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Larrieu wins Italian Championship opener

Riding in his first Italian Championship Loic Larrieu set his signature on the first day - Saturday, March 2nd - by Gioia dei Marsi organised by Motoclub Sirente.

131 riders lined up to face three special stages. After twenty minutes from the start, the first riders grappled with the spectacular and demanding Extreme Test sponsored by X-CUP Motocross Marketing - Galfer located on the slope of two hills with a predominantly rocky section. Alex Salvini (Honda) set the fastest time closely followed by Brad Freeman (Beta). Danny McCanney (GasGas) was 7th and Steve Holcombe (Beta) 8th. It was great to see David Knight (Husqvarna) back on a bike in Italy. He was 16th and Joe Wootton was 34th.

A week of dry weather had broken with overnight rain drenching the Airoh Cross test. Giacomo Redondi sets the fastest time and takes the lead.

The first Enduro Test was canceled due to a technical problem. Alex Salvini was the quickest on the 2nd Extreme test and he temporarily took the lead before Loic Larrieu fought back. Salvini picked up a swollen knee.

After 4 laps Loic Larrieu was the winner. Steve Holcombe was runner up and Danny McCanney was 3rd. Brad Freeman was 12th and Joe Wootton was 13th. David Knight was 34th;

On Day 2 Steve Holcombe led from start to finish. Loic Lrrieu was runner up and Danny McCanney was 3rd. Brad Freeman was 10th and Joe Wootton was 20th. David Knight was a non starter;

Holcombe Makes Winning Start To 2019 With Victory At Italian Series Opener

Beta Factory Racing’s Steve Holcombe has ensured a winning start to his 2019 racing season with victory at the opening rounds of the Italian Enduro Championship in Gioia dei Marsi. As the reigning Assoluti d’Italia champion, Holcombe travelled to the opening rounds of the series in central Italy to get some valuable race miles under his belt ahead of the Enduro World Championship, which begins at the end of March. Overnight rain prior to Saturday’s round one saw Holcombe’s hard-compound rear tyre choice put him on the back foot during the first of three laps. Struggling to find grip on the long and slippery enduro test, he ended the opening lap in seventh. As conditions dried, he quickly upped his pace to work his way back into contention. Fastest on the final extreme test, the Beta rider was within striking distance of the overall win and went on to claim an eventual overall runner-up result. Knowing his pace was strong, Holcombe began Sunday’s round two in confident spirits. Topping the time sheets on the first special test, he immediately took control of the race lead. Placing fastest in three of the remaining eight tests it ensured the defending Assoluti d’Italia champion claimed a 15-second margin of victory. Continuing his preparation towards the defence of his EnduroGP world crown, Steve will next compete at round two of the British Enduro Championship on March 17.

Steve Holcombe: “It’s been a really strong start to the 2019 season for me. I had a good ride on Saturday to finish second and then with some improvements to our setup I was able to take the win on Sunday, which is a real boost. On day one we opted to use a hard compound rear tyre. But with overnight rain that choice didn’t work in our favour and I struggled to find grip on the first lap, especially in the enduro test. As conditions improved, so did my pace and I worked my way back into contention. Fastest on the final extreme test, I got close to topping the results but I wasn’t able to make it happen on the last cross test. However, with a strong end to the day I was able to carry that speed into Sunday. I won the first test to put myself into the lead, before going on to set the fastest time in three more tests and claim victory. I honestly didn’t expect to hold this sort of pace so soon in the year as this race is part of my training plan towards the Enduro World Championship. Overall, it’s been a great result for us as a team and one that will keep us pushing hard as we head towards round one of EnduroGP in Germany at the end of this month.”

Results - Italian Enduro Championship Round 1 1. Loic Larrieu (TM) 48:18.93; 2. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 48:25.39; 3. Daniel McCanney (TM) 48:29.79… Round 2 1. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 47:46.11; 2. Loic Larrieu (TM) 48:01.61; 3. Daniel McCanney (TM) 48:01.98…