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Nathan Watson, new to the factory team in 2016 has made a smooth and successful transition from Motocross and his two victories this weekend put him just five points behind E1 leader Eero Remes. The Finn, who was dominant in the Scandinavian rounds failed to finish on day two of the Spanish race weekend. The British rider wrapped up Saturday’s competition 38.57 seconds ahead of countryman Danny McCanney after winning seven of the day's special tests on his new KTM 250 EXC-F. McCanney was also his biggest rival on day two, when Watson again took the win by 28.48 seconds despite some errors along the way that cost him time.
Watson: “It’s been another great weekend for me. I had to push hard on day one because the tests weren’t overly technical, which meant that everyone was fast. It was a pretty intense day. I had one crash, but generally the day went really well. I started pretty steadily like I always seem to do, but I won the E1 class so it ended up being a good day. I felt really tired at the start of day two and it was another tough day. I made a few mistakes and lost quite a lot of time. There was only two seconds ahead going into the final test but again I got the win. I got some really good championship points, so a great weekend for me.”
KTM riders who delivered solid E1 results on the Spanish race weekend were Victor Guerrero, who took a 4-4 for overall fourth in his home race and Watson’s KTM factory teammate Ivan Cervantes, also #racing at home who started strongly on Friday in the Super Test and went on to score a 7-5 for overall fifth.
Cervantes: “I made a really strong start to the GP with a good performance in the Super Test, but I made too many mistakes and didn't have a great feeling with the tests. In places I felt really good, but in other places I just wasn’t fast enough. It was very strange, and difficult to understand. I pushed as hard as I could, but it’s frustrating because two weeks ago in Sweden I was fighting for the podium. I will work hard ahead of the Italian GP and hope things are better.”
Taylor Robert and Christophe Nambotin, the KTM factory duo who are #racing E2 this season, were not so fortunate. Robert, the team’s American recruit registered a 7-5, which placed him at overall fifth but he admitted he had lacked a little confidence to really go for it this weekend. Meanwhile Nambotin had several crashes on Sunday, including a substantial one in the Motocross test that saw him withdraw from the competition on day one. He didn’t manage to start on the second day. Robert is presently third in the championship points with four race days (two GP weekends) left on the calendar.
Robert: “It just wasn’t a good weekend for me. I didn't have any big crashes, just a few small tip overs, but the times weren’t what I needed. There were a few times when I felt good but I just couldn't get the times. I never really felt confident enough to push like I wanted. It was just a weird weekend really.”
KTM factory rider Laia Sanz bounced back to her usual dominant form, securing the class victory on both days. She now has a narrow two-point advantage over Jane Daniels (GBR), her main rival for the title. Sanz, who also races in the KTM Rally Factory #racing Team and contests the Dakar Rally said she was pleased to be back on top and more at ease on her KTM 350 EXC-F. It was also a good weekend for Germany’s Maria Franke who put her KTM in second place on both days. Points leader Daniels finished 3-3 this weekend.
Sanz: “After what felt like two disastrous weekends in Finland and Sweden it’s been great to get two winning results. Being able to spend a few weeks focusing on riding my #enduro bike really made a big difference, I felt ready for this race. Also, the special tests were much more like what I am used to. Everything went well during both days and importantly I managed to take back some points in the championship. I’m two points ahead now so it will be a nice fight at the final round in France.”
Watson was also the top KTM rider in the overall #endurogp class at fourth place. Robert was eighth and Cervantes 21st. Watson is currently fifth in the points.
Team Manager Fabio Farioli: “Nathan (Watson) and Laia (Sanz) both had a very good weekend and this made it a good weekend for the team. Taylor Robert was not as strong this round as he was in the last two but now he will go to #spain to train with Cervantes ahead of the next round in Italy. Nambotin was not so lucky this weekend and after the crash on Saturday he had a headache and was feeling dizzy so he did not start today.”
More information available in the press release
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