The United States have moved closer to winning this year’s FIM World Trophy category at the FIM International Six Days of Enduro (ISDE) with victory on the penultimate day of competition. Also taking a firm grasp of the FIM Women’s World Trophy class, the United States lead with just one day remaining. RecoveR8 Team Australia shoot for gold in the FIM Junior World Trophy category as defending champions Italy drop out of podium contention.
In the FIM Enduro Vintage Trophy competition, Italy’s Mario Rinaldi (KTM) took his second consecutive day win.
There was a change of overall individual winner on day five, with Spain’s Josep Garcia (KTM) finally putting a stop to the winning ways of Australian Daniel Sanders (Husqvarna).
“I’m delighted to finally get an outright win in this FIM ISDE,” said Garcia. “I’ve been pushing hard all week, but Daniel always had the edge. Today things came good and I got it done. I gave my best in every test and only made one mistake, which helped a lot.”
“It was quite slippery this morning due to the rain and mud," Garcia continued, "but as the day progressed conditions improved a lot. It’s been a tough FIM ISDE so far—I think everyone will be happy to see the finish line tomorrow.”
The end of this year’s FIM ISDE may now be in sight, but the penultimate day of racing in Portimao pulled no punches for those battling to reach the finish line of the ninety-fourth edition of the FIM’s longest-running motorcycle race. A new course for day five—Crossing the Barocal—tested the spirits of the weary competitors with a multitude of gravel and rocky trails, mixed with early morning muddy special tests due to overnight rain.
For the third day running, the United States positioned themselves as the team to beat in Portugal. Although unable to split Garcia and Sanders at the head of the overall individual field, seeing three of their four riders place inside the top-six overall ensured another team win. In doing so it lifts them to a two minute and two second lead over their Australian rivals heading into the traditional motocross races on day six.
In the battle for the final step of the podium, Spain—thanks to the efforts of Garcia—beat Italy by over two minutes. However, with the Italians ahead of the Spaniards by four minutes and thirty seconds, they remain favorites to take the bronze medal tomorrow. Finland hold fifth overall, but now head France by two minutes thirty seconds.
Sitting eight minutes and thirty-nine seconds clear of their closest rivals the United States, RecoveR8 Team Australia look poised to win back the FIM Junior World Trophy title they last held in 2015.
“It’s been another good day for the team and we’re now within touching distance of winning the FIM Junior World Trophy,” told Australia’s Lyndon Snodgrass (KTM). “With the lead we’ve got it does help to ease the stress at this stage in the race, but you still have to remain focused on the job in hand. Although we’re nearly there, one problem is all it takes to lose out. Tomorrow the goal is to play safe and secure the title.”
United States were fastest today, but not by enough to properly trouble the Australian’s ahead of tomorrow’s motocross races. Spain, third quickest on day five, are comfortably set in third. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, they should deny host nation Portugal—in fourth—the chance to finish on the podium. Fifth overall, Belgium look to claim one of their best results in recent memory—if they can keep Chile at bay.
With the United States now comfortably out front in the FIM Women’s World Trophy classification, it is looking likely that two of the FIM ISDE’s coveted trophies will find a home in America this year. If the trio of Rebecca Sheets (KTM), Brandy Richards (KTM) and Tarah Gieger (Honda) deliver the goods, it will mark a debut class victory for the United States.
Germany look set to finish as runners-up in the category, with Great Britain also poised for a medal result with third. Sweden and Spain are fourth and fifth respectively, while Portugal round out the top-six.
As the outright individual winner on day five, Josep Garcia powered his way to a fifth consecutive Enduro 1 day victory in Portugal. Sweeping all seven special tests for the third time this week, the Spaniard looks all but assured of the overall class win thanks to a six minute and twenty-three second lead. With one day remaining, second placed Ryan Sipes (KTM) from the United States has built his advantage over Australian Lyndon Snodgrass to thirty-five seconds. Holding third overall and twenty-nine seconds up on compatriot Luke Styke (Yamaha), Snodgrass is the best placed Junior rider.
The Enduro 2 class saw one of the day’s closest battles with the United States’ Kailub Russell (KTM) narrowly beating teammate Taylor Robert (KTM) by seven tenths of a second for the win. Robert, however, will sleep well tonight knowing he has got a one minute and twenty-two second lead over Russell for the category win. Italy’s Davide Guarneri - Honda remains third overall, with Australian’s Fraser Higlett (Husqvarna) and Josh Green (Yamaha) fourth and fifth respectively.
Daniel Sanders topped the Enduro 3 class for the fifth day in a row. The Husqvarna rider also made it his fourth clean sweep of special test wins. Placing second and third to Sanders, Great Britain’s Danny McCanney (TM) and Steward Baylor (KTM) strengthen their footing on the final Enduro 3 podium entering day six.
The Enduro Women’s category saw Brandy Richards (KTM) fight back to take the day win over Germany’s Maria Franke (KTM), with Great Britain’s Jane Daniels (Husqvarna) third. However, finishing just nine seconds behind Richards, Franke still controls the class lead. With Richards and Daniels second and third respectively, Australian Jessica Gardiner (Yamaha) and Spain’s Mireia Badia (Husqvarna) complete the top five.
The FIM Enduro Vintage Trophy marked another overall victory for Italy’s Mario Rinaldi - KTM. Almost mirroring yesterday’s results, Italy took the top-four overall positions on the second day of EVT competition. Today, Giovanni Sala (KTM) took second, with Maurizio Casartelli (Puch) third and Stefano Passeri (KTM) fourth. France’s Philippe Barthomeuf (Cardel) rounded out the top five.
The ninety-fourth edition of the FIM ISDE concludes tomorrow with the traditional motocross race, now to be held at the Kartódromo Internacional do Algarve (KIA).
* Compiled using provisional results which remain subject to final approval of the Race Direction.
World Trophy | Top 5 Countries
Junior Trophy | Top 5 Countries
Women’s Trophy | Top 5 Countries
For the full ISDE results, visit FIM-ISDE.com.
Main Image: Dario Agrati