From snow to dust in just one step, that’s Enduro! After an extraordinary opening round at Lake Päijänne (Finland) a month ago, the stars of the EnduroGP made their way to the South of Spain, in Puerto Lumbreras, for the 2nd round of the 2017 season... we look back at an unforgettable Spanish GP.
With the return of the World Championship in its traditional guise, it was time to put every rider in front of the sponsors’ backdrop for our official photographer Andrea BELLUSCHI (Future7Media) and the traditional season-opening photoshoot. FIM Youth 125cc, Juniors, Women, Enduro 2 and EnduroGP; none of categories could escape the annual class photo...
Arriving on Tuesday in Puerto Lumbreras, the FIM Race Director, Pedro MARIANO, was ready for this AMV Seguros Grand Prix of Spain. But on Thursday morning, MARIANO was forced to return to Lisbon and leave the race direction to Philippe DURAND. Reason: his wife was about to give birth! The FIM Race Director arrived just in time for the birth of his little Enrique. All the paddock joins the ABC Communication team to send congratulations and best wishes to Pedro MARIANO, his wife, and their new baby.
This season the AMV Seguros GP of Spain did not take place in the traditional Enduro hotspots in the Basque Country or in Catalunya, but this did not stop the ‘Enduro aficionados’ from turning out in huge numbers over the three days of racing in Puerto Lumbreras. And like the French public, the Iberians seemed very fond of the ‘spectacular points’ placed on the liaison between the tests, planned out by the Moto Club Nogalte. A rocky, trials-style, section and an "impossible climb" attracted an enormous crowd on Saturday and Sunday; more than were on the Xtreme, Enduro and Cross Tests!
EnduroGP’s Social Media Push!
Since the beginning of the season, the ABC Communication team along with Vigneau & Co have taken the initiative to create new content on EnduroGP’s social networks, especially on Facebook and Instagram...
In addition to the "Track Preview", “Maxxis Shot of the Day” and the “Daily Highlights” set up since last year, the TV team have begun (since the AMV GP of Finland) a Backstage Show for Facebook Live on Friday. Presenter Fabien GERARD brings you to meet a team, a rider, a mechanic, or other people in the heart of the paddock and shows you the other side of the scene. Fans of Enduro are also entitled to a debrief, called "Parc Fermé", on Sunday evening after the final podium where Paul EDMONDSON serves as an expert alongside Fabien GERARD and a surprise guest. As you may have noticed, Mathias BELLINO (F - Husqvarna) took charge of EnduroGP’s Facebook page last weekend to bring you three "Live in the Race” videos; from the Technomousse Xtreme Test and the KTM Enduro Test...
Did you miss out? Make sure you join the EnduroGP community on Facebook and Instagram to start enjoying the best content from each race weekend!
SALVINI, WATSON & POHJOLA join the Infirmary…
Alex SALVINI (I - Beta), who took an impressive scratch win during the Akrapovic Super Test on Friday night, was not able to take advantage of the victory for long, as he dislocated his left shoulder on Saturday morning just a few kilometers into the race. The mountainous and dusty terrain of the Murcia region also caught out EJ title leader Eemil POHJOLA (SF - Husqvarna) who was forced to give up on the first day; he joined the infirmary with a fracture of the left collarbone. Nathan WATSON (GB - KTM), third in EnduroGP on Saturday, had to call it a day on Sunday after painful tendinitis in his left wrist caused him severe pain and numbed his whole arm. Let's hope for a speedy recovery and a quick return to FIM Maxxis EnduroGP World Championship action for these talented riders.
The AMV Seguros Grand Prix of Spain saw the return of some former champions of the Maxxis FIM EnduroGP World Championship. And while we might expect to see some Spanish stars, we had the nice surprise of seeing two Scandinavian legends too. Indeed, we found Joakim LJUNGGREN (S) in the paddock. The Swedish giant, who owns a house locally, was charged by the SVEMO (Swedish Federation) with the task of managing and supervising the Scandinavian young guns. We also took pleasure in finding Kari TIAINEN, a month after the Päijänne race. The five-time World Champion had organized an Enduro tour with a few friends in order to introduce them to a championship that he had enjoyed enormously during his career. Finally, Ivan CERVANTES (E - KTM) made an appearance on Friday night at the Akrapovic Super Test. The Enduro legend who now competes in rallies had missed his boat to Morocco, and decided to make a detour to Puerto Lumbreras to catch up with old friends. “This sport is still in my blood!” he confessed to Alain & Bastien BLANCHARD...
An Exemplary Federation!
Since last season, the RFME (Spanish Federation) has allowed promising young stars to try their hand at the elite level; the FIM Maxxis EnduroGP World Championship. This year, Josep ALONSO and the Spanish Federation, chaired by Jordi VILADOMS, offered help to 12 Spanish hopefuls! In the Junior, FIM Youth 125cc and Women categories. Some have already made a name for themselves like Enric FRANCISCO who took several podiums in the Youth 125cc class in 2016 and shone in Puerto Lumbreras after graduating to the Junior class (7/6), as did Tosha SCHAREINA (5/7) and Alex ISCLA (4/4) in FIM Youth 125cc... we have a lot of respect for this initiative and we take our hats off to the RFME, which is seeking to bring their young hopefuls to the highest level and keep Spain thriving in the World Championship. An example from which many other Federations should be inspired...
The ‘Greens’ Give Us The Red Light!
Causing a nuisance since Saturday afternoon, the helicopters of the "green policemen" flew over Puerto Lumbreras with one aim; to forbid and cancel the second day of the race: no more, no less! After many negotiations, an agreement was finally reached and with it the reduction of the race route, and just two and a half laps of racing on Sunday. Despite the original agreement to modify the route the helicopters took to the skies again on Sunday, flying over the course painstakingly set out by the Moto Club Nogalte and at around 13.30 on Sunday they imposed the total cancellation of the 3rd lap. The reasons? The dust that was emitted was, in their eyes, too great. In addition to the damage to the trails created during the passage of the motorcycles. Without wishing to go in vain into polemics, there is still cause for serious concern over the power granted to these environmental organizations which represent only a very small portion of the population. And we also have to worry about the future of our favourite sport, which is being mistreated by such restrictive decisions. On the other hand, we cannot overlook the irony of the hundreds of litres of fuel burned in just a few minutes by the helicopters in addition to the deafening noise created as they flew throughout the weekend over small towns and villages.
A New Hero
With the departure of Ivan CERVANTES to the rallies championship, Spain was looking for a new idol which fans could support to the max, in the way that only they know how to! It seems that they have already found him, and he is even the protégé of “El Torito": Josep GARCIA (E - KTM). The 4,000 people present at the Akrapovic Super Test gave a standing ovation for the performance of the young Catalan who won the Enduro 2 category. And when David PRATS (commentator) called him to the highest step of the podium in E2 on Saturday the crowd unanimously chanted his name and cheered loudly. There was also a buzz around The Queen; Laïa SANZ (E - KTM), of course! With GARCIA and SANZ, Spain has found two ambassadors ready to put on a superb show and inspire the next generation!