The following is from Gas Gas, regarding its effort at the recently held 2016 ISDE in Navarra, Spain:
Gas Gas gets back into top level competition with resounding success. All Gas Gas bikes finished in the Navarra 2016 International Six Days of Enduro. An incredible reward for our brand together with excellent results from our official riders (Barragán, Ventura & Hepler) as well as the international riders who trusted our Gas Gas Racing Service to be able to complete the ISDE. Victories from Jonathan Barragán (E3) and Broc Hepler (C3) in the motocross section were the cherries on the icing of an ISDE which has left us feeling great.
The 91st International Six Days of Enduro (ISDE) held in Navarra have been one of the most special editions ever for Gas Gas. The so-called “Enduro Olympics,” has been a rich blend of personal experiences, sensations, joys and successes, shared together in our family and making a mark for the Gas Gas brand. There is no room for doubt that this was an extra special ISDE for all of us. Special because it was only the third time ever that it has taken place in Spain. Special, because this year marks Gas Gas’ return to top competition. The 2016 ISDE has been unforgettable because the Gas Gas brand has succeeded in taking all its bikes (official, Racing Service & private) to the Arcos de Navarra enclosed circuit, heart of this international team competition as well as the final finish of the race after six tough, demanding, varied days of competition where the riders have faced up to all kinds of terrain; First dust, and then mud and rain.
A last-minute drop out in the RFME team provided Jonathan Barragán with the opportunity of a return to defending the colors of the Spanish selection in the World Trophy. And the rider from Madrid did not disappoint. His great riding was well up to the expectations of both the selection and the rest of his team. The Gas Gas rider was the star of the show in one of the best ISDEs of his sporting career. All this, despite the fact that one of his teammates dropped out on the fourth day, leaving the Spanish team out for the count for a podium finish.
On an individual level, Jonathan Barragán showed off his best qualities as a rider yet again, demonstrating himself to be one of the principal team members thanks to his great times, and riding his Gas Gas EC 300 Racing to the top ten of the fastest bikes in this year’s ISDE, finishing fifth in E3 and rounding off a great week with a victory in the final leg of motocross in his category, after a recovery which left his rivals speechless. This has been an ISDE to go down in history for Barragán who is finishing the year at a peak and is now looking forward to the 2017 season.
“This has been the best Six Days of my sporting career,” Barragán. “We have been very consistent right from the first day of the race. I am very pleased now that they have had faith in me. This season didn’t start as we had hoped, but in the end we have achieved really good results and here I have shown why I was in the selection. Giving everything I’ve got for the team. I was already happy with my result, but winning in the motocross section has been a dream come true, something which I’ve always wanted. So yes, it’s been brilliant. My bike has lasted throughout the six days really well. Perfect. No problems. We have demonstrated that the bike, the team and I can fight alongside the best, giving it all we can, taking on everything and coming through.”
Diogo Ventura’s results were somewhat more modest than his teammate’s. The young Portuguese rider also took part in the maximum category of the ISDE, the World Trophy, carrying Portugal’s colours. After a rather shaky start in the dust dominating the specials in the first two days, the Gas Gas Factory Pons Team rider just got better and better and finally ended in 12th position in E2. However, regarding his national selection, when one of his fellow riders dropped out, just as with Spain, the Portuguese team dropped to thirteenth position after having been in fifth place throughout over half the week.
“This has been a complicated ISDE because of the weather, especially on the rainy days,” Ventura said. “I started off a little badly in the classification which forced me to fight back day after day. This has been a pretty average Six Days. Perhaps I could have done better, but after a year of training well, I think the result is pleasing.”
Broc Hepler’s performance was outstanding in the Club category, where the American became one of the great revelations of the ISDE. Welcomed with open arms by the members of the Gas Gas Factory Pons Team, the official Gas Gas North America rider received a wonderful surprise in his team marquee. A clone of Jonathan Barragán’s official bike to ride in the Six Days, decorated with the American Stars and Stripesbut with identical mechanical characteristics as the rider from Madrid’s bike when he took part in the E3 World Championship. A Gas Gas EC300 Racing on which the ex-AMA motocross and supercross star was able to get into his stride throughout the ISDE and achieve two third positions, one in the C3 capacity category and also in the Club category, together with his Eric Cleveland Memorial teammates. This was an unforgettable achievement byHepler in his first ISDE, where he was able to wear the gold medal awarded to riders who finish within 10% of the time of the winner of his category.
“This was definitely a long, tough race and we have to feel proud of what we’ve done after so many miles and hours of riding,” Hepler said. “At the end there is a happy reward. I am very grateful to Sergi and all the Gas Gas Factory Pons Team for letting me ride one of their bikes. I had never tried those settings and it is an incredible sensation having finished the Six Days after all the difficulties of a race like this. In general it has been a great event, with a gold medal, third in the C3 classification and fourth in the Club category for the USA. I am very pleased with these results and I only have words of thanks for the boys in the Gas Gas team for all the support they have given me.”
It was also the first International Six Days of Enduro for the young media-savvy Megan Leigh Griffiths. The Canadian rider competed in the Women’s Trophy category and helped her national team on to a sixth place. Meanwhile, on an individual level, Griffiths was the 15th best rider amongst the women, winning a well-deserved bronze medal as reward for finishing this tough, complicated edition of the ISDE, especially the days with mud and rain, with almost 300 kilometers of racing every day.
Riders from Spain, Portugal, America, Canada, as well as riders from Argentina and Mexico, all under the same roof. All riding with help from the Riders Gas Gas Racing Service to get the most out of this year’s ISDE. Gas Gas is especially proud to be a manufacturer which has witnessed each and every one of its bikes finish the event, whether official or private. Not only was our brand present on the track, but also in the paddock where the little Gas Gas eKids were the stars of the show on the children’s circuit. A circuit safely laid out behind the Gas Gas Factory Pons Team lorry where both children and their families were enchanted by the new electric bikes.
The little electric Gas Gas bikes shared stardom with the new Gas Gas EC 300 Racing, whose job it was to spearhead the attack in this year’s ISDE, and also with the new Torrot Muvi, used by the organizers to get around in a functional, practical and ecological way at Los Arcos’ installations, the heart of the 91st edition of this historic team competition.
2016 ISDE RESULTS
1. Unites States of America 13:46:40.93
2. United Kingdom +03:38.66
3. Czech Republic +29:42.34
12. Spain +05:20:37.49 (Jonathan Barragán 5th E3 class)
13. Portugal +07:46:25.50 (Diogo Ventura 12th E2 class)
1. Australia 07:57:39.29
2. Spain +03:48.67
3. Germany +18:08.46
6. Canada +09:17:45.17 (Megan Griffith 15th EW class)
THE CLUB TEAM AWARD
1. Italy 10:55:42.48
2. Trail Jesters +05:13.69
3. E. Cleveland Memorial +10.53.66 (Broc Hepler 3rd C3 class)