Yamaha’s Loic Larrieu has claimed a home win at round three of the World Enduro Super Series, Trèfle Lozérien AMV.

 

With the outcome of this year’s Trèfle Lozérien overall victory going right down to the 15th and final special test of the three-day race, Loic Larrieu finally claimed his debut victory at France’s most important Classic Enduro. Pushing him all the way, rising French talent Theo Espinasse took second for Sherco Factory Racing, while Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Josep Garcia (ESP) jumped to third overall with his day three win.

With three manufacturers filling the podium, Yamaha dominated the 2018 Trèfle Lozérien with their 20th win. In the WESS championship standings, a very impressive 10th overall by KTM’s Jonny Walker sees the Brit increase his championship points lead.

 

misc WESS 2018 Rnd3 7647 Trail Trefle Lozerien Enduro21

Photo Credit: Future7Media

 

For day three the starting order was reversed allowing amateur riders to lead the pro riders on the 150-kilometre Circuit de la Margeride course. With a more defined racing line cut into the special tests it lessened the advantage of some of the grass track specialists. 

Eager to make up for Friday’s lost time, Garcia was on a charge from the off and immediately set the fastest time on the opening special test from Larrieu and Julien Gauthier (Yamaha - FRA), while overnight leader Emmanuel Albepart (Yamaha - FRA) was nearly five seconds back in 10th.

 

emmanuel.albepart WESS 2018 Rnd3 6041 Enduro21 560

Photo Credit: Future7Media

 

As the day continued, so too did Garcia’s unrelenting pace. Fastest on tests two, three and four, the Spaniard had worked his way back into winning contention with just one stage remaining. 

Determined to make it third time lucky at the Trèfle Lozérien, Larrieu laid everything on the line to deny Garcia a clean sweep of day three tests wins and in doing so secured victory: “I’ve been trying to win this race for three years, so to finally get it done is a special moment for me. With it included in WESS it certainly added to the pressure, competition and prestige. It’s always been important to win here but this was probably one of the most competitive years yet. 

“After my mistake on day one I came back well and just chipped away at things, always fighting for the race lead. It was only until I finished the final special test that I could think about celebrating. Also helping Yamaha to their 20th victory in this race means a lot too.”

 

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Photo Credit: Future7Media

 

Despite a seventh-place finish on day three, Theo Espinasse had enough in hand to maintain his runner-up position overall. It was a close call though with Garcia ending the three days racing just one second behind theo Espinasse.

For his part, Espinasse was happy to show his talent on the bigger stage: “I’m so happy to take second place this weekend. With it being a round of WESS there’s so many fast riders here and the competition is very tight. In general, it’s been a very good three days of racing. I felt strong all weekend and despite still only being a Junior rider I was able to race and beat some of the world’s best Enduro riders, which is incredible for me.”

 

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Photo Credit: Future7Media

 

The comeback from Josep Garcia was impressive but a little too late for the Spaniard to take overall victory: “To end the event on the podium in third is a really good result for me. Things didn’t start too well on Friday when I crashed in the liaison and then in the special test. I lost a lot of time and needed to adjust my riding in these slippery grassy conditions. I felt much stronger today and was able to push. I really enjoyed it and was able to take today’s win. That also gave me third overall in the race, so it was a perfect end to things.”

 

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Photo Credit: Future7Media

 

Though in contention for much of the event, Emmanuel Albepart slipped off the podium to fourth, while Julien Gauthier — consistent throughout — completed the top five. Gas Gas Factory Racing’s Johnny Aubert (FRA) finished a comfortable sixth, while just four hundredths of a second separated Nathan Watson (KTM - GB) and Jeremy Miroir (Husqvarna - FRA) in seventh and eighth respectively. Pierre Vissac (FRA) brought his Beta home in ninth.

Putting in a consistently strong performance throughout the three-day race, Jonny Walker’s final position of 10th was enough to ensure he maintains his lead in the WESS championship after three rounds.

 

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Photo Credit: Future7Media

 

Results: WESS Round Three, Trèfle Lozérien AMV

Overall Classification:

  1. Loic Larrieu (Yamaha - FRA) 51:05.319
  2. Theo Espinasse (Sherco - FRA) 51:16.117
  3. Josep Garcia (KTM - ESP) 51:16.819
  4. Emmanuel Albepart (Yamaha - FRA) 51:18.943
  5. Julien Gauthier (Yamaha - FRA) 51:21.246
  6. Johnny Aubert (Gas Gas - FRA) 51:39.191
  7. Nathan Watson (KTM - GB) 51:56.348
  8. Jeremy Miroir (Husqvarna - FRA) 51:56.388
  9. Vissac Pierre (Beta - FRA) 52:18.748
  10. Jonny Walker (KTM - GB) 52:35.836

For full overall results check our results feed here...

World Enduro Super Series (after round three):

  1. Jonny Walker (KTM - GB) 2130pts
  2. Manni Lettenbichler (KTM - GER) 1865pts
  3. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna - GB) 1830pts
  4. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna - GB) 1818pts
  5. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM - POL) 1445pts
  6. Josep Garcia (KTM - ESP) 1425pts
  7. Paul Bolton (KTM - GB) 1262pts
  8. Wade Young (Sherco - RSA) 1220pts
  9. Travis Teasdale (Beta - RSA) 1030pts 
  10. Nathan Watson (KTM - GB) 1008pts

The World Enduro Super Series continues with round four at Red Bull Romaniacs in Sibiu, Romania on July 24-28.

 

 

jon.pearson enduro21 april 2017

Jon Pearson
Enduro21 Editor and Bike Tester
jon.pearson@enduro21.com