BELGIUM READY FOR EWC DEBUT
For the first time in the history of the series, the Enduro World Championship heads to Belgium for the penultimate round of the season. With all titles still very much up for grabs, this weekend’s FunnelWeb Filter GP of Belgium in St Hubert is set to shake things up.
After scoring a perfect double in Serres, Greece, Mathias Bellino (Husqvarna) couldn’t do anything to stop Matthew Phillips (KTM) in Rovetta, Italy. With a 16 point lead in the Enduro 3 championship standings over the Australian, the 2012 Junior World Champion will look to secure precious points in the hope of reducing some pressure ahead of the final round in France.
Behind these two men, the fight for the third position is also a fierce one with Matti Seistola (Sherco) and Aigar Leok (TM) separated by three points. For Seistola, he will also have to prove that his broken finger is now an old story and he can still fight for the win.
Keep an eye on Luis Correia (Beta), Manuel Monni (TM) and Thomas Oldrati (Husqvarna) – all three delivered strong results in Italy. Back in confidence, Jeremy Joly (KTM) could be dangerous just like Antoine Basset (KTM) who, after a superb and surprising performance at the Grand Prix of Italy, will look to confirm his current good form. Finally, local Jean-François GOBLET (Husqvarna) will be pushed on by an entire nation and will look to show his best.
In Enduro 1, the situation is serious for Christophe Nambotin (KTM). The KTM rider is in a position he is not used to. With many doubts about his injured knee the big question is if can he get back in front of new class leader Eero Remes (TM).
Producing the best form of his career – 5 wins, 4 second places and one 4th – , Remes has never been closer to winning what might be his very first world championship title.
Danny McCanney (Husqvarna), Lorenzo Santolino (Sherco) and Marc Bourgeois (Yamaha) in their fight for the third place could come between the two protagonists.
Beware also of Simone Albergoni who is more and more keen to get closer to the podium with his Kawasaki. After a very deceiving Grand Prix of Italy, Cristobal Guerrero (Yamaha) will look for revenge and wants to prove that he is better than his current seventh in the standings.
The Grand Prix of Italy was an interesting one for the Enduro 2 class. With a victory for Pela Renet (Husqvarna) and one for Antoine Meo (KTM) nothing changed in the E2 championship battle. Things are beginning to get urgent for the official Husqvarna rider if he is to retain his title. Indeed, Renet needs to win both days in order to arrive in France as close as possible to Meo.
Alex Salvini (Honda), in trouble with his knee in Rovetta, will want to prove that he can win. While Johnny Aubert (Beta) will be absent due to an L5 vertebra injury. The duo Jaume Betriu (Husqvarna) and Loïc Larrieu (Sherco) will offer a great show in the fight for fourth.
But be aware also of David Knight (KTM) who’s coming to fight with the best this weekend. After a solid Italian GP Nicolo Mori (KTM) and Deny Philippaerts hope to continue that form in Belgium. All the attention of the Belgian public will be on Cedric Cramer (KTM) who aims for the Top 10!
In the under 23 class, Jamie McCanney (Husqvarna) has 28-point lead over class runner-up Giacomo Redondi (Beta). No doubt, the Brit hopes that some riders like Steve Holcombe (Beta) and Alessandro Battig (Honda) come between him and Redondi. But the task seems difficult. Moreover the 2015 revelation Holcombe will look to make an impression for next season by winning both days.
In the FIM Youth Cup 125cc, Josep Garcia (Husqvarna) has already used three of his four worst results while Mikael Persson (Yamaha) has used only two. That gives advantage to the Swede who will look to extend his lead before the last round!
Behind these two guys, Jack Edmondson (KTM) holds position for the final spot on the podium but he will have to keep an eye on Luc Maliges (KTM), Luca Garello (Yamaha) and Valerian Debud (Yamaha) just like Italian Mirko Spandre (KTM).
Finally, the Women Cup is back on track after two-month break. And we are still trying to know who can beat Laïa Sanz (KTM), who is on her way to a fourth crown in a row.
Behind Sanz, the duel between Jane Daniels (Husqvarna) and Jessica Gardiner (Sherco) will be back on – the Australian has only a four-point advantage on the Brit. Blandine Dufrene (KTM), Jessica Jonsson (Kawasaki), Jemma Wilson (Yamaha) and Valerie Roche (Beta) should also make some noise in the class…
With all the necessary ingredients, this FunnelWeb Filter Grand Prix of Belgium should be a great one on a field where Belgian and French will be highly motivated and where everything can change with only one Grand Prix to go!
The FunnelWeb Filter GP of Belgium tales place in St Hubert from July 10-12.