Italian Enduro Championship: Steve Holcombe wins 2023 Assoluti D’Italia title
Highlights and result from the finals rounds of the 2023 Assoluti d’Italia Enduro Championship where Steve Holcombe takes the 2023 overall title after an intense battle with Andrea Verona at rounds nine and 10 in Darfa Boario Terme.
The two-day weekend, rounds nine and 10 of the 2023 Italian Assoluti Enduro season in saw Steve Holcombe start as he meant to go on with the fastest time in the Friday evening street prologue.
The test would become one of the many used this weekend in what was a slightly unusual event as riders faced 25 tests on day one and 20 on day two and a course with hardly any transfer and barely enough time to take a pee.
In total nine different riders won tests across the penultimate day of the season but it was Holcombe who continued his form, remaining on top of the scratch times from start to finish.
He was pushed all the way by Andrea Verona he tipped off. Couple of times on the tricky and tight tests. At the finish Holcombe took the win by 16 seconds from Verona with Matteo Cavallo third scratch.
Day 1, Rnd9 highlights:
Day 1, Rnd 9 results:
Day two, round 10
Day two in Darfa saw the same intense racing over four fewer test (20) and the same battle up top of hte time sheets between Holcombe and Verona. The lead changed hands all day as the tests unfolded but thanks to a final flourish in the last test of the weekend, where the GASGAS Factory Racing rider went all-out and claimed the test by 4.2 seconds (a big margin in this race!), Andrea ended his domestic season with an overall.
The 2023 Assoluti series saw just three winners of the overall across the season: Holcombe, Verona and Brad Freeman who remains absent after injuring himself at the previous Italian round of the season in July.
Day 2, Rnd 10 results:
Day 2, Rnd 10 highlights:
Overall championship winners
In the overall championship Holcombe finishes on 174 points, 11 clear of Verona second on 164 with Hamish Macdonald third on 114 (although the Kiwi went off the boil this weekend a little with a 6-7 scorecard). Thomas Oldrati wrapped up his season with both a 250 4T championship win (his 13th Italian title) with third on the day and joint fourth overall with his Honda Redmoto teammate Nathan Watson.
Steve Holcombe: “It was a tough but really positive weekend and to win the overall Italian title is great. Obviously, the EnduroGP championship is the big one that I’m really focused on, but the Italian title is really important to myself and the team. The whole Italian championship has been really enjoyable, and from the start I’ve felt good and ridden well, and had some good battles too.
“This weekend was a bit different to all the other rounds, with a lot of special tests across the two days – 25 tests on Saturday and 20 on Sunday. Saturday went really well. I made some good time on the first three laps then eased off a little for the last two, so it was nice to win by 16 seconds.
“I really wanted to end the year with another win on Sunday but the enduro test was getting super rough, so I also didn’t want to take any risks. The shortened enduro test also meant it was harder to open up any advantage and times were very close. So, second on the day, but more importantly I didn’t make any mistakes, and did what I needed to do to win the title, which is the important thing!
“It’s a really important time with the final EnduroGP events in just a few weeks. I can’t wait to get to Portugal and see what I can do there.”
2023 Italian Champions
125: Kevin Cristino, Fantic
250 2T: Davide Soreca, Sherco
300 2T: Matteo Cavallo, TM
250 4T: Thomas Oldrati, Honda
450: Andrea Verona, GasGas
Junior: Manolo Morettini, Honda
Foreigners: Steve Holcombe, Beta
ABSOLUTE: Steve Holcombe, Beta
Photo Credit: Off Road Pro + Cristiano Morello + Honda Redmoto