The fifth and final round of the Spanish Hard Enduro Championship 2023 was held in Almedina (Ciudad Real).
The Rieju Factory Team travelled with its riders Francesc Moret and Eric Miquel, very motivated, considering that Moret was aiming for podium positions and Eric Miquel was the leader in the provisional classification among the Juniors.
Coming out of an injury that has meant that Francesc Moret was absent from racing for six months, the driver did not want to miss this last race of the championship, knowing that he could still opt for the second or third final position.
After the qualifying rounds, Francesc went out on Sunday and quickly got a good rhythm and in the third lap he was fighting with his main rival, logically, in the last lap, the physical demand of these tests began to take its toll of so many months without touching the bike, making some mistakes, with some crashes included, being overtaken by his rival and finishing the test off the podium in fourth place, despite this, with the sum of points for the entire championship, he still managed to take third place and straighten out a season that seemed lost.
As for Eric Miquel, during the practice and qualifying sessions he already showed his desire to fight for the victory, not only in the Junior class, the driver from Castellar del Vallés even fought for the front places in the scratch classification. On Sunday, in the main race, Eric started very well positioned, even surprising by leading the race during the first lap, with a very high pace. During the second lap, two drivers from the Éliter Sénior class caught up with him and overtook him to take third place, a position he fought for and held on to until the end of the race.
In this way Eric Miquel climbs the final podium in third place scratch and first Junior, thus taking the title of Spanish Junior Hard Enduro 2023 Champion, in a season in which he has clearly dominated the class.
"The race went quite well, considering that I've been almost six months without being able to ride a bike due to injury, the pace was good and I finished fourth. During the third lap, I was fighting with another competitor, but when the last lap arrived I was a bit weak and I suffered a couple of silly crashes and he passed me, finishing fourth. In spite of this, I am happy because we came to race with the idea of keeping the third position in the general classification and in the end we finished fourth.
I would have liked to finish the race with a podium, but we are aware of where we come from and we are satisfied with this result.
This season we are focusing on the Spanish Hard Enduro Championship and we have been able to do the first tests, at the beginning of March I had surgery on the injury I had, later on I relapsed and I had to have another operation. This week we decided to come to compete with the idea of saving the championship in third position, an objective that we have achieved. Now I have to finish recovering as I still have a few days left".
"A very good weekend, getting a 5th position in the "qualy", plus a third place in the parallel races to two, with a good pace and feeling with the bike.
Thanks to this, on Sunday I went out with a lot of enthusiasm and from the very start I was second.I took second place at the start and soon after I led the race for the first lap. Then I was overtaken by two Elite Senior riders and together with them we continued with a good rhythm and without making important mistakes; in the end I finished third scratch and first in Junior, thanks to this I won the Spanish Junior Championship. I am very happy with the work with the team who helped me to get this title".