Enduro

Hamish MacDonald

2019 FIM Youth Enduro World Champion

Born on 28 March 1999 in Christchurch, New Zealand

© Dario Agrati

© Dario Agrati

HOT SHOT HAMISH 

New Zealand’s Hamish MacDonald (Sherco) followed in the footsteps of last year’s FIM Youth Enduro World Champion Ruy Barbosa (Husqvarna) of Chile, by claiming his country’s first title in the discipline thanks to an impressive second season at this level.  

‘HammyMac’ was Barbosa’s closest challenger in 2018, although he lacked the consistency of his rival, an aspect he put right in 2019 by scoring a podium in every single race that he finished. The first Kiwi rider to compete at World level in over fifteen years also showed no shortage of grit and determination to come back after breaking his shoulder at the third round in Spain, where he missed out on the points completely after back-to-back double victories in Germany and Portugal.  

His only other no-score after that was on the second day in Italy and despite having conceded the championship lead to Italy’s Claudio Spanu (Husqvarna), MacDonald gradually fought back to make sure of the title with a pair of third places at the final round in Ambert, France. Matteo Pavoni (Beta) joined his compatriot Spanu on the championship podium, whilst Nathan Bererd (Husqvarna) of France and Spain’s Sergio Navarro (KTM) also made names for themselves with victories during the season. 

PALMARES

World title - 2019 

Loïc Larrieu

2019 FIM E2 Enduro World Champion

Born on 17 January 1991 in Sète, France

© Dario Agrati

© Dario Agrati

LARRIEU IS LOÏC-AL HERO 

Loïc Larrieu (TM) exchanged his silver medal from last season to become the 2019 FIM E2 Enduro World Champion after a thrilling final-round performance in front of a jubilant home crowd in Ambert. Larrieu was led for virtually the whole season by Alex Salvini (Honda), who returned to the factory that guided him to the title in 2013, although the twenty-eight-year-old showed his determination over the season, finishing on the podium on every single day of competition apart from two mechanical breakdowns at the second round in Portugal. 

After conceding the early series lead to Salvini, the Frenchman relentlessly chased down his Italian rival with a run of form that also wielded eight podiums in the EnduroGP category, including a victory in the Italian round at Rovetta, to trail by just two points going into the final round. After a fourth win of the campaign for Larrieu on the first day, Salvini came out fighting on the final day of the season, winning the first test, only for the local hero to attack back and claim six test victories of his own, cheered every step of the way by the home fans to the overall win and the title. 

Joe Wootton (Husqvarna) completed the podium in France to cap off a solid season that also saw him celebrate a win in the Czech Republic, whilst former MXGP star Christophe Charlier (Honda) also had a victory in Greece as he claimed third overall.  

PALMARES

World title - 2019 

Ruy Barbosa

2018 FIM Youth Enduro World Champion

Born on 4 December 1998 in Chile

 

BARBOSA BRINGS THE HEAT FROM CHILE

Ruy Barbosa (Husqvarna) made history for his native Chile in 2018, claiming the FIM Youth Enduro World Championship title - his country’s first in the discipline.

It was a slightly inauspicious start to the campaign for the 19-year-old, who took two third places at the opening round in Spain as Sweden’s Joakim Grelsson (KTM) and Matthew van Oevelen (Sherco) of Belgium claimed the wins. However, Barbosa broke his duck with a double at round two in Estonia and followed up with another win in Trentino to establish himself as the title favourite.

Hamish Macdonald (Sherco) picked up a double of his own in the fourth round in Italy but like Grelsson and Van Oevelen the impressive Kiwi rider just lacked the consistency of the Chilean and eventually it was podium regular Dan Mundell (Sherco) who emerged as the strongest threat. However, the Brit was unable to muster a victory before Barbosa got his first crack at the title in France, where another double capped off an incredible season for the youngster, who was allowed by his parents to move to Europe and chase his Enduro dream two years ago on the proviso that he completed his studies in Chile via email.

Since then, under the guidance of his senior teammate and former FIM E2 World Champion Alex Salvini, Barbosa has quickly developed into one of the hottest young talents in Enduro. A double win at the final round in Germany made it seven out of twelve for the season and marked Barbosa out as a name to watch.

Matteo Cavallo

2018 FIM Junior Enduro World Champion

Born on 11 October 1995 in Ceva, Italy

BRAVO MATTEO!

Matteo Cavallo (Beta Boano) claimed the FIM Junior Enduro World Championship in dominant style in 2018, leading the standings from the second round in Portugal and wrapping things up at the penultimate event of the season in France. Contesting his third campaign at this level, having finished ninth in 2016 and fourth in 2017, Cavallo battled hard all year with compatriot Andrea Verona (TM), the Italian pair often pushing the results and test times beyond Junior ranks and well up the running order in the senior EnduroGP classes. 

After sharing a win apiece with Verona at the opening round in Spain, Cavallo took control with a double at Castelo Branco and after conceding the day one win to France’s Theo Espinasse (Sherco) in Estonia he never looked back, putting together six consecutive victories. Needing just a third place on day one in Méthamis to wrap up the title with a round to spare, the 22-year-old typically went on the attack and won the opening day by more than thirty seconds ahead of British rider Joe Wootton (Husqvarna) and Verona.

Cavallo, who first came to international attention in 2017 when he became the first Junior rider ever to win an Italian Enduro Championship race outright - beating a field full of FIM World Champions like Matt Phillips, Alex Salvini, Steve Holcombe and Giacomo Redondi - will now go on to rub shoulders with the stars of EnduroGP in 2019.

Cody Webb

2018 FIM SuperEnduro World Champion

Born on 31 May 1988 in Watsonville, California, USA

Photo Credit : Future7Media

WEBB MAKES IT STICK

Cody Webb (KTM) finally claimed the title of FIM SuperEnduro World Champion after twice finishing runner-up over the past three seasons and enduring a heart-stopping final couple of rounds of the 2018 season in the Basque Country and Sweden.

Webb, who lost the title to his American compatriot Colton Haaker in 2016 and Polish legend Taddy Błażusiak in 2015, made a strong start to this campaign with two wins and a second place from the opening three rounds in Poland, Germany and Spain. Banging bars and fighting hard on technical and perilous tracks with the likes of Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna), Johnnie Walker (KTM) and emerging British talent Billy Bolt (Husqvarna), as well as the more familiar challenge of Haaker (Husqvarna) and Błażusiak (KTM), Webb held a healthy 23-point lead over the latter with two rounds remaining.

However, his championship charge was almost derailed in Bilbao, where three nervous crashes in quick succession in the third heat cost him six points to Błażusiak and raised questions about his mettle, having already let the title slip through his fingers in the latter stages of 2016.

The pressure increased when Webb lost half of his advantage to Błażusiak in the first race of an emotional final round in Lidköping, however a breakdown for the Pole with a broken rear suspension in the second race ended his hopes of seventh title in the discipline and handed a first to the Californian with a race to spare.

British rookie Bolt then took a stunning debut victory in the final race of the night and the season to snatch the runner-up spot in the championship from Błażusiak by a single point.

Andrea Verona

2019 FIM Junior Enduro World Champion

Born on 22 April 1999 in Thiene, Italy

© Dario Agrati

© Dario Agrati

VERONA CONTINUES TO RISE 

Andrea Verona (TM) absolutely dominated the FIM Junior Enduro World Championship in 2019, winning nine of the first ten days of the competition to wrap up the title with two rounds to spare. Only Roni Kytonen (Husqvarna) managed to take a day win away from Verona all season, the Finnish youngster coming out on top on the second day of the fourth round in Greece. Otherwise the Italian was imperious from the get-go, taking double victories in Germany, Portugal, Spain and finally in Italy, where he secured the championship in front of a jubilant home crowd at Rovetta. 

Verona’s form fully justified the faith of the Italian factory TM, who tied the youngster to a three year-contract at the start of last season after he clinched the FIM Youth Enduro World Championship in similar style in 2017. As soon as this year’s Junior title was wrapped up, they turned their attention to the future, entering the 20-year-old into the senior EnduroGP category for the final two rounds of the 2019 season, riding a 250cc 2-stroke in the E1 class. Verona rose to the challenge, taking thirteenth in EnduroGP and fourth in E1 on his debut in the Czech Republic, following up with a sensational sixth place in EnduroGP - second only to Brad Freeman in E1 - on the first day of the final round in France. 

In the absence of Verona in the Junior category, French rider Theo Espinasse (Sherco) won the final two rounds to secure the runners-up spot overall ahead of Spain’s Enric Francisco Montlleo (KTM). 

PALMARES

FIM Youth Enduro World Champion - 2017 
FIM Junior Enduro World Champion - 2019 

2017 FIM Youth Enduro World Champion

THE BEST OF VERONA

Andrea Verona (TM) was deservedly crowned as the FIM Youth Enduro World Champion in 2017 after putting together a sensational run of nine unbeaten days in the 125cc category. Verona started the season with what proved to be a solid sixth place in an opening round in Finland that was dominated by local riders, with Hugo Svärd and Hermanni Haljala (Husqvarna) taking the wins, joined on the podium by compatriots Antti Ahtila (KTM), Roni Kytönen (Husqvarna) and Sweden's Emil Jonsson (KTM).

With only Svärd contesting the remainder of the season on a regular basis, Leo Le Quere (TM) and Ruy Barbosa (Husqvarna) emerged as the most consistent rivals to Verona, the Frenchman and the Chilean taking a second place apiece behind the Italian as he kicked off his winning streak at the second round in Puerto Lumbreras, Spain.

The trio were virtually ever-presents on the podium throughout the rest of the championship, however, neither could match the sheer speed of Verona and the 18-year-old got his first opportunity to wrap up the title at round six in Castelo Branco, Portugal. After taking his ninth consecutive victory on the opening day by some two minutes over Le Quere, the youngster almost lost his grip on the title on day two when he crashed on a special stage, dropping to third place but recovering to take second behind his French rival and secure the championship with two rounds to spare.

PALMARES
World title - 2017