With little time to rest, the four Red Bull KTM riders have travelled from the series opener in Portugal to France to compete in round two of this year’s WESS championship. Based at the picturesque town of Mende, Trèfle Lozérien AMV will challenge competitors over three days of riding, covering a total of over 719 kilometres. With each day comprising five special tests, all riders will need to adapt to the fast-paced, special test format.
Third overall at the 2018 event, Josep Garcia is looking to take the win this time around in France. Back riding his KTM 250 EXC-F, and with the special test format of Trèfle Lozérien AMV certainly to his liking, Garcia is confident of a good result at the iconic event.
Josep Garcia: “I’m really looking forward to Le Trefle. It will still be quite a challenge because we have to switch from hard enduro to classic enduro and the majority of my training recently has been on the 300, for Lagares. I finished third last year in France, which was great especially as I lost a lot of time on the first day. The locals are always tough to beat – there are French riders who specialise in these grass special tests. This year I start off third so that should help as the stages lose grip later on. I know I need to get back up to speed on the 4-stroke, but my plan is to fight for the win.”
Nathan Watson comes into round two with a year’s WESS experience under his belt. The motocross-turned-enduro rider finished seventh at Le Trefle 12 months ago, and as the second-highest non-French rider behind teammate Garcia. Keen to move up the order this time around, the 2019 French Beach Race Champion is eager to claim valuable WESS points in France.
Nathan Watson: “If I’m honest, I didn’t have the best time at Lagares, the course was a lot tougher than last year and I struggled a little on the technical stuff. With this year’s WESS having more hard enduros, Le Trefle is one I am looking forward to the most and as it’s my second time here, I know a little more of what to expect. My start position for this year’s race will be a lot better so that should work in my favour. My hope is that the rain stays off and I can really get stuck in.”
Top Red Bull KTM rider at round one in Portugal, Jonny Walker is no stranger to classic enduro. The experienced Brit has ridden many different formats including both national and world-level events. Claiming 10th at the French classic in 2018, Jonny is looking to utilise his all-round skills and move up the WESS championship order at Le Trefle.
Jonny Walker: “It’s tough to know how the format in France will suit me this year. I know my strength is not quite there yet and it’s three long days on the bike. Last year went well though and the tests are not too long, so if I can really push on them and relax a little on the liaison sections I should be ok. I was pleased with 10th last year so hopefully something close to that will put me in good stead for the championship.”
Finishing a creditable 20th at the 2018 event, Taddy Blazusiak will once again be aiming for a solid result at the French classic enduro. Back onboard his familiar KTM 350 EXC-F for the race, the Polish rider is looking to stay consistent over the three days and secure himself more valuable WESS points.
Taddy Blazusiak: “The way the events have fallen this year is really tough. To come straight from the Superenduro season, into hard enduro with Lagares, then one week later into classic enduro at Le Trefle is a real challenge. The good news is, I’ll be back on the 350 in France and I’m probably more used to that at the moment than the 2-stroke after riding it for the indoors. The grass tests are unique and sure it will be tricky to stay with the experts out there, but it’s part of what WESS is all about so I’ll give it my all.”
Trèfle Lozérien AMV, WESS round two, commences May 17 in France.