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Diogo Ventura and the Gas Gas team

celebrate double second places in the Portuguese GP


Diogo Ventura and the Gas Gas team celebrate double second places in the Portuguese GP

Diogo Ventura steps onto the second step of the Junior Enduro podium, not once but twice in what is for him the great home race, the Portuguese GP. The young Gas Gas rider has now positioned himself in the second position in the championship. Meanwhile Jonathan Barragán finishes off a difficult weekend, with 10th and 11thplaces in the second event of the Enduro World Championship held in Gouveia under some really extreme conditions with plenty of rain and mud.

Gouveia (Portugal), 16thApril 2016

Diogo Ventura - a homecoming star. And this under hellish race conditions for all the riders in the Portuguese GP, where rainwater had been building up all week. And it didn’t even stop during the racing and left the land almost impossible to race on, forcing the organisers to make changes in the specials, the route and even the race times.

This was a complicated GP for the riders, but Diogo Ventura got the most out of his Gas Gas EC250 Racing in a highly technical race with loads of mud, which is what the young Portuguese rider has always excelled at. Always comfortable in the face of adversity. And even more so knowing that he was competing on home turf. Encouraged on by his supporters, his Portuguese fans never once stopped cheering their young countryman on through the specials, pushing him on to second place on the podium on both days.

An excellent GP for Diogo Ventura which thanks to his great performance in the Portuguese GP, has seen him jump from 6th to 2nd position in the table. A fitting reward for all the hard work from the Gas Gas rider and all the team after a hellish weekend under the most extreme race conditions where the Gas Gas Factory Pons Team came out with shining colours and great results.

It was a very different story for Jonathan Barragán, as the Portuguese GP did not go quite as well as he had hoped. The rider from Madrid arrived in Gouveia with his heart set on a good result after a rather chaotic Moroccan GP. But in fact he found it difficult to adapt to complicated, destroyed specials with hardly any grip because of the mud requiring delicate use of the throttle and great care in selecting the right routes.

However even after all the difficulties, the Gas Gas rider finished off the weekend with a 10th and 11th places respectively. Two results, although perhaps do not reflect the effort made by the rider from Madrid, do represent an added push towards more work to improve his results and winning a place on the podium in the next events. These events will be the Lalín Enduro (Spain), the coming 7th and 8th May, and the Greek GP, to be held on the weekend of 21st and 22nd of the same month in the Greek locality of Grevená.

Diogo Ventura: “We have had a great week here at home in Portugal, my country. These two days have been complicated due to all the rain that has. The specials were frankly complicated so getting two second places in both days is a really good result for us because it was easy to get stuck in the specials and to make mistakes. Both the team and my friends have been very united this weekend. We have done some really good teamwork, achieving two second places in the two days. I have to thank the public and all my fellow Portuguese countrymen for all the support they have given me all through the race. They are fantastic! And, of course to all the team. We have done a good job and now we have to think about Greece where we aim to get another podium position.”

Jonathan Barragán: “It has been a difficult weekend for me. I was not at all happy with the specials and I just didn’t get the times. It is hard finding motivation when the timings don’t work out right. The truth is that I made too many small mistakes in the Extreme. These have all added up. It was really tough getting good times here. Things did not go too well in Morocco either, but I am still motivated and I am really keen on getting a good result as after all the efforts we are making, frankly we deserve it. Last year here in Portugal I had a bad experience because of a fall, and what is important is to continue well and to keep on working towards good results”

(PHOTOS). Author: Dario Agrati