Beta’s Brad Freeman of Great Britain dominated the penultimate round of the two-day 2019 FIM Maxxis Enduro World Championship in the Czech Republic, September 14-15, and planted himself in a good position to win the 2019 championship in the premier EnduroGP division.
Beta’s Brad Freeman Celebrates E1-Class Title In Enduro World Championship
Freeman topped both days of competition, which meant he stayed in front of his nearest rival, Beta teammate Steve Holcombe, who took second both days. Freeman was especially on his game Saturday. He set the best time in seven of the day’s tests! The young Brit did not make any mistakes, and was always featured at the top of the timesheets.
“I’m just delighted with how my day went,” Freeman said. “I was able to dominate. After my injury in Greece and my broken collarbone I had only one idea in mind to keep myself focused, and to get the operation and recovery done as soon as possible; that idea is the title and the day victories. It seems that everything is going well so far. It’s been a dream since I was little to become World Champion, and I’ll always go after that.”
Halcombe has been dealing with his own health issues, mainly an illness that saps his energy, but he’s on the rebound.
“I’m just happy to finish today without being in the state I was in Greece and Italy, where my illness made me suffer so much,” Halcombe said. “I’d like to win at every race, but you have to be realistic, and today I wasn’t not able to keep pace with Brad. I’m happy with my second place because it’s the best I could do after a bad start.”
TM-mounted Danny McCanney made it an all-Brit podium on Saturday by finishing third overall, just 53 seconds behind Freeman.
Freeman again dominated on Sunday, while Halcombe had to again accept second place, the four-time world champion admitting that, while his fitness is finally better, he still lacks strength and the power to keep up blistering pace throughout a long and technical event. While he’ll still be dreaming of retaining his EnduroGP title, the Beta rider now knows that the task will be difficult. Halcombe trails Freeman by 10 points heading into the final round in France in two weeks.
But it won’t be easy for Freeman, either, as he will have to stay on top of his game to remain ahead of the veteran, Halcombe. But at least Freeman will be heading into France riding a wave of momentum and confidence.
“This season has not been easy, and winning this second senior title in my career really means a lot to me,” Freeman said. “It’s a reward for all the hard work with my great team. Now all we have to do is finish the job in two weeks’ time in France.”
Halcombe still has a shot at the EnduroGP title but admits beating Freeman outright will be difficult.
Holcombe In The Hunt
“I can only congratulate Brad for his victory, he is really the strongest right now,” Halcombe said. “I have to admit I’m not able to fight him like I want to. But we must never give up, so I will do my best to beat him in France. But my main focus now is getting the E3 title.” Halcombe will have to fight off McCanney in order to make that happen.
Freeman not only celebrated his overall win in the Czech Republic but also the E1-class Championship. It’s the second time of his career that he has won the E1-class title. As nice as that is, however, it’s his first premier EnduroGP Championship that he really wants.
McCanney maintained his consistency on Sunday and, once again, finished out the day on the third step of the podium.
In E2, Joe Wooten (Husqvarna) took his first win ever on Saturday, finishing ahead of class championship contenders Loic Larrieu (TM) and Alex Salvini (Honda).
Salvini came back and won day two in front of Larrieu and Giacomo Redondi (Husqvarna).
Just two points separate Salvini from Larrieu going into the final round in France.
In other news, David Knight kept his perfect win streak alive in the Senior class. If he wins both days in France, it will be a clean sweep for the former world champion. CN
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