Australians Jess Gardiner endured a somewhat up-and-down start in the opening round of the Women’s FIM Enduro GP World Championship in Puerto Lumbreras at the GP AMV Seguros of Spain on the weekend.
Racing for the Outsiders Yamaha Racing – Team Enduro, Gardiner, who described the round as a “tough weekend” as it was a mentally and phyiscally exhausting race for her, managed to score a sixth and fourth place respectfully on a track which was covered in bull dust and challenging rocks to navigate her way over.
The weekend got underway well, with Gardiner finishing second in the Super test, saying it was a nice way to get the ball rolling.
The first day of racing on Saturday proved to be quite difficult for Gardiner, which marked her sixteenth race start in the FIM Enduro GP series. Unfortunately, she lacked a bit of speed and crashed many times throughout the day which resulted her finishing in sixth place with a total time of 43min48.02.
“I crashed nearly two times in a lot of the special tests and two times on every lap in the Enduro test,” explained Gardiner, who openly admitted that she had a really bad feeling as her mentality was just down.
“It was just a really hard race as the trail was probably one of the hardest that existed in the world championships that the women do.”
Throughout the six heats during the race there pretty much wasn’t a moment Gardiner and her competitors were not in a rut, almost deeper than their bikes, which proved it was a really just tough event.
“Thankfully with my Funnel Web Air filters, I only needed to change one filter during the day, which shows just why they are best on the market as my Yamaha WR250F didn’t take in any dust, at all.
I’m just glad today is over. The Outsiders Yamaha Racing team and I will regroup tonight and hopefully come out stronger tomorrow,” Gardiner concluded at the end of day one.
Heading into the second day of competition, all Gardiner wanted to do was to improve on her finishing order the day before and simply get back to where she really should be.
The 24-year-old, who has previously raced in three Spanish GP’s (2013-14-15) had a much better of a day on Sunday, which saw her taking fourth place.
A total time of 42min55.09 was recorded for Gardiner, however the main thing was she had a much better feeling with her Yamaha WR250F in all of the tests which saw her posting the fourth quickest times in four out of the six heats.
“Today was a much better day,” beamed Gardiner.
“I managed to stay up on two wheels for the whole day, improve my times and finished a lot better than what I did on Saturday. So overall I can leave here in a much better frame of mind and head into round two of the Enduro GP with a bit more confidence.
“It was still a very challenging day I admit. I don’t think I have pushed and pulled a motorcycle around like I did in a long time. However, as I said, I’m very happy with today’s outcome which is the main thing.”
Gardiner has confirmed that she will contest the remaining three rounds of the Women’s FIM Enduro GP World Championship with the Outsiders Yamaha Racing – Team Enduro
Gardiner will head into round two of the series in fifth place in the championship with 33-points to her name, one point shy from fourth place. The second round will take place at Parádfürdó in Hungary on 23-25 June.