Starting strong on day one to finish as runner-up in EnduroGP, the Gas Gas Factory Racing rider from Italy also notched up his ninth straight win in E1.
A crash early on day two saw the 23-year-old Verona put in a true champion’s performance to claw his way back up the leader-board for fifth in EnduroGP and second in Enduro 1.
With solid points bagged, he continues to lead both the EnduroGP and Enduro 1 standings with two rounds to go.
Riders such as Verona and his main EnduroGP rivals Thomas Oldrati (Italy, Honda), Austrian Matteo Cavallo (TM), Wil Ruprecht (TM) and Britain’s Nathan Watson are likely also to be feature men when the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) launches in France later this month.
And these are some of the world EnduroGP names that New Zealand stars will no doubt learn to respect when they also arrive at the ISDE from August 29 to September 3.
Can you imagine Kiwi heroes Tom Buxton, Liam Draper, Dylan Yearbury, James Scott, Tommy Watts, Wil Yeoman, Seth Reardon, Ben Dando, Dan Watson, Callan May, Ben Cottrill and Josh Jack lining up to battle with these international superstars?
Verona is sure to be sharp for the ISDE following his EnduroGP performance in Slovakia.
After just missing out on the Super Test win in Slovakia by a whisker on the Friday night, the tone for a positive weekend of racing had been set.
Combining his sheer speed with consistency, Verona was on the gas throughout day one in Slovakia.
With the job at hand made tougher by adverse weather, the Italian remained focused and ran up front all day long. Moving into the EnduroGP class lead after winning the second Enduro test, a couple of small crashes on the final test cost him dearly but he’d hold on for second in EnduroGP while notching up his ninth straight win in E1.
Day two started well for Verona. Well-placed among the leaders after the first two tests and ready for another epic battle for overall victory, a crash on the third test saw him lose around 40 seconds. Fortunate to be unharmed, the 23-year-old gave everything he had for the rest of the day to make up for lost time. Verona’s hard charge would reward him with fifth in EnduroGP and second in E1, limiting the damage and maintaining his lead in both classes.
With another round of EnduroGP complete, Verona now heads to the penultimate stop of the FIM EnduroGP World Championship this weekend in Hungary, on August 5-7.
“A bit of an up and down weekend for me here in Slovakia,” Verona admitted.
“Day one was really good. I was consistent all day and I was leading going into the final test, but two small crashes cost me the win. Overall, It was a good first day with second in EnduroGP and the win in E1.
“I was feeling good for day two and it started well, but on the first enduro test I crashed and lost around 40 seconds.
“From there all I could do was charge as hard as I could and ended up fifth in EnduroGP and second in E1. So the E1 win streak is over but the bigger picture is that I still lead both classes. I’m excited for Hungary at the weekend.”
2022 EnduroGP World Championship, (after Round 5)
- Andrea Verona (Gas Gas) 161 pts
- Wil Ruprecht (TM) 150 pts
- Nathan Watson (Honda) 123 pts
- Andrea Verona (Gas Gas) 197 pts
- Thomas Oldrati (Honda) 169 pts
- Matteo Cavallo (TM) 134 pts
- Wil Ruprecht (TM) 174 pts
- Nathan Watson (Honda) 152 pts
- Josep Garcia (KTM) 130 pts
Photo courtesy Gas Gas
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