Bel-Ray Husqvarna Factory Racing team riders Graham Jarvis, Alfredo Gomez and Mathias Bellino were all in action over the weekend, in two very different but very important races. Firstly, both Jarvis and Gomez finished on the podium at The Tough One, in the UK, with Gomez and Bellino then securing more podium success at the 16th running of the Barcelona Indoor Enduro in Spain.
At The Tough One it was Graham Jarvis who secured the top result for Husqvarna placing second overall behind winner Jonny Walker with Gomez rounding out the podium in third. Both riders battled hard throughout the two-and-a-half hour Pro main event, with Gomez having to overcome a difficult opening lap.
For 2015 The Tough One returned to Nantmawr Quarry, where dryer than normal track conditions ensured a higher tempo race than in previous years. Starting well the opening laps of the race proved challenging for Jarvis as he battled with arm-pump. Needing much of the opening half of the race to find his rhythm, during the final hour Graham charged hard but was unable to take the win.
Alfredo Gomez produced an incredible performance, overcoming a fall soon after the drop of the starter’s flag and later on the opening lap a bizarre incident when his rear wheel become wedged inside a larger truck tyre that he’d been riding across. Well outside the top 10 at the end of the opening lap, Gomez pushed hard and rider after rider started to close in on the top five. Managing to maintain a fast pace right to the end of the race, Alfredo eventually finished a well-deserved third overall, joining Jarvis and Walker on the podium.
Heading to Spain the following day for the Barcelona Indoor Enduro, Gomez joined Mathias Bellino inside the Palau St Jordi stadium. With the event marking Bellino’s return to international competition following injury in 2014, and with Gomez not knowing what to expect following his Tough One performance, both riders enjoyed a successful night with each finishing on the podium.
Performing consistently throughout the event, in finishing third in each of the three finals Alfredo placed second overall. Just one-point behind in the overall results Bellino joined his team-mate on the podium in third – a result the Frenchman was extremely pleased with.
“My fitness was good, so the biggest challenge was getting to 100 per cent during the first few laps,” said Graham Jarvis. “I didn’t really make any mistakes. My biggest problem was those first three or four laps where I struggled for a bit of pace with arm pump. Once I got my lines right and managed to start pushing I had a good pace and kept a similar speed to Jonny. The only disappointing thing was the first few laps really.”
Alfredo Gomez commented: “It’s been a very busy but very good weekend for me. I had some bad luck at The Tough One, but still finished on the podium. As we were running from the start Enockl and Hemingway fell in front of me and I fell too. Once I got to the bike, I immediately started pushing really hard to get a good positioning.
“Then bad luck struck again. Close to finishing the first lap, I got stuck in one of the huge truck tires. The rear wheel of the bike stuck into the tyre and I lost a lot of time there. It was a crazy situation. Finally we made it, but it was so unlucky. I think I was 16th closing the first lap. For one hour or more I gave it all I had. When I saw Letti in third position I immediately felt more comfortable. For the last 30 minutes there was no more water left in my drink system and it was hard. I’m really happy with my third position.
“Barcelona was great. It was all on the line for the overall coming into the final race. I had two strong rides in the first two races and held a slight lead when the gate dropped for race three. Unfortunately I got a little boxed out off the start and had to fight my way forward. I gave it everything I had but I suppose after racing at The Tough One yesterday I just didn’t have enough in reserve to hold on to the win.”
Mathias Bellino said: “I honestly never imagined finishing on the podium tonight. I hadn’t prepared for tonight – I just rode my EnduroCross track once before this race. In race one I got a good start and managed to stay out of trouble to place second. In the final race the points were very tight so it was anyones race to win. I managed to lead for most of it but towards the end I was maybe trying a little too hard and lost some of my advantage to Taddy and he beat me for the win. I don’t mind so much – I’m just really happy to be back racing again. Getting a podium result is just the icing on the cake for tonight!”
Results – Tough One 2015
1. Jonny Walker (KTM) 13 laps 2:31.12; 2. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 13 laps 2:33.28; 3. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) 2:43.00; 4. Andreas Lettenbichler (KTM) 12 laps 2:31.44; 5. Mario Roman (KTM) 12 laps 2:31.44; 6. Lars Enockl (KTM) 12 laps 2:40.26; 7. Jonathan Richardson (KTM) 12 laps 2:41.17; 8. Ben Hemingway (Beta) 12 laps 2:47.08; 9. Miha Spindler (Beta) 11 laps 2:33.35; 10. Dan Hemingway (Beta) 11 laps 2:37:53…
Results – Barcelona Indoor Enduro
1. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 49 points; 2. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) 45; 3. Mathias Bellino (Husqvarna) 44; 4. Dani Gibert (Gas Gas) 42; 5. Jonny Walker (KTM) 35; 6. Lorenzo Santolino (Sherco) 32; 7. Mario Roman (KTM) 29; 8. Eloi Salsench (Gas Gas) 29; 9. Xavier Leon (Husqvarna) 18; 10. Oriol Mena (Beta) 17…