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Garcia Dominates in Romania

Garcia Dominates in Romania

May 13

  • News

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Josep Garcia has continued his strong run of form by claiming a commanding EnduroGP class win on day two of the GP of Romania – round three of the FIM EnduroGP World Championship. The KTM 250 EXC-F rider finished as runner-up in EnduroGP on Saturday while topping the Enduro1 class but went one better on Sunday to claim his third EnduroGP win of the season so far. The result gives Garcia a 10-point advantage at the top of the series standings.

Garcia made a positive start to his weekend by claiming third place in the closely fought Super Test on Friday night in Bacau. The Spaniard then carried that form into Saturday’s tests where he took an early lead by the end of lap one. What followed was an intense battle between the KTM rider and championship rival Andrea Verona.

The two exchanged the EnduroGP class lead as the day progressed, and with times so tight, even a small mistake would swing the advantage in the other rider’s favor. Heading into the final lap, Josep held a two-and-a-half-second lead over Verona with three tests remaining.

Unfortunately for Garcia, a mistake in the final extreme test cost him dearly, losing six seconds to his rival and the day’s win. However, his runner-up result gave him the lead in the overall EnduroGP championship standings heading into day two.

Sunday began with perfect conditions in Romania. Determined to improve on his day one results, Josep came out fighting. Topping the day's first test, by the end of the first lap he held a narrow lead of just over two seconds. However, making the minimum of mistakes throughout the day, Garcia went on to win an impressive six of the 12 tests raced.

Heading into the final lap with a near 18-second lead, Josep continued to push, increasing that advantage to over 22 seconds at the finish to take a well-earned victory. The result means that the KTM rider now leads both EnduroGP and Enduro1 classes as the championship heads to Italy for round four in just over one month’s time.

Getting back to business for round three of the FIM EnduroGP World Championship, GASGAS Factory Racing’s Andrea Verona claimed his first EnduroGP class win of the 2024 season with victory on day one in Bacau, Romania. The EC 350F racer also topped the Enduro2 class on both days to increase his lead in the E2 standings to a sizeable 27 points.

Much like round two’s scorching conditions, the weekend saw riders take to the course under the blazing sun and lingering dust. Kicking off the action in Bacau, Romania for round three, Friday night’s Super Test saw Andrea Verona bring his GASGAS home in fifth place for a solid start to the weekend’s racing.

Fired-up for Saturday, Andrea remained unfazed by the tough conditions and put in a series of consistent test times to take the EnduroGP lead at the midway point of the day. Battling for test wins with Josep Garcia throughout, the Italian upped his game for the final few tests and extended his lead over his rivals to secure his first overall win of the EnduroGP season. The EC 350F rider also claimed his fifth Enduro2 win in 2024 with a lead of over two minutes on his closest rival.

Motivated by his day one success, the GASGAS Factory Racing rider looked for more on Sunday. Placing third on the opening lap of four, he soon moved into second position. A pair of test wins took him closer to race leader Josep Garcia. But despite winning the final extreme test, he had to settle for the runner-up result on the day in EnduroGP. Repeating Saturday’s convincing Enduro2 victory, Verona extended his championship lead to 27 points.

Honda Racing RedMoto Enduro Team’s Steve Holcombe had a difficult weekend of racing at round three of the FIM EnduroGP World Championship in Romania. Although twice finishing second in Enduro1, the nine-time world champion missed the EnduroGP podium for the first time this season on Sunday.

After a thrilling start to his season in Portugal, Honda Racing RedMoto Enduro Team’s Steve Holcombe was eager to build on his good form at round three in Romania. Leading both the EnduroGP and Enduro1 standings, Steve was feeling happy and confident in his riding.

However, the first day of racing didn’t quite go his way. Missing out on a chance to fight for the overall victory, Steve raced for a lonely third in EnduroGP, and second in Enduro1, on his Honda-RedMoto CRF 250RX Enduro.

Knowing there was more time to be found on the special tests, he re-walked the tests on Saturday evening to look for any gains possible. That tactic paid off with Steve winning the opening extreme test and ending lap one of four just two seconds off the lead in second position.

Ready to push on and really fight for victory, some errors on the remaining enduro tests saw him lose touch with the leaders. Despite his best efforts, he could not regroup how he wanted too and eventually slipped to fifth overall in EnduroGP, while also taking second in Enduro1.

Andrea Verona: “I’m feeling really good about the weekend as a whole. I got my first overall win of the season on Saturday – I rode well all day and had a good rhythm which paid off! Day two was a positive day for me, but obviously not as good as yesterday. I started a little bit slow on the first lap but then I was able to get back up to a good speed. A mistake on one of the enduro tests increased the gap, but I’m happy to be lying in second place in the EnduroGP standings and to have increased my Enduro2 lead. Overall, it’s been a great weekend for me and the team!”

Josep Garcia: “It feels so good to be back on the top step, and especially on a Sunday. The two wins I had in Portugal at rounds one and two were both on a Saturday, so this feels good. I was feeling really good on the bike for the whole day. I had one crash but thankfully, it didn’t cost me too much time. I have had a great battle with Andrea (Verona) both days here in Romania, so it’s good to come out on top on day two. I’m really pleased with my riding, I feel great physically, and I can’t wait for the next one.”

Steve Holcombe: “It was exciting to come here with the leader’s gold plate for round three, although I tried not to think about it too much. After such a solid start to the season in Portugal, I really wanted more of that this weekend. But for whatever reason, it just didn’t quite come together the way I wanted it too. My speed was good, but some mistakes, tip offs and inconsistency got in the way of a better result. Next up is the GP of Italy in six weeks. The goal will be to get back to the front there, for sure!”

Results: FIM EnduroGP World Championship, Round 3

EnduroGP - Day 1

1. Andrea Verona (ITA), GASGAS, 1:12:23.92

2. Josep Garcia (ESP), KTM, 1:12:37.54

3. Steve Holcombe (GBR), Honda, 1:13:21.96

EnduroGP - Day 2

1. Josep Garcia (ESP), KTM, 1:11:15.02

2. Andrea Verona (ITA), GASGAS, 1:11:37.61

3. Brad Freeman (GBR), Beta, 1:12:15.85

Enduro1 - Day 1

1. Josep Garcia (ESP), KTM, 1:12:37.54

2. Steve Holcombe (GBR), Honda, 1:13:21.96

3. Jamie McCanney (GBR), Husqvarna, 1:14:11.68

Enduro1 - Day 2

1. Josep Garcia (ESP), KTM, 1:11:15.02

2. Steve Holcombe (GBR), Honda, 1:12:32.58

3. Zach Pichon (FRA), Sherco, 1:12:36.19

Championship Standings (After round 3)

EnduroGP

1. Josep Garcia (ESP), KTM, 109 pts

2. Andrea Verona (ITA), GASGAS, 99 pts

3. Steve Holcombe (GBR), Honda, 98 pts

Enduro1

1. Josep Garcia (ESP), KTM, 114 pts

2. Steve Holcombe (GBR), Honda, 108 pts

3. Jamie McCanney (GBR), Husqvarna, 86 pts

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