Taking a look back at a dramatic weekend’s Enduro World Championship GP of Trentino, Italy where Alex Salvini stole the show on home soil and a very different event format threw up some suprises.

 

With a different look to the race weekend based on 'The Wall' hard enduro at the spectacular Off Road Park in Pietramurata, round five of the 2018 Enduro World Championship, was always going to create drama. 

Following Friday night’s Special test the GP ran a single day, sprint-style format consisting three Motocross tests, four Enduro tests and in the evening four Extreme tests. 

 

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Photo Credit: Andrea Belluschi/Future7Media

 

E2 riders dominate Motocross tests

Three motocross tests on the Saturday morning found riders relaxed on the start line ahead of a long day’s racing that would end at gone midnight for many. It brought a new twist for the GP classes to be elbow-to-elbow off the start gate for laps of the MXGP track. 

The almost 10 minute ‘test’ times played into the hands of the 450 E2 riders, especially those used to MX racing from earlier in their careers. The tests being so long meant time gaps grew quickly between the riders across the three tests, some felt slightly unfavourably depending on which type of bike you had and also on a track which was difficult to pass on. 

Outsiders Yamaha rider Loic Larrieu showed his MX skills and the speed of the Yamaha 450 to come away with two wins and a second for the overall lead at this point. 

 

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Photo Credit: Andrea Belluschi/Future7Media

 

 

Four Enduro tests

Running through the dramatic and rocky mountainside course around the Metzeler Off Road Park, the four Enduro tests brought a more traditional feel to the GP. 

World Champion Steve Holcombe set out his stall in the first of four Enduro tests by taking the win and beginning to claw back a 40 second deficit on the then overall leader, Larrieu.  Holcombe wasn’t alone, many riders through the different classes had to turn on the gas for the Enduro tests to haul back time lost in the MX races. 

By Enduro test two, Alex Salvini had taken the overall lead and Holcombe, with the fastest time again was just 16 seconds down on the overall. It was the same story in Enduro tests three and four with Holcombe setting the pace but Salvini upped his game to maintain a seven second lead by the finish.

 

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Photo Credit: Andrea Belluschi/Future7Media

 

Cavallo killing it

After killing it in the Motocross tests and building a 50 seconds lead, Matteo Cavallo was in a strong position to control the Junior classes for the rest of the GP. Being there or thereabouts through the Enduro tests, while the likes of Andrea Verona, Davide Soreca and Joe Wootton swapped places, the Junior championship leader carried a comfortable minute-plus lead heading to the evening’s Extreme tests.

 

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Photo Credit: Andrea Belluschi/Future7Media

 

Night time Extreme tests

With it all to play for between Salvini and Holcombe for the overall, the Beta rider set the pace in the first of four Extreme tests.  Salvini was never far off the pace though, often muscling his way through the obstacles where many had failed. 

Initially the course was around four and half minutes long but issues with dust as night fell meant the course was cut to half the time as the lights came on. Mistakes on Extreme tests two and three including failing the infamous ‘Wall’ rock step cost Holcombe chunks of time and ultimately the overall EnduroGP win. 

 

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Photo Credit: Andrea Belluschi/Future7Media

 

Freeman shows the way

Brad Freeman was also showing he’s a class act in the extreme conditions by winning the final two tests ahead of vastly more experienced riders. The Boano Beta rider was cementing the E1 overall win at this point after his main title challenger, Jamie McCanney, had been forced to retire from the GP with a dislocated shoulder during the Enduro tests. 

 

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Photo Credit: Andrea Belluschi/Future7Media

 

Guest star appearances

Giacomo Redondi put on a strong performance on the Redmoto Honda all day and deserves credit for ultimately taking an E2 podium. Mathias Bellino was also on the cards taking an MX test win and fourth overall in E2.  

 

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Photo Credit: Andrea Belluschi/Future7Media

 

Young takes on GPs

Wade Young deserves mention too for his guest appearance at the Trentino GP. The Hard Enduro specialist dropped in for the Wall event and set fast times in the Extreme test – though it shows how high the standards are in GPs when riders like Freeman, Holcombe and Salvini can match and beat one of the world’s best extreme riders at his own game. Young finished 12th overall and fourth in E3. 

 

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Photo Credit: Andrea Belluschi/Future7Media

 

Salvo leads the series

The man of the day though was almost inevitably Alex Salvini. The big man showed his ex-motocross skills in the morning and stacked up good times to then take the lead in the Enduro tests and only ever look back to keep tabs on the gap to Holcombe. 

As has been the case already in the 2018 season, Salvini was able to maintain a gap between himself and Holcombe as the tests ticked away. Being fast and not making mistakes was key across the GP for the Jolly Enduro Team rider who now has an eight point lead in EnduroGP and a 31 point lead in E2. 

 

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Photo Credit: Andrea Belluschi/Future7Media

The Enduro World Championship now takes a summer break to return to Edolo, Italy on August 31-September 2. 

 

 

jon.pearson enduro21 april 2017

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