22 year old Thomas Favolini from Sete in southeast France took home the coveted Pro Enduro EuroTour title in Port Balis on Sunday after dominating the final day of racing to leave Jordi Tomàs Jimenez in second place ahead of Britain's Joe Harvey.
After a season-long battle that saw four different riders win a round of the Pro Enduro series, only one point separated the leaders going into the last day of action on the Mediterranean coast just north of Barcelona.
High winds and big waves had greeted the riders on the opening day of competition when Britain's Joe Harvey took the first win of the weekend on his Kawasaki Ultra after championship leaders Thomas Favolini and Jordi Tomas suffered setbacks in the early stages of the 30min + 1 lap race. “I wasn’t expected to win” commented a surprized Harvey. “I love the big swell and a bit of airtime. It takes its toll on the body but it really separates the weaker boys from the faster riders, so for me it’s more of a challenge”.
The Spaniard Jordi Tomas managed to finish in second place on his Sea-Doo RXT-X despite getting tangled up in a race marker on lap one, closing the gap between himself and the championship leader Favolini to just one point. Favolini made a strong start but his Yamaha GP1800 then suffered a temporary mechanical issue halfway through which luckily he managed to fix to continue the race and salvage fifth place points.
The Am 200 hampion elect, Mickael Le Gall from France, who had upgraded to the Pro Class for this weekend, took an impressive 3rd place on his Yamaha GP1800.
After a bruising first day on the waves, the riders were greeted with calmer conditions for the second day of racing and there was a definite sense of relief in the paddock. The championship could not have been any closer and despite Favolini leading by one point he had yet to achieve an overall victory. Fellow Frenchman Alex Barret took the honours at the first round in La Seyne sur Mer in May, Jordi Tomas in the second round in Agon Coutainville and British rider Phil Pope in the UK event in Minehead, all riding different makes and models of craft.
“I want to win both races today and the championship and beat Jordi in both” said a determined Favolini before heading out on to the water for race 2. When the flag dropped it was Favolini out in front again but this time there was no mechanical problem to stop the flying Frenchman, who went on to take a convincing win to extend his lead to 7 points. Both Tomas and Harvey tried to stay on the pace but bad starts hindered their progress.
Race 3 was almost a repeat of race 2, with Favolini leading again. However, the conditions were slightly choppier which allowed Harvey to make the most of the weightier Kawasaki Ultra. The reigning champion kept Favolini at bay for the first part of the race before succumbing to a mechanical problem in the latter stages. “I am disappointed to finish the season with a DNF but also happy that I’ve started to find my form again after breaking my ankle here a year ago” commented Harvey. Jordi Tomas suffered another bad start and despite a strong ride through the pack could only take third place, with second place going to a delighted Jordan Lambert to give him a third overall for the weekend.
Favolini took the overall win for the weekend and with it the P1 AquaX Pro Enduro title. Jordi Tomas and Joe Harvey had to settle for second and third place respectively after a superb battle throughout the season.