Youth Enduro

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.

Andrea Verone

2017 FIM Youth Enduro World Champion

Born on 22 April 1999 in Thiene, Italy

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

Bradley Freeman

2018 FIM E1 Enduro World Champion

Born on 5 July 1996 in Rugeley, Great Britain

FREEMAN TAKES FLIGHT

Brad Freeman (Beta Boano) sensationally claimed the FIM E1 Enduro World Championship in his first season at senior level, at the end of an incredible year that also him finish runner-up in the elite EnduroGP category. The British youngster, who won the FIM Junior Enduro World Championship title in 2017, made the step up in 2018 with little to prove and everything to learn – or so it seemed.

However, it took the 22-year-old just three rounds to take his first E1 victory in Portugal, overcoming early championship rival Jamie McCanney (Yamaha) on a memorable second day in Castelo Branco. Prior to that McCanney had taken four victories from five days of competition, with Eemil Pohjola (Gas Gas) taking the other on home turf at the opening round in Finland.

Once Freeman broke his duck, though, there was no looking back and his first E1 success was immediately followed at the next round in Estonia by a maiden overall EnduroGP victory that established him as a threat to Steve Holcombe (Beta) in the elite category.

An E1 double in Tallin was then added to with further doubles in Trentino, Edolo and Methamis, setting up a title shot at the final round in Rüdersdorf. Freeman took his chance with both hands in Germany, sealing a tenth straight victory on the opening day to leave McCanney with no response.

Signing off with another win on day two, Freeman ensured that he’d amassed more World Championship points in 2018 than any other rider, whilst second place for McCanney on both days secured the runner-up position for the Brit. Two fourth places for Antoine Basset (Gas Gas) sealed third overall for the Frenchman.

PALMARES
2 World titles – 2017 (Junior) 2018 (E1)

2017 FIM Junior Enduro World Champion

FREEMAN TAKES JUNIOR CROWN

Brad Freeman (Beta) emerged victorious from one of the closest title battles in the Enduro discipline in 2017 as he claimed the FIM Junior Enduro World Championship by just four points from Davide Soreca (Honda). The British youngster missed the first round of the series in Helsinki, where Italy's Soreca finished second to local Finnish wildcard Eemil Pohjola (Husqvarna), but came roaring back to score maximum points at round two in Spain.

After that Soreca was only able to topple Freeman from the top of the podium on one further occasion, on day one of his home round in Spoleto, Italy, whilst Swedish pair Albin Elowson (Husqvarna) and Mikael Persson (Yamaha) also took a day win apiece, as Freeman dominated the remainder of the season and closed to within four points of the championship summit going into the final round in Zschopau, Germany.

With Soreca only managing third on the first day behind Elowson and the victorious Freeman, the battle went down to the very last special tests. However, just when it looked like Freeman had done enough to win, having opened up a healthy lead with just one lap remaining, a rear brake issue during the final enduro and extreme tests saw Soreca close to within five seconds with just the final motocross test remaining. Under extreme pressure, Freeman responded with the second outright fastest time, topping the special test, the day and with it the championship.

PALMARES
World title – 2017