New focus for Chilean Benjamin Herrera switching from EnduroGPs to Extreme and Hard Enduro for Beta Racing in 2020.
A Bassella Race 1 podium last weekend behind Josep Garcia saw the start of a new season for Benjamin Herrera. 2020 will see the Chilean switch from EnduroGPs to focus more on Extreme races for Beta Factory Racing team.
After finishing fourth in E2 in 2019, Herrera has proven his potential with multiple Red Bull los Andes wins and a second place at the Red Bull Override in 2019. 2020 though, will be the first time he takes on a full hard enduro season.
We spoke with Herrera after the Bassella Race 1 podium to find out more about his switch of enduro disciplines and the challenge ahead.
You finished third on your first appearance at the Bassella Race 1. How was Spain’s biggest enduro?
Benjamin Herrera: “It was my first time here and I had a really good time yesterday at the Xtreme Race, I enjoyed it a lot. I had a couple of problems but that’s racing, and those things happen.
“Today I was a little bit more scared because the race was quite fast, I had never done a race as fast as this one, but I had a great time.
“The bike was on point and I felt comfortable with the terrain straight away. I was trying to follow the top guys during the first lap but I was riding over my limit so I backed the throttle a bit and focused on maintaining the position for the second lap. I was able to finish third so I’m really happy.”
You are shifting your focus towards Hard Enduro in 2020. What’s the reason for the change?
“This year with Beta the plan is to be at similar races to this one [Bassella]. Races which have a pedigree but are not part of a world championship or other official championships.
“I’m going to take part in some of the big extreme events like Erzbergrodeo, XL Lagares, 111 Megawatt, Romaniacs and that kind of races where Beta had no representation. The main idea is to go there and do my best to give the brand more visibility. As I said, we’ll mainly focus on the big extreme races.”
Do you consider yourself a traditional or an extreme enduro rider?
“I’m a traditional enduro rider really and extreme races are a new thing for me. Anyway, I have always enjoyed the races that were a little bit harder and technical than usual and I always did good at the extreme tests in EnduroGP.
“That’s really the main reason why Beta has decided to form a one-rider assault on the Hard Enduro scene with me. We’ll take this year as a learning experience, I’ll try to improve race by race and hopefully I can be a challenger for the top spots in the future.”
What bike are you going to be riding this season?
“Mainly I’ll use the 300cc two-stroke but if there’s a race where I think the four stroke would suit me better I’ll use it. I raced the four stroke during the whole season last year and I felt really comfortable on it and I really enjoy it.
“We’ll have to decide which bike we’ll be using for each race with the team but mainly, as I said, I’ll be using the 300cc two-stroke.”
Photo Credit: Nicki MartinezIgor AguadoEnduro21 Junior EditorIgor.email@example.com