The 2024 FIM EnduroGP World Championship dives deep into the second half of the season for round five at the Polisport GP of Slovakia in Gelnica where this year’s title fighters need to step up and catch points leader Josep Garcia.

With the Paulo Duarte FIM EnduroGP World Championship heading to Slovakia this weekend, first question we’re asking is how can it be round five already?

It feels like world championship races are coming thick and fast in Europe and, for the EnduroGP riders, that makes this weekend an important one.

On the one hand, if you’re Josep Garcia and leading the standings, now is the time to cement the points lead and aim for that end game just to more weekends away. On the other hand, if you’re everyone else, now is the time to get on it and haul the flying Spaniard back in.

Gelnica played host to a round of the WEC in 2023, meaning its mixture of terrain should mean most know what to expect and last year that meant tough, long days.

As is customary, racing begins on Friday with the Akrapovic Super Test before riders then face two full, usually around seven hour days of racing on Saturday and Sunday, running multiple laps of the Polisport Extreme Test to the Acerbis Cross Test and the nearly six-kilometre-long Maxxis Enduro Test.

Garcia on top in EnduroGP

In the overall EnduroGP classification, Josep Garcia tops the standings by 10 points on his Red Bull KTM. The reigning E1 champion has taken outright day wins at every round so far in 2024, making it difficult to bet against the Spaniard again this weekend.

Lying second and third to Garcia in the standings, GASGAS’ Andrea Verona and Honda Racing RedMoto’s Steve Holcombe need to attack the special tests and attack Garcia’s lead this weekend.

Both riders claimed day wins in Slovakia last year which proved a tough round with weather and long tests. Gelnica saw Garcia riding injured last year, following a dramatic exit from the Swedish GP just a few weeks earlier, and the same goes for Brad Freeman who had already taken time out following repeated head injuries. Both will be hoping for a clean and pain-free run this year on the Slovakian terrain.

Garcia has twice the numbe rof day wins to his rivals but only 16 points currently separates the top three, and with both Verona and Holcombe ending round just four hundredths of a second apart, it will make fascinating viewing this weekend.

EnduroGP class championship points after round four:


Freeman, Watson, Pichon, Macdonald…come on boys!

By now we’d hoped to have been writing how this championship is an open book and could be anyone of five or six riders to take.

But to date it has not been a consistent season for Brad Freeman, Nathan Watson, Zach Pichon and Hamish Macdonald – all of wchih are capable of smashing the elite trio off the podium but who have failed to do it across the previous GP enough to be troubling the points table.

Freeman lies fourth in the championship chase, but trails Holcombe in third by 43 points. The nine-time world champion is obviously a threat but no overall wins shows he’s not quite finding his own form.

Beta teammate Watson rounds out the top five in the EnduroGP standings with good rides on his day, particualalrly strong earlh in the Portuguese rounds but has equally not looked like hitting the top step so far.

Sherco’s Hamish Macdonald, Antoine Magain and Zach Pichon, along with Jamie McCanney and his teammate (now injured) Mikael Persson, TM’s Matteo Cavallo, Holcombe’s teammate Samuele Bernadini have all shone at different points and tests in their fight for the class podiums (and in a fierce battle for top 10 places) but so far this season this impressive list hasn’t impressed on the top three enough.


Class leaders

In Enduro1, Garcia continues to lead the way. Holcombe is next in line to the Spaniard, with just six points separating the duo. Carding a pair of third-place results at round four, Zach Pichon (Sherco) now holds third overall in points.

With seven wins from eight starts, Verona is in command of Enduro2. He’s built up a 39-point advantage over Watson in second and will want to add to that in Slovakia. The fight for second is close, with Watson just two points ahead of Samuele Bernardini (Honda) in third.

Freeman holds the points lead in Enduro3. TM MOTO’s Matteo Cavallo maintains second but faces a strong challenge from Hamish MacDonald (Sherco) in third who is now back up to speed following injury.


Ahlin Enduro Junior leader

The Galfer FIM Junior Enduro World Championship sees young Swedish riders dominating with Team KTM Pro Racing Sport’s Max Ahlin on a 12-point lead ahead of Fantic Racing’s Team’s Axel Semb who dominated the early rounds.

Reigning Youth champion Kevin Cristino (Fantic) is finding his four-stroke feet by now and holds third ahead of compatriot, Honda Racing RedMoto Enduro Team’s Manolo Morettini, who took a debut victory last time out in Italy.


Confidence growing for Verzeroli in Enduro Youth

Team KTM Pro Racing Sport, an arm of the Farioli factory KTM squad, also has young Italian Manuel Verzeroli quietly extending an advantage in Enduro Youth class. The young Italian is proving to be a model of consistency in 2024 on the flying 125 with TM’s Alberto Elgari chasing hard in second with three wins to his tally, while Pietro Scardina (Fantic) completes the top three.

Stay tuned to Enduro21 for the news, results , rider quotes and videos from across the weekend in Slovakia, round five of the Paulo Duarte FIM EnduroGP World Championship this weekend, July 12-14.


Photo Credit: Future7Media | Nicki Martinez