Australia’s latest Enduro World Champion was a clear fan favourite at the Australian Four Day Enduro staged in Mansfield, Victoria last week. Despite the event being held in the middle of Phillips’ off-season, the loyal Tasmanian enjoyed Australia’s biggest and most prestigious off-road enduro.
Supported by the Motul Pirelli Sherco Factory Team, Phillips brought an incredible amount of experience, advice and leadership to the Team and some serious star-power to the event.
“This is my off-season but I came to race because the Four Day is a great event,” Said Phillips. “We had some really awesome views from the top of the mountains. It was a really scenic route with a lot of erosion mounds and some fun riding.”
Phillips began the event with the third fastest time in the prologue before a scary crash in the first special test on day-1.
“From a racing perspective this wasn’t my finest performance. I hadn’t been training since the Enduro World Championship season finished in September,” Phillips explained. “I went down hard in the first test on day one. I just caught some slippery grass and took a ride down a hill on my face. I didn’t expect too much coming into the event but I pushed hard and felt good and I had a lot of fun out there.”
“The tests only got a little bit rough but I was able to use the bike well and get a little creative with lines to find speed. I pushed hard but the times didn’t come and the other boys were flying.”
Phillips had an up and down week with test times and despite officially being on holidays, Phillips completed the event with a fine third place in the final moto earning him 4th in the E2 class and 7th outright.
“It was great to work with the Australian Sherco Team,” Phillips continued. “I had a really fun week. It was great to see everyone and catch up with the other riders. I learnt a few things during the week and there’s nothing like getting beaten coming into a pre-season. There’s a bit of fire in the belly to begin training and preparing for the 2017 season.”
Phillips was supported at the event by Italian mechanic Thomas Viola from the Enduro World Championship CH Racing Sherco Team. Viola proved to be a tireless worker providing not only Phillips with assistance but any Sherco rider.
“Thomas was an incredible addition to the Motul Pirelli Sherco Factory Team effort at the A4DE,” said Sherco Australia’s Stephen Tuff. “Thomas is the ultimate professional and taught us all a lot. The dedication and level of perfection with preparation and planning by Thomas lifted the entire Team. That kind of experience is invaluable.”
Phillips has returned home to his native Tasmania for a short break before traveling to Europe for the official presentation of his 2016 EnduroGP Championship win. The Sherco rider will then enjoy a break back in Tasmania for Christmas before returning to Europe to begin preparations for the 2017 Enduro World Championship in January.