro class which completed all of the tests (on day 2 the Women drop a lap). The margin was closer than last week though as Rosie Rowett and Swedish rider Linnea Akesson put themselves on the test win list.
- But it was yet another GP win for Daniels, 1m:17s clear of Rowett with Jess Gardiner a further minute back in third completing the podium.
- Finally in the Open class, Enzo Marchal took the scratch result bettering Alejandro Ceballos-Escalera Lopez by 25s and Jiri Hadek coming on strong in the last lap for third.
2023 EnduroGP of Sweden Day 1 results scratch results:
E1 class results:
E2 class results:
E3 class results:
Open class scratch results (top 10):
Photo Credit: Future7Media | Andrea Belluschi