2019 World Enduro Super Series, round 2: Trèfle Lozérien AMV, France
This is a press release from KTM…
With no time to rest between events, the four-man Red Bull KTM team made their way to the south of France and the picturesque town of Mende to contest round two of the WESS championship – Trèfle Lozérien AMV. The race, now in its 33rd year, is one of France’s most popular classic timecard enduros. Held over three days and covering a total distance of more than 700 kilometers, the event presented competitors with a massive contrast in riding conditions compared to the opening round in Portugal.
Finishing third at his first attempt at the race during last year’s inaugural WESS championship, Josep Garcia came into this year’s event with a point to prove. Enjoying a more favorable start position, the Spaniard knew he would have to push right from the beginning to better the local French grass test experts. Making his task all the more tricky, weather conditions for the entire three days were wet and extremely cold, ensuring endurance and keeping focused was key to a top result. Despite the challenge, Josep got his head down from day one, going on to win nine of the event’s 15 special tests to ultimately claim victory by over 40 seconds.
Josep Garcia: “To get my first WESS victory of 2019, and also to create a little piece of history by being the first non-French winner here at Le Trefle, is amazing. The conditions really didn’t suit me – I’m not really a big fan of wet, slippery mud. Coming here straight from Lagares wasn’t easy but I knew this race was going to be important to my WESS championship.”
Challenging for a top-three position for the entire event, Nathan Watson skillfully steered his KTM 450 EXC-F around the slippery, twisting tests. Runner-up on day one, Watson dropped down to fifth on day two, albeit just 11 seconds down on the leader. On the third and final day, the 2019 Le Touquet winner, gave it his all. Lying fourth before the final test, Nathan put in a storming ride to clinch third overall and take his place on the podium.
Nathan Watson: “I’m really happy with third overall. This is the first classic enduro I’ve raced since this event 12 months ago, so I came into it a little unsure what to expect but also confident that it would suit me. I had a consistent three days and kept things upright over the 15 special tests, which was really important. I’ve really enjoyed racing the 450 – being able to keep things smooth in these conditions has really helped. Things were really close coming into the final test, just half a second between third and fourth overall. Thankfully, I managed to jump up one position to third, which was a great way to end the race.”
Delivering a superb performance in the tough conditions, extreme enduro ace Jonny Walker placed ninth overall at the end of three tough days of riding. Although still not 100 percent fit and not having ridden a classic enduro for a full year, the experienced Brit successfully challenged the local grass test experts to claim a top-10 result.
Jonny Walker: “Le Trefle has been wet, cold and muddy but it’s actually been good and I’ve enjoyed the riding. The tests were really slippery but really fun with a lot of different line choices. I haven’t ridden much enduro lately, the last classic enduro that I did was Le Trefle last year. I’d have liked to have raced more but because of my injury it’s not been possible. Anyway, I’m happy with the way the weekend has gone. I would like to be higher up in the results than I am, but considering that this year there are more top-level riders I’m happy with my result.”
Riding three consistent days, Taddy Blazusiak bettered his 2018 Trèfle Lozérien AMV result to place 16th overall. Earning valuable WESS points in the process, the multiple Endurocross champion now looks ahead to round three – the Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble.
Taddy Blazusiak: “It’s been a tough three days in the rain. I got so cold and wet on the first day that I really found it hard to settle into things like I needed to. I got things back on track on day two – I felt so much better, but it was still really challenging with the tests being so short and so slippery. Today I had one disappointing test but generally things went ok. Getting to the finish, scoring the best points I can, that’s what this event is all about for me. So from that point of view I’m pleased enough and looking forward to getting to Erzberg in a few weeks.”
The next round of the 2019 World Enduro Super Series – Erzbergrodeo – takes place from May 30 – June 2 in Austria.
Results – Trèfle Lozérien AMV 2019
1. Josep Garcia (ESP), KTM, 01:03:07.557
2. Jaime McCanney (GBR), Yamaha, 1:03:49.586 +42.029
3. Nathan Watson (GBR), KTM, 1:03:55.612 +48.055
4. Julien Gauthier (FRA), Yamaha, 1:03:57.013 +49.456
5. Jeremy Tarroux (FRA), Sherco, 1:04:10.136 +1:02.579
9. Jonny Walker (GBR), KTM, 1:05:31.888 +2:24.331
16. Taddy Blazusiak (POL), KTM, 1:07:14.654 +4:07.097