Born on 22 April 1999 in Thiene, Italy
VERONA STEPS IT UP
After taking the Junior title last season, Andrea Verona (TM) marked his graduation to the open-age classes by promptly winning this year’s E1 championship following a fierce season-long battle with his fellow Italian Thomas Oldrati (Honda).
Verona struck first, taking a narrow win from Oldrati on day one at the opening round – the GP of France – at Requista in mid-September and then enjoying a bigger margin of victory on day two ahead of home hero and former French motocross champion Jeremy Tarroux (Sherco) with Oldrati third.
Locking horns with Oldrati on home turf at the GP of Italy at Spoleto one week later, Verona came off second best on both days behind his more experienced rival, but as the series moved into its second half in November with the GP of Portugal at Marco de Canaveses, Verona was back on top on day one before Oldrati – third on the opening day behind Belgian Antoine Magain (Sherco) – again pushed him back to second on day two.
The championship returned to Marco de Canaveses one week later for the fourth and final round and, with the title on the line, Verona showed maturity belying his tender twenty-one years as he sealed the deal with a pair of comfortable wins from Oldrati to claim the crown by ten points.
VERONA CONTINUES TO RISE
Andrea Verona (TM) absolutely dominated the FIM Junior Enduro World Championship in 2019, winning nine of the first ten days of the competition to wrap up the title with two rounds to spare. Only Roni Kytonen (Husqvarna) managed to take a day win away from Verona all season, the Finnish youngster coming out on top on the second day of the fourth round in Greece. Otherwise the Italian was imperious from the get-go, taking double victories in Germany, Portugal, Spain and finally in Italy, where he secured the championship in front of a jubilant home crowd at Rovetta.
Verona’s form fully justified the faith of the Italian factory TM, who tied the youngster to a three year-contract at the start of last season after he clinched the FIM Youth Enduro World Championship in similar style in 2017. As soon as this year’s Junior title was wrapped up, they turned their attention to the future, entering the 20-year-old into the senior EnduroGP category for the final two rounds of the 2019 season, riding a 250cc 2-stroke in the E1 class. Verona rose to the challenge, taking thirteenth in EnduroGP and fourth in E1 on his debut in the Czech Republic, following up with a sensational sixth place in EnduroGP - second only to Brad Freeman in E1 - on the first day of the final round in France.
In the absence of Verona in the Junior category, French rider Theo Espinasse (Sherco) won the final two rounds to secure the runners-up spot overall ahead of Spain’s Enric Francisco Montlleo (KTM).
THE BEST OF VERONA
Andrea Verona (TM) was deservedly crowned as the FIM Youth Enduro World Champion in 2017 after putting together a sensational run of nine unbeaten days in the 125cc category. Verona started the season with what proved to be a solid sixth place in an opening round in Finland that was dominated by local riders, with Hugo Svärd and Hermanni Haljala (Husqvarna) taking the wins, joined on the podium by compatriots Antti Ahtila (KTM), Roni Kytönen (Husqvarna) and Sweden's Emil Jonsson (KTM).
With only Svärd contesting the remainder of the season on a regular basis, Leo Le Quere (TM) and Ruy Barbosa (Husqvarna) emerged as the most consistent rivals to Verona, the Frenchman and the Chilean taking a second place apiece behind the Italian as he kicked off his winning streak at the second round in Puerto Lumbreras, Spain.
The trio were virtually ever-presents on the podium throughout the rest of the championship, however, neither could match the sheer speed of Verona and the 18-year-old got his first opportunity to wrap up the title at round six in Castelo Branco, Portugal. After taking his ninth consecutive victory on the opening day by some two minutes over Le Quere, the youngster almost lost his grip on the title on day two when he crashed on a special stage, dropping to third place but recovering to take second behind his French rival and secure the championship with two rounds to spare.