Enduro

Victory For Josep Garcia On Day One At WPTGlobal EnduroGP of Italy

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Photo of Enduro rider Josep Garcia At the 2022 WPTGlobal EnduroGP of Italy
Josep Garcia took the EnduroGP class win by 17.95 seconds and in so doing moved to the top of the EnduroGP championship standings.

Josep Garcia has proven to be the rider to beat at round three of the WPTGlobal FIM EnduroGP World Championship by claiming victory on the opening day of racing at the GP of Italy.

Excelling in the hot, dry, and dusty conditions, the 25-year-old topped the podium from Australia’s Wil Ruprecht, with home favourite Andrea Verona in third.

Fastest in Friday’s AKRAPOVIC Super Test, Garcia began day one in a determined mood to remain at the head of the classification. However, Ruprecht had other ideas and came out swinging for the opening Super Test to draw level with the Spaniard. Josep responded on the following JUST1 Enduro Test to open up a gap, but Ruprecht topped the POLISPORT Extreme Test to edge his TM Racing into the lead.

Throughout lap two of three, the duo exchanged test wins until Garcia finally got his nose back in front after the second ACERBIS Cross Test. However, with less than two seconds between them, it was all very much to play for on lap three. Stunning rides on the final JUST1 Enduro Test and POLISPORT Extreme Test saw Garcia extend his advantage out to a comfortable 17 seconds. And with no mistakes on the final ACERBIS Cross Test, Garcia ended his day as the clear EnduroGP winner over Ruprecht.

“I’m chuffed with this result,” Garcia said. “I felt comfortable all day and never made any major mistakes which I think helped a lot for this win. I feel like there’s still a few areas to improve on for tomorrow, but I will give my best.”

Photo of Enduro rider Wil Ruprecht At the 2022 WPTGlobal EnduroGP of Italy
Australian Wil Ruprecht continues his rise to the top with another standout performance to finish second.

Ruprecht admitted he didn’t have the answer for Garcia’s speed but vowed to fight back tomorrow.

“It’s been a good day. I threw everything I had at Josep, but he had the edge on me today. We were pushing hard and there was never much in it, but I couldn’t bridge the gap. The tests got pretty chewed up by the end of the day, so tomorrow will be interesting for sure,” Ruprecht said.

Hoping to get in the mix of the battle for victory at his home race, Verona wasn’t able to match the pace of the top two. Starting out this morning in sixth, he moved up to third midway through lap one and then controlled that position for the remainder of the day.

“I didn’t get off to a good start this morning and lost too much time on the first lap,” Verona lamented. “I was playing catchup and let the leaders get too far ahead. Hopefully, I can fix some of that tomorrow.”

Behind the top three, the fight for the remainder of the top five was ever-changing. Nathan Watson faced a motivated Daniel Milner with little to separate them all day. Producing a top-three ride on the final JUST1 Enduro Test, ensured Watson did enough at just the right time to keep Milner at bay and claim fourth.

Photo of Enduro rider Andrea Verona At the 2022 WPTGlobal EnduroGP of Italy
Andrea Verona didn’t have the answers for Garcia or Ruprecht but still finished on the podium.

For the fifth time this season, Andrea Verona powered took the Enduro1 class win. Switching to Enduro1 for round three paid off for Australian Daniel Milner as he produced his best form of the year to date with a runner-up result. Italy’s Thomas Oldrati completed the top three.

With Garcia and Ruprecht fighting for top honours in EnduroGP, the duo also placed first and second in Enduro2. Watson secured a well-earned final step of the podium with third. France’s Hugo Blanjoue put in a terrific ride to take fourth ahead of Steve Holcombe.

It was all change in Enduro3 with Mikael Persson claiming a debut win. The Swede rode impressively to win by over 30 seconds from Matteo Pavoni. Winning the final two ACERBIS Cross Tests outright, Pavoni – the 2021 Enduro Junior champion – will be eager to take the fight to Persson on day two. A great ride by France’s Leo Le Quere saw him finish in third.

Racing continues tomorrow with the second day of the round.

Photo of Enduro rider Andrea Verona, Wil Ruprecht and Andrea Verona on the podium At the 2022 WPTGlobal EnduroGP of Italy
Josep Garcia (C), Wil Ruprecht (L) and Andrea Verona on the podium At the 2022 WPTGlobal EnduroGP of Italy

Results: GP of Italy, Day 1

EnduroGP
1 Josep Garcia (KTM) 1:10:24.16
2 Wil Ruprecht (TM Racing) 1:10:42.11
3 Andrea Verona (GASGAS) 1:11:55.98
4 Nathan Watson (Honda) 1:12:17.84
5 Daniel Milner (Fantic) 1:12:29.22
6 Thomas Oldrati (Honda) 1:12:44.54
7 Hugo Blanjoue (KTM) 1:12:52.92
8 Mikael Persson (Husqvarna) 1:13:05.05
9 Matteo Cavallo (TM Racing) 1:13:09.34
10 Steve Holcombe (Beta) 1:13:11.79

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