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KTM Factory Racing’s Josep Garcia has secured his second EnduroGP win of the season with victory on day two of the final round of the series in Portugal.

Joining Garcia and making his competitive debut at an FIM EnduroGP World Championship event, Manuel Lettenbichler posted some solid special test times on his way to a 10th place Enduro 2 class result on day one but unfortunately was unable to finish on day two.

Round four of the 2020 FIM EnduroGP World Championship was held at the same Marco de Canaveses location in Portugal as round three, which took place just one-week earlier. As such, a lot of the previous round’s tests were re-used for the final event but in the reverse direction. The weather also followed a similar vein to the previous weekend’s racing with conditions worsening on Sunday and making the already tough and cut-up tracks even more challenging.

Up to speed following his successful outing at round three, Josep Garcia immediately showed he had the pace to challenge for the overall win in both the E2 and EnduroGP categories. Pushing hard in the demanding Portuguese conditions on Saturday, the KTM 350 EXC-F rider once again took the fight to the two championship leaders. A small but costly error in the third extreme test unfortunately cost the Spaniard close to 20 valuable seconds and despite posting the fastest time on the remaining two tests, Josep was forced to settle for runner-up in E2, and third overall in EnduroGP.

Third in the opening test on Sunday, Garcia went on to win the next two, putting him in prime position to take his second day-win of the season. With rivals Holcombe and Freeman both battling for the championship title, the pace at the top of the timing sheets was intense. Maintaining pressure throughout the day, and with Freeman suffering an issue, Garcia did exactly what was needed of him, posting a great time on the final test to ultimately clinch both the E2 and EnduroGP victories. At the close of racing, the KTM star enjoyed a 43.74-second advantage over the second-placed rider.

Josep Garcia: “The last EnduroGP of the season has gone really well for me. On day one, similarly to last week, I made a big mistake in the extreme test that cost me a lot of seconds and put me out of the battle for the class win. On Sunday, the goal was to take the win and I pushed really hard for that. Freeman was really fast, especially in the extreme test, but on the last lap he had a problem, and I was able to come through to take the win in E2 and EnduroGP. I’m really happy with how I rode, and I don’t think I could ask for more.”

Making his maiden EnduroGP appearance, Manuel Lettenbichler came into the final round of the championship hoping to work on his pace and simply enjoy the competition. Taking time to re-acquaint himself with the intense speed required for the special tests used in the series, Lettenbichler gave a solid performance on day one, claiming 10th in the E2 class.

With the conditions worsening on Sunday, Mani hoped that would play in his favor, with his extreme enduro experience coming to the fore. Gaining pace as the day went on, the young German started to challenge the more established riders, going on to post a personal best of fifth-fastest in E2 on the third extreme test. Unfortunately for Lettenbichler, a mistake in the closing stages of the event ended up costing him too much time and he was forced to retire. Despite the setback, the 2019 WESS Champion thoroughly enjoyed the experience and hopes to return for more.

Manuel Lettenbichler: “I’ve really enjoyed my first taste of EnduroGP – it was definitely a tough weekend! On Saturday, I felt good, but my speed was not up there with the top guys so it was a bit of a shock, and I probably didn’t have the best preparation coming here straight from Romaniacs. On Sunday I think my pace was better, even though the weather was terrible, and made everything a lot harder. I still managed to make some big mistakes – at one point I ended up going swimming after crashing into a river and it was really tough to get out! All-in-all I had a lot of fun and it was good to get some more racing in. For next year, of course my focus will be on extreme, but I’d still like to do some more EnduroGP rounds if we can fit some in.”

Day 1

Enduro 2
1. Steve Holcombe (GBR), Beta, 56:26.41
2. Josep Garcia (ESP), KTM, 56:48.54 +22.13
3. Matteo Cavallo (ITA), Sherco, 58:03.68 +1:37.27
4. Daniel McCanney (GBR), Honda, 58:17.79 +1:51.38
5. Loic Larrieu (FRA), TM, 58:22.02 +1:55.61
Other KTM
10. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER), KTM, 1:00:42.38 +4:15.97

1. Brad Freeman (GBR), Beta, 56:22.12
2. Steve Holcombe (GBR), Beta, 56:26.41 +4.29
3. Josep Garcia (ESP), KTM, 56:48.54 +26.42
4. Andrea Verona (ITA), TM, 57:10.40 +48.28
5. Thomas Oldrati (ITA), Honda, 57:32.83 +1:10.71
Other KTM
23. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER), KTM, 1:00:42.38 +4:20.26

Day 2

Enduro 2
1. Josep Garcia (ESP), KTM, 1:03:32.76
2. Steve Holcombe (GBR), Beta, 1:04:16.50 +43.74
3. Daniel McCanney (GBR), Honda, 1:05:11.83 +1:39.07
4. Loic Larrieu (FRA), TM, 1:05:50.29 +2:17.53
5. Joe Wootton (GBR), Husqvarna, 1:06:54.45 +3:21.69

1. Josep Garcia (ESP), KTM, 1:03:32.76
2. Steve Holcombe (GBR), Beta, 1:04:16.50 +43.74
3. Brad Freeman (GBR), Beta, 1:04:38.28 +1:05.52
4. Daniel McCanney (GBR), Honda, 1:05:11.83 +1:39.07
5. Andrea Verona (ITA), TM, 1:05:20.57 +1:47.81