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Steve Holcombe edges closer to EnduroGP title with Portuguese victory

Beta Factory Racing’s Steve Holcombe is now on the cusp of securing a seventh consecutive world title thanks to a winning ride at the penultimate round of the FIM Enduro World Championship in Portugal

• Steve claimed all-important victory on Saturday

• He holds a seven-point lead in EnduroGP with one round to go

• In Enduro2 classification Steve sits 25 points ahead

Fresh from winning the Italian Enduro Championship last weekend, Steve arrived at the penultimate round of the Enduro World Championship focused on strengthening his lead in both the EnduroGP and Enduro 2 classifications.

After a cautious start to day one, he soon found his rhythm aboard his Beta RR Racing 4T 350, climbing back up the leaderboard. With the day’s final result going right down to the wire, the five-time world champion put his experience to use by brilliantly mastering the final extreme test to secure victory.

Looking for a repeat win, Steve got off to a flying start by topping the opening special test on Sunday. However, with continual rain deteriorating the terrain, it was difficult to gain advantage as one of the early riders into the tests. Battling as best he could, Steve held second place mid-way through the day, only to slip to third overall at the finish.

With the championship staying in Marco de Canaveses for next weekend’s finale, Holcombe will look to deliver another
winning result as he bids for his seventh consecutive world crown.

Steve Holcombe: “It’s been a big fight this weekend, so to come away with a win and keep the championship alive with one round to go is great. Weather conditions played a big part with a lot of heavy rain chewing up the course. You really needed to nail your line choices as things seemed to change each lap. On Saturday I started too safe but got into the swing of things after lap one. It was down to the wire on the final lap and with a strong extreme test I got the win. I started out today fastest in the first special test but opening some of the later tests as conditions worsened worked against me. But that’s how racing goes sometimes. With one round left I’m in a strong position with a seven-point lead in EnduroGP and 25 in Enduro 2. Fingers crossed things will work out well next weekend and I can end the year with a world title.”

Results - Enduro World Championship, Rnd7

EnduroGP - Day 1

1. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 57:02.01; 2. Brad Freeman (Beta) 57:03.77; 3. Josep Garcia (KTM) 57:18.76; 4. Andrea Verona (TM) 58:00.18;
5. Antoine Again (Sherco) 58:17.29…

EnduroGP - Day 2

1. Josep Garcia (KTM) 58:11.95; 2. Brad Freeman (Beta) 58:27.21; 3. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 58:43.08; 4. Thomas Oldrati (Honda)
59:22.34; 5. Andrea Verona (TM) 59:24.43…

Championship Standings (After Rnd 7)

EnduroGP

1. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 112pts; 2. Brad Freeman (Beta) 105pts; 3. Andrea Verona (TM) 76pts…

Enduro 2

1. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 117pts; 2. Loic Larrieu (TM) 94pts; 3. Danny McCanney (Honda) 86pts…