Tasmanian Matthew Phillips has stamped his authority on the 2017 Enduro World Championship after a dominant performance at the Enduro GP of Spain over the weekend. Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2017 Enduro World Championship were held in extremely dusty conditions in Puerto Lumbreras in the south east of Spain.
Phillips was locked into an intense battle with British racer Steve Holcombe on Saturday but came away with the win aboard his Sherco 300 SEF-R.
“Man, that was a tough day,” Phillips said afterwards. “I don’t think I’ve ever ridden a track as rutted and beat up as that. The tests were difficult because the ground was so soft and dusty, but I think the time controls were even harder. Steve rode great today, it was cool to be battling with him. We both pushed so hard, it was so close all through the day.”
Phillips backed up his results from Saturday with a super-tight battle with Holcombe and France’s Christophe Nambotin that eventually had Phillips winning the day by .29 of second, giving Phillips the perfect weekend GP result.
“It’s been an awesome weekend for me and the Sherco guys,” said Phillips. “I can't remember the last time it was that close between three guys for the win. It was tough, we were all giving it everything and I enjoyed the close competition. I lost about 11 seconds during the first two special tests, so I had some work to do after that. I just kept pushing and pushing and got back level with Nambo’ and Steve and finally things came good. I can’t ask for more than two wins.”
Phillips now holds an 8-point Championship lead over Beta mounted Brit Steve Holcombe and is 14 points clear of Husqvarna’s Annti Hellsten of Finland.
Fellow Australian Ben Kearns from NSW fought hard to record 13th and 12th place results in the Enduro Junior division in what was his first Enduro GP event for Team Sherco.
The 2017 Enduro World Championship will resume with rounds 5 and 6 on May 26-28 GP of Italy.