All content © Bob MuIIins
Great Performance from Steve Holcombe and Brad Freeman at the Portugese GP
On Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July, in the beautiful setting of Souselas, Portugal, a few kilometres from Coimbra, the fourth round of the FIM EnduroGP 2022 World Championship took place, with an extremely technical race, characterised by a track with a predominantly hard and dusty surface and rather high temperatures. The race consisted of three special stages (Enduro, Extreme, Cross) to be repeated three times a day, for a total of 57 km, distributed among the nine tests on Saturday and the same number on Sunday, to which was added the Super Test on Friday evening, which attracted a large and festive audience of fans. Opening both days of competition was the 6km Enduro Test, followed by the 1.2km Extreme Test, as spectacular as it was treacherous with its climbs and descents over hard terrain, and then concluding with a long and technical 5.5km Cross Test.
Steve Holcombe and Brad Freeman arrived in Coimbra determined to have a good race, despite the after-effects of early-season injuries that are still impacting on their form.
On Portuguese soil the two Beta Factory Enduro riders showed all their qualities and at the end of the long weekend they managed to get on the podium and win their respective Classes.
Steve Holcombe showed a promising return to top form in Portugal, collecting two excellent second positions in the E2 Class and taking the third step of the podium in the EnduroGP on Sunday, at the end of a hard-fought race at the top.
A few weeks after hand surgery Brad Freeman arrived at the GP of Portugal not in the best physical shape and with little training on his shoulders, but he performed a real miracle. In fact, the British rider in Class E3 literally dominated his Category, winning both race days and taking back the provisional Leadership in the Championship. Fourth place for Brad in the EnduroGp on Sunday, showing that he is regaining the fitness to fight for the positions that count.
As for the riders of the Beta satellite Teams: Antoine Basset (Team Atomic) took the podium in Class E3 on Saturday. Luc Fargier finished third Overall in the Junior Category (Team Oxmoto) and first in Junior2 on both race days. In the same Category Max Ahlin (Team Entrophy) finished fourth Overall and second in Class. In Category 125 Leo Joyon finished fifth, after fighting for first position until the last lap, then losing ground due to a crash. Joyon instead finished third on Sunday.
With the Portuguese round over, the Enduro Circus takes a break until the end of July, when the fifth round of the 2022 season will be staged in Gelnica, Slovakia, on 29, 30 and 31 July.
The pain in my hand is still strong but I gritted my teeth and tried to give my best. We come home with the lead in Class E3.
Right from the first special I tried not to force the pace too much so as not
to aggravate the shoulder injury but right from the start I saw that the times
were very good. The two podiums in the E2 Class and the third place in the
Enduro GP are a great result.