Matthew Phillips is on the verge of creating world enduro history as he prepares for the final two rounds of the 2016 Enduro World Championship GP season. The GP of France will unfold this coming weekend, September 10-11 in Cahors, in the southwest of France and will be the battleground where the inaugural EnduroGP title will be decided.
The EnduroGP classification is for the outright, overall champion across all capacity classes of Enduro World Championship racing. Phillips holds a 15-point lead heading into the GP of France with a maximum of 20-points up for grabs on Saturday and again on Sunday’s separately-scored rounds.
The 23 year-old from northern Tasmania also holds the E2 class points lead with a comfortable 18-point margin. Phillips’ Championship points’ lead has not only added credibility to his surprising move from enduro powerhouse team KTM to the much-less celebrated Sherco Team in 2016, it’s sent shockwaves through the off-road racing world.
“Matthew Phillips is a fierce competitor in a tough sport,” said Sherco Australia’s Stephen Tuff. “It was big news when Matthew finished at KTM and moved over to Sherco for 2016. And the fact Matthew is riding a 300cc four-stroke and winning outright, particularly in the E2 class that is traditionally dominated by 450cc machines has silenced the critics.”
While Phillips does hold a points’ buffer in the E2 class and in the outright EnduroGP standings, there is no room for error. The level and depth of competition at the elite end of world enduro ensures Phillips must remain focussed.
“Matthew is a smart racer,” Tuff continued. “He’s a cool head and knows how to win. Sure, the competition is hot and it could be argued Matthew is being hunted but you can never count this Tasmanian devil out. Phillips is on the best bike in the best team and heading into this weekend he’s the best rider out there.”