The final round of the 2023 Paulo Duarte FIM EnduroGP World Championship this weekend arrives with all world championship classes yet to be decided. Enduro21 looks at the maths (and gets the crystal ball out).

Each and every one of the 2023 world championship classes remain open and up for grabs. It’s a tense time as the long season, which began in Italy at the very start of April, concludes this weekend in Santiago do Cacem in Portugal.

For most of the riders this weekend is has been a temporary Portuguese residency as the world championship’s final two rounds run back-to-back in the south western corner of Europe, meaning a two week stayover.

A couple of hours south of Lisbon heading towards the hottest parts of this country, Portugal II is going to be a warm and fiercely contested one right across the classes.

Check the onboard track preview for the conditions in the four tests: EnduroGP Portugal II: Onboard Track Preview – “mini Erzberg” Extreme test on the cards

As ever in this point of any championship, you can look at the likely winners all you like and chances are it will follow the form book. But in sport you just never know and the final GP can throw in a bomb as other riders get in the mix, taking points away, or mechanical issues and mistakes can affect the outcome.


Crystal ball time – EnduroGP overall champion

Enduro21 has had the notebook, pen, calculator and crystal ball out to try and nail down exactly what could happen including which titles can be own on day one, Saturday.

The facts are if Steve Holcombe wins on Saturday he’s the 2023 EnduroGP champion. It sounds simple doesn’t it?

Steve has all the experience in the world as he aims at his eighth world championship, looking stronger as the year progressed. An elite three or four riders are simply on another level and because any one of them can win any test, it makes winning margins lose but also a slightly different permutation depending on how it pans out on day one.


Nearest rival Andrea Verona arrives with a broken finger after clouting a tree last weekend but though that helps Holcombe, it also proves that even the most consistent of riders, as Verona is, can make a costly error.


Which is exactly what Josep Garcia will be hoping as he does everything he can to make amends for his costly DNF earlier in the season where he lost a day’s point following his own crash.

Some what could happen? Steve needs to basically to beat Verona or stand on the podium with him or if Verona wins Steve needs to be second otherwise it goes to Sunday.

The other factor is another rider getting in the mix and robbing points away, not least Brad Freeman. And with this being the last GP of the year there will be some spanners in the works as people aim to go out on a high.


It’s not his ultimate goal but despite a DNF in Sweden, Josep Garcia has the E1 class in one hand already with a 32-point lead. He’d need a disaster on Saturday to not be the champion.

Theo Espinasse is looking solid for second overall but behind him the contest for third in the world championship is on between Zach Pichon and Jamie McCanney – definitely keep an eye on that one.


If Steve Holcombe wins on Saturday he’s the E2 champion in this class too with Andrea Verona again his main rival. If Verona beats Holcombe it will go down to Sunday howvere with an 18-point gap currently.

Baring disaster, Hamish Macdonald has third in E2 nailed on but is some way distant from the lead two.


With an 11-point lead for Brad Freeman, E3 will be decided on Sunday unless Michael Persson finishes out of the top five on day one.

A DNF and now an injury for Matteo Cavallo has handed Antoine Magain third spot almost certainly.

Junior (overall)

Only a 10-point difference between Jed Etchells and Albin Norrbin makes this the closest contest still to run out at the final GP. The Fantic team-mates (effectively even though they run under different awnings) have traded results all year and this weekend looks likely to be no different.

Could the fact Jed rides a 250 four-stroke hinder him in the power-sapping sandy conditions here compared to Albin’s 300 two-stroke?


Jeremy Sydow has a five-point advantage over Max Ahlin in what will also be a close contest for third scratch in the Juniors.

Take note, from this point downwards things turn very much Fantic flavoured with every class except the seniors looking like heading to the Italian manufacturer.

Junior 1

Junior classes are split into two categories with Jed Etchells also leading the way in J1 but, if he wins on Saturday, he’s the champion here. Sydow is the nearest rival but currently 34 points adrift.

Junior 2

Naturally the other title looks like heading to Albin Norrbin who needs to win, and Max Ahlin not finish on the J2 podium, to be champion on Saturday. The Swedish pair are 14 points apart with another Swede, Axel Semb, looking set for third place.


Fantic’s flying Youth 125 rider Kevin Cristino in theory should already have this sewn-up. But a bobble in Slovakia, where he finished off the podium having won every other racing day, plus relentless pressure from two French riders Leo Joyon and Thibault Giraudon, means the Italian still has to nail this one down.


Cristino has the luxury of being able to finish on the podium to win the world title on Saturday allowing the French boys to joust out second and third.


If there’s any world championship which you should bet your house on this weekend then Jane Daniels winning the Women’s class is it. A 100% record means she just needs to finish on the podium to be crowned champion on Saturday, sealing a couple of seasons in fact where she has been untouchable.


The podium places could be a different story as Jessica Gardiner, Rosie Rowett, Francesca Nocera and Hedvig Malm could all potentially shuffle around depending on results on each day. Conditions here should be familiar and suit Aussie Gardiner to cement second but there are some determined girls here…


Full championship points standings for all classes ahead of the final GP are here: 2023 EnduroGP championship standings (after Rnd6): 1 GP to go, who’s where in the points?


Photo Credit: Future7Media