Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team riders Pascal Rauchenecker, Mathias Bellino, Danny McCanney and Billy Bolt have battled their way through an extremely hot and dusty EnduroGP of Greece where Rauchenecker secured fourth and fifth place Enduro 2 class results. Competing in his second EnduroGP event since injuring his shoulder prior to the season opener, Mathias Bellino placed sixth on day two.
Focused on returning to the Enduro 2 class podium, Pascal Rauchenecker made the perfect start to the GP of Greece by posting the fastest Enduro 2 class time during the Friday night super test. Finishing fourth on day one, Pascal placed 47 seconds behind eventual winner Josep Garcia despite a number of small but costly mistakes. On day two he performed consistently to finish fifth and maintain his fourth-place position in the Enduro 2 championship standings.
Competing alongside Rauchenecker in the Enduro 2 class, Danny McCanney endured a challenging weekend in Greece finishing seventh on both days. Unable to find a good rhythm early on during the first day, on day two Danny put in some strong times on the extreme test including posting the second fastest time in his class on the final lap.
Finishing eighth on day one and sixth on day two, Mathias Bellino continued his return to competition following injury earlier in the season. Successfully completing both days of the GP of Hungary, in Greece Mathias took a notable step forwards in terms of both his speed and fitness finishing just 40 seconds from the top step of the EnduroGP class podium on day two.
Joining the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team for round five of the EnduroGP World Championship was extreme enduro rider Billy Bolt, who was drafted into the squad at the last minute to replace injured Frenchman Christophe Charlier. Competing in his first ever EnduroGP event, Billy gained valuable experience and placed 12th on day one and 13th on day two.
Round six of the 2017 FIM EnduroGP World Championship takes place in Castelo Branco, Portugal on July 20-23.
Pascal Rauchenecker: “The weekend started perfectly when I got the fastest time in the super test on Friday night. I was really looking forward to carrying that momentum into the first day. I struggled a little, had some crashes, but all-in-all it was a decent day and I was happy to finish fourth. Day two was good, I was fighting for the podium at the half way point. I crashed twice in the second lap, which was disappointing as it dropped me to fifth. I gave everything in the final enduro test but I wasn’t able to finish higher than fifth. But I’m pleased with that – two top five results is good. It wasn’t easy with the heat, but it’s been a good GP.”
Mathias Bellino: “Coming back from injury half way through the season was never going to be easy, but I feel like I am slowly finding my speed and improving. Racing in the heat on day one was really difficult for me, I really suffered with that. I kept pushing because I know that is the only way I will improve. I really wanted to do a strong first lap on day two, because I knew that I didn’t have the fitness yet to push all of the day. The first motocross test was good, but I made a small mistake in the extreme test and crashed. In terms of results there’s nothing really positive yet, but I was fighting not too far from the podium and I am very happy about that.”
Billy Bolt: “I’ve really enjoyed competing in my first EnduroGP event. I learned a lot, so it was a very beneficial as far as experiencing something new and learning from it. It was also really good training, both in terms of pushing myself to race as fast as I can, which we don’t do so much in extreme enduro events, but also in terms of physical training. Competing here was never about trying to get a result, but it was interesting to experience just how different this style of racing really is, compared to extreme enduro. Being able to lift your speed for the special tests is a skill in itself. Also, riding at 100% for more than 10 minutes, like we had to do for the enduro test, was tough. Like I said, I’ve learned a lot. Riding the 350 was really cool, too. It’s been an enjoyable weekend.”
Danny McCanney: “It’s been a frustrating GP for me. I didn’t start the first day fast enough and then I was pushing myself hard to be faster before I’d found a good rhythm. I didn’t feel comfortable until later in the day, which was too late to really improve my result. I felt good on the second day and put in some good times on the extreme test. There are some positives I can take away from the GP but certainly not the results I was hoping for.”
Results – 2017 FIM Enduro World Championship, Round 5
1. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 57:55.56; 2. Nathan Watson (KTM) 58:07.95; 3. Loïc Larrieu (Yamaha) 58:40.54; 4. Alex Salvini (Beta) 58:49.59; 5. Christophe Nambotin (KTM) 58:56.02… 8. Mathias Bellino (Husqvarna) 59:47.21… 12. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 1:02:04.28; 13. Ramon Quer Molgo (Husqvarna) 1:02:29.54
1. Josep Garcia (KTM) 58:08.51; 2. Jamie McCanney (Yamaha) 58:26.85; 3. Davide Guarneri (Honda) 58:29.82; 4. Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna) 58:55.91; 5. Eero Remes (TM) 59:14.72; 6. Henric Stigell (Husqvarna) 59:23.15; 7. Danny McCanney (Husqvarna) 59:26.06… 11. Thomas Oldrati (Husqvarna) 1:00:06.29
1. Nathan Watson (KTM) 56:54.99; 2. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 57:18.76; 3. Loïc Larrieu (Yamaha) 57:24.92; 4. Alex Salvini (Beta) 57:27.31; 5. Jaume Betriu (KTM) 57:30.48; 6. Mathias Bellino (Husqvarna) 57:35.87… 11. Ramon Quer Molgo (Husqvarna) 1:00:26.92… 13. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 1:01:16.24
1. Jamie McCanney (Yamaha) 57:08.73; 2. Josep Garcia (KTM) 57:17.72; 3. Davide Guarneri (Honda) 57:32.57; 4. Eero Remes (TM) 57:45.44; 5. Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna) 57:52.92… 7. Danny McCanney (Husqvarna) 58:02.10… 9. Henric Stigell (Husqvarna) 58:33.47… 11. Thomas Oldrati (Husqvarna) 58:55.82
Championship Standings (After Round 5)
1. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 214pts; 2. Loic Larrieu (Yamaha) 186; 3. Christophe Nambotin (KTM) 169; 4. Nathan Watson (KTM) 164; 5. Matthew Phillips (Sherco) 160… 11. Antti Hellsten (Husqvarna) 84; 12. Christophe Charlier (Husqvarna) 77; 13. Mathias Bellino (Husqvarna) 53; 14. Ramon Quer Molgo (Husqvarna) 40; 15. Marko Tarkkala (Husqvarna) 38… 24. Mike Brown (Husqvarna) 14
1. Josep Garcia (KTM) 223pts; 2. Jamie McCanney (Yamaha) 211; 3. Eero Remes (TM) 199; 4. Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna) 170; 5. Daniel McCanney (Husqvarna) 139… 8. Henric Stigell (Husqvarna) 123; 9. Thomas Oldrati (Husqvarna) 119… 32. Oscar Balletti (Husqvarna) 4; 33. Damiano Lullo (Husqvarna) 3; 34. Mikael Miettinen (Husqvarna) 2