BETA RIDERS CROWNED KINGS OF 2023 ENDUROGP
What a way to cap off the 2023 EnduroGP season for Beta; winning this year’s EnduroGP (Outright), E2 and E3 class world titles, plus the coveted Constructors’ Championship. It was the resurgent Brit, Steve Holcombe, who really spearheaded the Italian manufacturer’s charge.
Holcombe came into the season’s final weekend of racing in the tiny southern Portuguese township of Santiago Do Cacem with comfortable 17- and 15-point margins in the EGP and E2 classes, respectively, but the No.1 plates remained up for grabs and Holcombe sure had to work for it. Despite a few uncharacteristic crashes and mistakes, Holcombe steadied the ship and fought back to go 2-3 in the E2 class and 3-5 in EuduroGP, and that was enough for him to clinch both the class and Outright titles aboard his Beta RR390 Racing machine. Incredibly, this year’s two title wins takes Holcombe’s world title tally to nine!
“I am extremely happy because the past few seasons have been riddled with injuries,” beamed a champagne-drenched and clearly emotional Holcombe after Sunday’s racing, “while this year I started from the first GP strong and determined to win these two world titles at the end of the season.”
Meanwhile, Holcombe’s teammate and fellow Brit, Brad Freeman, posted a 1-6 scorecard in the E3 class at the Portuguese series finale, hanging on by just two points to add another World Championship class-win to his already impressive tally. Still plagued by the ongoing effects of injury, Freeman could only muster 10-0 results in EnduroGP, which left him fourth in the Championship’s Outright standings this year.
“It was a somewhat complicated season,” said a clearly dejected Freeman after what’s been a very challenging season. “I started off very strong winning a few races, but then the injury happened and the break during the summer was not very helpful. Anyway, we ended with a victory in the E3 class, which is something.”
Also worthy of mention for Beta are the performances of Team Beta OxMoto Officiel France, with Leo Joyon and Theophile finishing second position in the World Championship’s Youth and E1 classes, respectively.
2023 ENDUROGP CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (FINAL)
1. Josep Garcia (ESP), KTM – 249 points
2. Theophile Espinasse (FRA), Beta – 203 points
3. Jamie McCanney (GBR), Husqvarna – 200 points
4. Zachary Pichon (FRA), Sherco – 197 points
5. Matteo Pavoni (ITA), TM Racing – 154 points
1. Steve Holcombe (GBR), Beta – 260 points
2. Andrea Verona (ITA), GASGAS – 247 points
3. Hamish MacDonald (NZL), Sherco – 188 points
4. Nathan Watson (GBR), Honda – 178 points
5. Samuele Bernardini (ITI), Honda – 153 points
1. Brad Freeman (GBR), Beta – 227 points
2. Mikael Persson (SWE), Husq – 225 points
3. Antoine Magain (BEL), Sherco – 160 points
4. Morgan Lesiardo (ITI), Sherco – 139 points
5. Matteo Cavallo (ITI), TM – 131 points
1. Steve Holcombe (GBR), Beta – 222 points
2. Josep Garcia (ESP), KTM – 210 points
3. Andrea Verona (ITA), GASGAS – 209 points
4. Brad Freeman (GBR), Beta – 169 points
5. Hamish MacDonald (NZL), Sherco – 143 points