The 2016 Enduro World Championship kicks off this week in Agadir, Morocco and all the teams are currently finalizing their preparations for the new season which promises to be very exciting as many of the top guns have changed teams and one of the 2015 World Champions has even left the throne totally vacant. There will also be a completely new category to conquer – EnduroGP, the ultimate title.
The brand new EnduroGP World Champion is one of the most important news this season as it will decide who is the best enduro rider on the planet. Previously championships have had overall winners, but they didn’t get a title or other grand prizes. However, from 2016, there will be a real champ who could come from either the E1, E2 or E3 class. The race format has also changed because of this new title. From 2016, the start order for each race day will now be determined by the EnduroGP championship standings.
As 5 out of 5 last year’s World Champions are also official Rabaconda users, we are very interested to see what is going to happen this year, especially when the E2 champ, the French national Antoine Méo decided to leave the world of enduro to compete instead in rally raids. Pela Renet, another Rabaconda rider, who was 3rd in the E2 class, took the same path as his fellow countryman.
Many Rabaconda riders have actually changed teams and these moves certainly make the championships more exiting as there are now many title contenders basically in every team. For example young Australian ace Matthew Phillips (E3 2nd place 2015) moved from Husqvarna to Sherco and is now competing in E2 where he meets his former French team mate and 2015 E3 World Champion Mathias Bellino and other Rabaconda riders such as Christophe Nambotin (KTM, France, E1 2nd in 2015), Spaniard Cristóbal Guerrero (Yamaha, E1 7th in 2015) and the very fast US rider Taylor Robert (KTM). There are two Italians, who will no doubt fight for the championship – Alex Salvini (E2 2nd in 2015), who moved from Honda to Beta and the MXGP rider Davide Guarneri, who replaced Salvini at Honda.
In E1, the 2015 World Champion Eero Remes (TM, Finland) will have to compete with the young Rabaconda brothers from the UK, Jamie and Daniel McCanney. Daniel will stay at Husqvarna, but the 2015 Junior World Champion Jamie moved to Yamaha. There will also be two young and rather interesting new Rabaconda riders in this class – the very fast British MXGP rider Nathan Watson (KTM) and the Austrian Pascal Rauschenecker (Husqvarna), who comes also from the MX scene. There is also the Spaniard Ivan Cervantes (KTM) – 4 times World Champion, a hungry Rabaconda rider who is looking for a fifth World title. The young Swede Persson (Yamaha, 2015 Youth Cup 125cc winner) and the ex motocross World Championships French rider Anthony Boissiere (Sherco) will also have their eyes on a podium finish.
The E3 class should be very interesting because Bellino and Phillips are now in E2, plus last year’s 3rd and 4th Matti Seistola (also a Rabacona man) and Aigar Leok retired. From the Rabaconda squad, you will find the Portuguese Luis Correia (Beta, E3 5th in 2015), the Spanish rider Lorenzo Santolino (Sherco), the French Jérémy Joly (KTM) and the Italian Thomas Oldrati (Husqvarna) who will compete against the Beta riders, namely two times World Champion Johnny Aubert (Beta) from France and the Brit hopeful Steve Holocombe. There are also good World Championships riders such as the Spaniard Jonathan Barragan (Gas Gas) and the Italian Manuel Monni (TM), who can also hope for a podium finish if all goes according to plan. Let’s not forget also the French Antoine Basset and the Spaniard Jaume Betriu (both KTM).
As the Junior World champ, Jamie McCanney will now be fighting with the big boys as well as the Italian Alessandro Battig (4th in 2015), the Portuguese Luis Oliviera (6th in 2015), Holocombe and Persson, the throne for the Junior class competition is very much available. The main contender on paper is three time runner-up Giacomo Redondi (Honda) from Italy, but he has to beat the Portuguese Diogo Ventura (Gas Gas), the Swede Oliver Nelson (TM), the Italian Davide Soreca, the French Jeremy Carpentier (both Honda), the Italian Matteo Bresolin (Beta) and the Spaniard Kirian Mirabet (Sherco, 5th in 2015). The Rabaconda bunch is represented by the super fast Spaniard Josep Garcia (Husqvarna Factory team) and the Swede Albin Elowson (Husqvarna privateer) who will also be serious podium and even title contenders. And we don’t want to rule out the French Michel Merel (Honda) and Mika Barnes (KTM), the Finn Joni Kaivolainen (Beta), the Polish Adam Tomiczek (KTM) and the Swede Kevin Olsen (Sherco).
And last but not least, the most important news – the EnduroGP has a brand new website www.endurogp.org, so check it out to stay tune to what is happening at the championships.
2016 FIM Enduro World Championship
09/10 April, GP of Morocco, Agadir
16/17 April, GP of Portugal, Gouveia
21/22 May, GP of Greece, Grevena
11/12 June, GP of Finland, Heinola
18/19 June, GP of Sweden, Enkoping
02/03 July, GP of Spain, Gordexola
16/17 July, GP of Italy, Fabriano
10/11 September, GP of France, Cahors