This weekend was the second round of the National Enduro Championship in the town of Valverde del Camino (Huelva), recognized by all enduro fans as "the Cathedral of enduro". True to its name "the Cathedral" has became one of the toughest tests in recent years, especially for the interests of the Gas Gas riders.
From the start, the course, the organization decided to cut in some spots, was characterized by great difficulty due to muddy ground that was badly damaged by the heavy rains experienced during the week. The first day was particularly difficult for riders of the Gas Gas Factory Pons Team, who encountered a course which was very slippery and required special techniques.
The adverse conditions affected the young Brit McCanney (Enduro 3), who had a hard fall in the first stage, suffering an impact with some branches that left him dazed and he lost over a minute and a half in the opening special stage. As usual, the rider from the Isle of Man made a good comeback and scored in the top five overall in special scratch. The tenacity of Danny at the handlebars of the Gas Gas EC 300 R allowed him to reach the top step of the podium by the end of the day. No doubt this was a test for the young members of the Gas Gas School of Champions program, especially for Tomer Shapira, who made his debut with the official team of the Girona brand, or the Guatemalan, Oscar Bethancourt, who could not complete the first day of competition at Junior Open, exceeding the regular time.
The second day was possibly more complicated, with the battered terrain that made the mythical grounds of “las tres encinas “ (the three oaks) the decisive test area. It was just the first stage of this particular extreme test when Danny McCanney fell again and lost his options for victory. Still, Danny has finished in a creditable fourth place, just ahead of Joan Jou, also riding a Gas Gas.
"I managed to make good times but I paid dearly for my two mistakes as I wasted a lot of time. Following the strong performance we had in Santiago de Compostela, I'm not satisfied with the outcome of this weekend. But now I have to focus on my preparation for the upcoming national and international races."
In Junior Open, the riders from the Enduro School of Champions encountered conditions very different from their home countries. However, Diego Rojas began the second round of the championship very strong and he even temporarily lead his category. But the Chilean has had problems in one particular extreme test where passing other motorcycles made the climb more complex. Rojas was able to finish in the top 5, thus confirming his continued progress in the Gas Gas Factory Pons Team.
"I can define the weekend with one word "hard." Extremely great difficulty and I have had many problems. I’m glad to see my progress and I'm finding the weaknesses in my riding and I know where I have to improve."
On Saturday the Israeli rider, and the latest addition to the School of Champions, Tomer Shapira could not complete the course, but he managed to finish the test on the second day at the controls of the Gas Gas EC 125 R, which is a success for this newcomer. While Bethancourt suffered a fall that would not let him finish the competition.
In addition to the young Gas Gas talent, the team had a special guest, the raids rider, Jordi Viladoms. The test was undertaken at the controls of the 300F EC, an experience very different from his usual activities.
The next race in the Spanish Championship will be held on the 5th and 6th of May at Antas, Almería.
"First I want to thank the Gas Gas Factory Pons Team for the opportunity given to me to ride the Gas Gas EC 300F, which allowed me to catch up. It was a good workout and a test of my preparation for the raids."