After a successful opening to the Champion Lubricants Enduro Open World Cup in Germany, the riders are back this weekend in Valpaços, Portugal. Let’s take a moment to review the three categories so far...
Starting with the Open 2-Stroke category which saw two riders share the victories in Germany. Taking a second place on Saturday and a victory on Sunday, Richard TUCKER (GB - Sherco) will arrive in Portugal at the head of the championship. But he will have to face the local hero Gonçalo REIS (P - Gas Gas)! The Portuguese rider won Day 1 in Dahlen and is only 6 points behind the Brit. With REIS keen to impress in front of his home crowd the fight should be very interesting. Especially since pilots such as Benet GOMEZ (E - Gas Gas) and Joao LOURENCO (Beta) could come between the two protagonists.
We will also keep an eye on France’s Stephane MILACHON (F - Beta), who was unhappy with his performance in Germany and will arrive in Valpaços hungry for more.
Can FLOCKHART benefit from the absence of SCHÖPF?
In the Open 4-Stroke class, the undisputed leader of the German Grand Prix, Bernhard SCHÖPF (AUT - KTM) will not be present in Valpaços, nor will Robert RIEDEL (D - KTM). Remember that only 4 Grand Prix in the Enduro Open Cup Championship will be counted in the final rankings, but these two absences should benefit the rider who is currently 3rd overall, Fraser FLOCKHART (GB - Yamaha)!
However, the Brit will face Belgium’s ever-smiling Mathias VAN HOOF (Beta), currently 5th, as well as Alexander GEHLERT (D - KTM), Thomas ELLWOOD (UK - Kawasaki) and Rene SCHILLING (D - Husqvarna).
We’ll also add Rodrigo BELCHIOR (P - KTM) and Joana GONCALVES (P - Husqvarna) to the entry list in Portugal.
And finally, the Open Senior class! Who will be able to stop the march of the legendary David KNIGHT (GB - TM)? Hard to say, as Werner MÜLLER (AUT - KTM) will be absent and the participation of Euan MCCONNELL (GB - TM) is still pending.
But there is no doubt that Andrea BELLOTTI (I - KTM), 4th, Fernando FERREIRA (P - Sherco), 5th, and Patrik ANDERSSON (S - Yamaha), 6th, will be keen to bring down the giant from the Isle of Man.
Also note the return of Leonard MOULIJN (NL - KTM) who at 63 years old is realising one of his dreams to race in the World Enduro Championship.
Without forgetting the presence of the Frenchman Pierre HOURDIN (Husqvarna), Froelig DETLEV (D - Husqvarna), Daren KIFF (D - KTM) and Efren ARCE IGLESIAS (E - Husqvarna).
The Champion Lubricants Enduro Open World Cup is ready for the second round of the season. These three class should bring a great fight for the enduro fans in Valpaços to enjoy over the course of the three tests created by Usprigozus Vilarandelo moto club.