The Motul Pirelli Sherco Factory Team more than held its own at the Australian Four Day Enduro last week. Staged in and around the Victorian High Country hills near Mansfield, the event had riders covering over 600km of terrain including a number of special tests where the riders raced the clock and each other.
Bolstered by the inclusion of Enduro World Champion Matthew Phillips, the Motul Pirelli Sherco Factory Team was out to impress. NSW-based rider Wil Ruprecht got off to a slow start but hit his straps on the second day of racing.
“Day-one was frustrating for me and I didn’t feel like I was flowing,” Ruprecht explained. “Things started to come together and I was 10th outright for day-2. I was feeling it by the end of day-3 but I was riding well and was 11th fastest for that day.”
Ruprecht kept the momentum flowing with a great start to the final moto aboard his 450 SEF-R.
“I finished off strong with a good final moto. I was up there behind Milner for a while then Tye Simmonds and I came together in a left hander and I went down. I felt I rode better than my 13th result but it was a big learning curve and I’ll take a lot more knowledge into 2017.”
Ruprecht completed the event in 13th position outright and 6th in the E2 class while team mate Justin Carafa struggled to come to grips with the enduro format. Riding his first-ever enduro, Carafa posted some fast test times but was able to string enough consistent fast test together to figure in the pointy end of the competition.
“I finished,” Carafa offered in consolidation after the event. “It was hard for me to find pace. I rode too safe and the test times didn’t come. I just feel bad because the Team out in such a big effort and I couldn’t reward them with a respectable result. Even my final moto was bad. The dust was crazy and I just couldn’t see.”
Carafa placed 10th in the E2 class and 27th outright on his 450 SEF-R.
The Motul Pirelli Sherco Academy Team was left with Tasmanian rider Baylee Davies flying the flag with Jai Wedlock being unable to race due to personal reasons. Davies was posting consistent test times when he suffered a big crash on day-2 injuring his left shoulder.
“Unfortunately my A4DE came to a premature end. I was feeling really good on the bike but came unstuck. I hurt my shoulder and couldn’t see properly for a short time. I owe thanks to fellow competitor Tom Kite who stopped mid-test to check on me. The shoulder should be okay with rest. I’m really down about not finishing but that’s racing and I hope to come back strong next year.”
The Motul Pirelli Sherco Team has now completed the 2016 racing season but will be back in 2017.