Double podium for Nathan Watson at EnduroGP of Great Britain

Rnd 7, EnduroGP 2017 – Hawkstone Park, Great Britain
Nathan Watson - KTM 350 EXC-F - EnduroGP of Great Britain, 2017

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After a nine-week break the FIM EnduroGP World Championship returned to action at the famous Hawkstone Park venue in the UK, which saw riders tackle a new-to-EnduroGP style of racing - a sprint enduro consisting of 12 special tests on day one followed by a three-hour cross-country ‘GNCC’ style race on day two.

Day one went well for Nathan Watson. With the EnduroGP class riding the more technical enduro tests during the morning, Watson held on to a strong fourth position. It wasn’t until the afternoon’s cross tests that Watson really came into his own, topping five of the six tests to close in on the class leader. The Brit eventually took the runner-up spot a mere 30 seconds from first.

Day two’s cross-country race saw Watson ride superbly to finish on top of the podium after three tough hours on the bike. The KTM 350 EXC-F powered rider showed impressive pace throughout the gruelling event, making the minimum of errors to stay in front of his hard-charging competitors.

Watson: “I’m really happy with how the weekend has gone, I put a lot of work into training for this event and I’m glad it’s paid off. I made a mistake on day one, on one of the enduro tests, and it was hard to fight back from that. The cross tests went really well but I wasn’t quite able to take the win.

“The cross-country race was a lot tougher than I imagined. I got a good start and was soon into second place behind Steve Holcombe. He then had some issues that meant I was able to take the lead. I tried to push on to create a gap over second but possibly used too much energy as midway through the race I began to feel tired. Charlier caught me, but after fighting with him for a few laps I was able to take the lead again and held it to the finish. That was definitely one of the hardest races I have ever done.”

For Enduro 2 championship leader Josep Garcia, the opening day’s sprint enduro could not have gone better. The KTM 250 EXC-F mounted Spaniard rode with incredible consistency during the 12 special tests to take the win. Day two’s cross-country race offered a very different challenge and despite a poor start, the Spaniard fought through the pack to claim an important third place and further increase his championship lead.

Garcia: “I felt really great straight away on day one and I knew my pace was good. My goal was to make the minimum of mistakes and not crash, which I managed to do. I pushed hard on the enduro tests in order to make a gap over my rivals, I was then able to just ride sensibly on the cross tests to take the win.

“I had a terrible start to the cross-country race, I was left at the line. It took a while to fight through the field. That used up a bit of energy, so it was hard to catch up with the leaders. It was really tough out there – one of the most difficult races of my life – but I’m happy to get third. It’s a really important result for the championship as I finished in front of my closest rival. Now I just have to stay focused for the remaining round in Germany and hopefully will be able to take the title.”

Australian, Daniel Sanders suffered a couple of crashes on day one to finish 13th, but improved on day two’s cross-country race to finish inside the top-10 in ninth place in the Enduro 2 class.

Christophe Nambotin was unable to start the GP of Great Britain due to the hand injury he sustained during the ISDE in France.

Next round: October 20-22, EnduroGP of Germany

Results – 2017 FIM EnduroGP World Championship, Round 7

Day 1

1. Steve Holcombe (GBR), Beta, 56:38.71
2. Nathan Watson (GBR), KTM, 57:09.96 +31.25
3. Christophe Charlier (FRA), Husqvarna, 57:22.12 +43.41
4. Loic Larrieu (FRA), Yamaha, 57:23.15 +44.44
5. Jaume Betriu (ESP), KTM, 58:28.65 +1:49.94
Other KTM
11. Brad Anderson (GBR), 1:02:46.74 +6:08.03

Enduro 2
1. Josep Garcia (ESP), KTM, 57:22.85
2. Eero Remes (FIN), TM, 57:33.03 +10.18
3. Jamie McCanney (GBR), Yamaha, 57:44.04 +21.19
4. Daniel McCanney (GBR), Husqvarna, 57:48.26 +25.41
5. Davide Guarneri (ITA), Honda, 58:32.54 1:09.69
Other KTM
8. Rudy Moroni (ITA), KTM, 59:44.63 +2:21.78
13. Daniel Sanders (AUS), KTM, 1:00:39.68 +3:16.83

Day 2

1. Nathan Watson (GBR), KTM, 3:01:44.372 (18 laps)
2. Christophe Charlier (FRA), Husqvarna, 3:02:23.735 +39.363
3. Loic Larrieu (FRA), Yamaha, 3:02:29.636 +45.264
4. Jaume Betriu (ESP), KTM, 3:02:37.119 +52.747
5. Steve Holcombe (GBR), Beta, 3:07:01.512 +5:17.140
Other KTM
9. Brad Anderson (GBR), KTM, 3:04:16.958 - 2 laps

Enduro 2
1. Pascal Rauchenecker (AUT), Husqvarna, 3:01:36.598 (18 laps)
2. Daniel McCanney (GBR), Husqvarna, 3:03:32.419 1:55.821
3. Josep Garcia (ESP), KTM, 3:04:28.301 +2:51.703
4. Jamie McCanney (GBR), Yamaha, 3:05:15.515 +3:38.917
5. Davide Guarneri (ITA), Honda, 3:06:29.555 +4:52.957
Other KTM
9. Daniel Sanders (AUS), KTM 3:10:44.968 +9:08.370
13. Rudy Moroni (ITA), KTM, 3:07:09.147 - 1 lap

Provisional Championship Standings (after round 7)

1. Steve Holcombe (GBR), Beta, 300 points
2. Loic Larrieu (FRA), Yamaha, 260
3. Nathan Watson (GBR), KTM, 247
4. Matt Phillips (AUS), Sherco, 216
5. Christophe Nambotin (FRA), KTM, 180
Other KTM
7. Jaume Betriu (ESP), KTM, 173

Enduro 2
1. Josep Garcia (ESP), KTM, 312 points
2. Jamie McCanney (GBR), Yamaha, 299
3. Eero Remes (FIN), TM, 274 
4. Pascal Rauchenecker (AUT), Husqvarna, 244
5. Danny McCanney (GBR), Husqvarna, 206
Other KTM
8. Daniel Sanders (AUS), KTM, 162
13. Rudy Moroni (ITA), KTM, 103

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Daniel Sanders - KTM 250 EXC - EnduroGP of Great Britain, 2017
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Nathan Watson - KTM 350 EXC-F - EnduroGP of Great Britain, 2017
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Josep Garcia - KTM 250 EXC-F - EnduroGP of Great Britain, 2017
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Josep Garcia - KTM 250 EXC-F - EnduroGP of Great Britain, 2017
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