Gelnica, July 2nd, 2023
The spotlight was on the fifth of the seven events of the 2023 season of the FIM EnduroGP World Championship this weekend, from June 30th to July 2nd in Gelnica, Slovakia, where our riders were engaged on a technical and challenging 58 km course, designed by the Moto Club GL Moto Team, in collaboration with Track Inspector Maurizio Micheluz.
The GP of Slovakia, unfortunately, got off to a tragic start due to a terrible accident that occurred during the usual Friday evening Super Test and cost the life of a Slovakian rider in the Open 4T Class.
The race was immediately suspended, and the joy and enthusiasm of the crowd and the entire large family of world enduro racing immediately gave way to dismay and grief at the tragic accident.
Both Fantic teams and all the riders express their deepest condolences to the family of the deceased rider and are close to them in this moment of great sorrow.
Despite the emotional fatigue and sadness that inevitably descended on the EnduroGP paddock throughout the race weekend, the GP of Slovakia got underway regularly on the following day, with a challenging race course which included in order a 600m long natural Extreme located near the paddock, a very technical 5.4-kilometre-long Cross Test with counter-slopes, jumps and motocross-style banks, followed by a very technical 5.5-kilometre-long Enduro Test (EnduroTest1) in a forest with soft, muddy terrain and numerous roots and to end with a second Enduro Test (EnduroTest2) on similar terrain to the previous Enduro1 test.
Fantic Racing rider Albin Norrbin rode an incredible race demonstrating his top form. The Swedish rider won both days of the race, giving a spectacle with his Fantic XE 300 to the numerous spectators. The final score for the Fantic rider was two first places in the Junior category, recording seven best times in class on Day One and five on Day 2. Thanks to these two successes, the Fantic Racing team rider has shortened the distances in the provisional Junior class standings and is now only ten points behind. In the Junior 2 class, Albin Norrbin dominated and won both days of racing and was always at the top of the provisional standings.
The Swede has an incredible record: in the Junior class, this is his third consecutive victory, his fourth in ten races, while in Junior 2, there are seven victories. Albin has always finished on the podium, except for race two at the Italian GP.
JET Fantic Racing team rider Jed Etchells collected two-second places in the Junior class over the weekend, reconfirming his provisional lead. The British rider didn't perform at his best on Day One, while on the following day, he fought for first place with Albin Norrbin.
In the Junior 1 class, Jed Etchells dominated, winning both days with nine best times out of twelve special tests run on Day 1 and seven best times on Day 2. The British rider is the leader of the Junior 1 class with a twenty-two-point lead over the second-placed rider.
In the Junior class, Etchells, on his Fantic XEF 250, has always finished on the podium if we exclude a fourth place in the Swedish GP and has taken three victories. In Junior 1, on the other hand, he is the undisputed leader with eight wins out of ten races and two-second places.
Harry Edmondson, the JET Fantic Racing rider, had a successful race in Slovakia with a fourth and fifth-place finish in the Junior 1 class and two eighth-place finishes in the Junior category. The British rider showed that his feeling about the Fantic XEF 250 is improving, and the gap with his rivals is closing from race to race.
In the Youth class, Kevin Cristino arrived in Slovakia with a knee problem that compromised the race's outcome. For the first time since the beginning of the season, the Fantic Racing rider did not get on the podium. Still, he remains the leader of the provisional standings with several points ahead of his pursuers. He closes the GP of Slovakia with a final score of two fifth places.
His team-mate Valentino Corsi rode an excellent race at Gelnica, recording a fourth and a sixth-place finish, winning two special tests.
Unlucky GP for Lorenzo Macoritto, Fantic Racing's rider in the E3 class. On Day One, he retired due to a trivial mechanical problem, while on the following day, a hard blow to his right elbow forced him to sit out again after winning two special tests.
After the Slovakian round, the FIM EnduroPG World Championship will now take a long break before the double trip to Portugal, where the 2023 season will end with the sixth (29/9 -1/10, Valpacos) and seventh rounds (6 -8/10, St. Andres).
Albin Norrbin (team Fantic Racing Enduro): "I am extremely happy with the weekend in Slovakia. In addition to the wins in the Junior and Junior 2 classes, I am happy with the feeling of the bike and the work the whole team has done for me. We will give it our all in Portugal to win both titles."
Jed Etchells (team JET Fantic Racing Enduro): "I struggled all race weekend in the two Enduro Tests where I can usually best express myself in these conditions. The Junior and Junior 1, class leader table is still in my hands, and we will defend it in Portugal."
Kevin Cristino (team Fantic Racing Enduro): "Unfortunately, a physical problem affected my race, and I arrived here in Slovakia to collect as many points as possible. We knew it was a tough race, a real enduro race, because we also raced last year and knew it was difficult to get on the final podium."
Harry Edmondson (team JET Fantic Racing Enduro): "My first year in the juniors was expected to be complex and challenging, but I am happy because from GP to GP, I am improving. The final score is positive; pity for the second day of the race where I missed seventh place by a few seconds."