Double podium for Gas Gas riders in Chile

Diogo Ventura on Saturday in Junior and Jonathan Barragan on Sunday, in E3, reached the podium in the Grand Prix of Chile.

The Enduro World Championship starts and is marked by two completely different days. A first day that was dry, and a second day of mud, after rains on Saturday night forced the organizers to change the route and the special. Antoine Basset caresses the podium on the first day, and all of this was a promising start of the racing season for the Gas Gas team riders, who in Talca, demonstrated the potential of the Gas Gas EC 250 and 300.


The Gas Gas team starts-off on a good foot in the 2015 Enduro World Championship. Diogo Ventura andJonathan Barragán reached the third step on the podium with the Gas Gas EC 250 and 300 in the Junior category and E3, while Antoine Basset fought for the podium in the premier class. The Chilean city of Talca was chosen to give the starting flag for the 2015 Enduro World Championship, a first round conditioned by the rain on Saturday evening and the change of scenery, from dry to wet in the tests from Saturday to Sunday.


The Grand Prix of Chile began with a Diogo Ventura in full fledged fitness. On Saturday, the Portuguese rider of the Gas Gas Factory Pons Team lead the early stages of the race in the Junior category. However, a fall in the cross test cost him the victory. However, Ventura scored his first podium in the World Championship, with a third in the Junior category. The enormous effort on Saturday, ended up spending the reserves of the young Portuguese rider, the following day he experienced some very difficult conditions because of the accumulated water and mud, he had the same 'feeling' about his Gas Gas EC250. Ventura preferred not to risk more than necessary and secured sixth place, closing the first Grand Prix of the season with a fourth place overall in the Junior standings, with an eye on the following rounds, Spain and Portugal, favorable to the friendly rider from Luso.

A good performance also for Antoine Basset in this first race of the year. The preseason training for the Frenchman was reflected in his qualifying on Saturday, a day in which the Gas Gas rider was fighting for a podium position of E3, one of the categories with the highest level of global rivalry. He adapted quickly to the dry terrain that he is not used to, and Basset finished in fourth place. A satisfaction that he could not repeat the next day, in which repeated falls made him descend into the timesheets, eventually finishing in eleventh position after a difficult day for the riders, which prevented them from finding a good rhythm because of the muddy terrain.


In the always tricky premier class, Jonathan Barragán went from less to more at the Grand Prix of Chile. The Madrid rider came to Talca with the extra motivation that comes from the excitement and challenges of being on a new team in the World Championship and with the knowledge of his good results in the national race that was held before this World Championship season opener. However, on Saturday, a problem with the clutch at the start of the day, caused a delay for the Gas Gas rider, who soon after, missed a passage control and ended up being out of the Saturday race. A bad result that served as a springboard for Sunday, a day in which rutting due to rain, gave him the opportunity to exploit his MX talents on his Gas Gas EC300, resulting in Jonathan Barragán scoring his first podium in the World Championship for the Catalan brand in the Chile GP.

After this first test in Talca, Chile's location gives prominence to Jerez de la Frontera, newly christened by the FIM for 2015 as the "Capital of the motorcycling World" by the, as they will host the second round of the Enduro World Championship, the "Spanish GP" during the weekend of the 9th and 10th of May.


Diogo Ventura (EJ): “It was a weekend of contrasts for me, with ups and downs. Saturday started with me leading much of the race, but an error in the cross test cost me nearly twenty seconds. Although I am very satisfied with the third step of the podium the first day. I think we deserved everything, both myself and the team. On Sunday it rained a lot and they have changed the special. It has become a completely different test. The result is fine, but in the first stage I lost time and I have not been able to find a good rhythm. A sixth is perhaps not as good as the third on Saturday but the next race is in Spain, an area that I know and has always been good to me. I think this will not be the only podium of the season, and we're going to get many more. I want to thank the brand and the team for their work."

Antoine Basset (E3): “Saturday I was fighting for a podium position, but a fall made me lose time and eventually I ended up fourth. It was a shame because our times were good, and the fourth was a letdown after our great day. Then on Sunday, I found myself uncomfortable in the mud and that was reflected in our results, I finished eleventh, with a bittersweet taste. Now we keep working and focus our sights on the next Grand Prix in Spain, where we will strive to achieve good results."

Jonathan Barragán (E3): “I am very happy with my first podium with Gas Gas. On Sunday everything went great, I have started with good times from the beginning. They have nullified the extreme, where yesterday I failed to finish. I suffered a mechanical problem that took me into a race control penalty and I was disqualified from the race. Although the day after I shook-off this incident and I am very happy with this podium and with the team, and I think we've managed this race very well. Getting a podium in our first race was an ambitious goal, but we have succeeded and that will give us motivation to keep fighting and for the next GP in Spain to be held in Jerez."

Sergi Durán (team manager):“We came to this first round of the championship after having a good preseason. We have been able to train with the bikes that have two years of development behind them, they work very well and their performance in competition has been reflected from the first supertest, where our bikes and riders were in the front positions, like the rest of the weekend. Last year we were fighting for Diogo Ventura to achieve a podium in the Junior category, this weekend, Saturday, he finally got it. He had that plus more as he needed to be among the top three. He had an almost perfect race. For us, except for a small error, surely we are talking about a win. Antoine Basset, meanwhile, quickly adapted to the dry ground and, although lacking traction he believes that the results that he had in Spain helped a lot. He had a good pace and won the fourth position. While Jonathan Barragán had a small problem with the clutch pump and was nervous, and finally he missed a check-point. We knew that this missed control would mean that he would be out of the race, and in fact, that decision occurred at the end of the day. Although this enabled him to ride all day on Saturday and this helped him pick up the pace for Sunday, a day that awoke to the very difficult terrain. Part of the route and special were cut. However ruts formed, and that, for motocross riders as is the case here, let him ride very strong, achieving a well deserved podium. In the enduro test, he did very well where Jonathan ran strong and had an almost perfect race. Diogo, on Sunday, had two falls, one on the enduro test and another in the cross test, it slowed him enough to fall in the standings. He fell to eighth position, he had a difficult day. And Antoine, was not too comfortable on Sunday. He suffered some falls and disliked the terrain as it was too much MX-like for a 100% enduro rider like him. Overall we are very happy with the results because they reflect all the work that has been done with these factory race bikes. The whole Gas Gas EC250 and 300: engine, suspension .... is very good, and our three riders have been shown to be ahead and that gives us good expectations of the forthcoming races and we will be running at home in the next race.

GP CHILE – DAY 1

Enduro 3

1. Mathias Bellino

1:04:20.81

2. Matti Seistola

+16.78

3. Matthew Phillips

+23.65

4. Antoine Basset (Gas Gas)

1:10.65

 

 

Enduro Junior

 

1. Jamie McCanney

1:05:24.49

2. Giacomo Redondi

+35.95

3. Diogo Ventura (Gas Gas)

+48.07

 

 

GP CHILE – DAY 2

 

Enduro 3

 

1. Matti Seistola

51:29.39

2. Aigar Leok

+32.07

3. Jonathan Barragán (Gas Gas)

+49.80

11. Antoine Basset (Gas Gas)

+2:13.69

 

 

Enduro Junior

 

1. Alessandro Batig

52:35.86

2. Giacomo Redondi

+3.40

3. Jamie McCanney

+5.94

6. Diogo Ventura (Gas Gas)

+1:12.31

 

 

PROVISIONAL STANDINGS

 

Enduro 3

 

1. Matti Seistola

37 points

2. Mathias Bellino

33 points

3. Aigar Leok

28 points

7. Antoine Basset (Gas Gas)

18 points

9. Jonathan Barragán (Gas Gas)

15 points

 

 

Enduro Junior

 

1. Jamie McCanney

35 points

2. Giacomo Redondi

34 points

3. Alessandro Battig

33 points

4. Diogo Ventura (Gas Gas)

25 points