Germany’s Manuel Lettenbichler has ridden to victory at round seven of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship, Red Bull Outliers in Canada. The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider overcame a titanic battle with home favourite FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Trystan Hart to take the win and claim the championship lead with just one round remaining. Sherco Factory Racing’s Mario Roman pushed the duo hard all the way to round out the podium in third.
- Manuel Lettenbichler takes victory at Red Bull Outliers
- Canada’s Trystan Hart finishes a close second, with Mario Roman in third
- Lettenbichler now leads the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship
- Spain’s 24MX Hixpania Hard Enduro set for a thrilling championship decider
Making its first ever stop on Canadian soil, the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship witnessed a bar-to-bar battle at Red Bull Outliers. In the heart of its Badlands region, the world’s best Hard Enduro riders went head-to-head at the penultimate round of the season.
Staged across two days, racing got underway in downtown Calgary with an urban Endurocross prologue. However, with the weather turning sour, extremely heavy rain meant the action was short-lived with racing brought to an early close for the day.
With the weather back on side for Sunday, riders faced a two-and-a-half-hour multi-lap Hard Enduro battle through the Badlands region. Famed for its dinosaur fossils, the barren area also served up a mean Hard Enduro course. Steep climbs, tricky off camber traverses and tough drop offs ensured a brutal course to master.
Chasing a home win, Hart meant business at Red Bull Outliers and was eager to add to the victory he secured last time out at Red Bull TKO. However, with round seven also serving as the penultimate stop of the season, it was crunch time for both Roman and Lettenbichler in the championship fight. Separated by only one point, in Roman’s favour, going into the event both knew a winning result in Canada could dramatically turn the tables heading into round eight.
Battle of the Badlands
Hart was quick off the line and tried to make a break, but Lettenbichler, and soon after Roman, had closed the gap. Numerous times each rider pushed to open a lead, but every time they were pulled back in. Back and forth, the lead changed hands multiple times.
With the laps closing down Lettenbichler made a final break for it, taking Hart with him, Roman unable to respond this time. The duo were neck and neck. With the final climb set to decide the outcome, Lettenbichler left it all on the line. Despite a mistake in the final 20 metres, he was quick to remount and took the win by just six seconds.
Although missing out on the home win he came to get, Hart was happy with his efforts for second. Completing the podium, Roman finished just three minutes behind in third. With the top three breaking away, Jarvis Racing Team’s Graham Jarvis took fourth, while GASGAS Factory Racing’s Taddy Blazusiak rounded out the top five.
With one round remaining, advantage is now on Lettenbichler’s side. The German holds a four-point lead over Roman, with just the eighth and final round of the 2022 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship remaining, the 24MX Hixpania Hard Enduro on October 7-9.
Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM): “I’m pretty tired but so stoked to take the win. It was such an epic battle all the way. The race was so intense, we were back and forward all the time. Trystan really wanted it and wasn’t giving up, but I wasn’t giving up either. And I just made it for the win. For the championship it’s a pretty good result too. I’m leading now with one round to go and with Trystan finishing second today it’s added a few extra points between Mario and myself too.”
Trystan Hart (KTM): “Man that was a crazy race. Mani, Mario and myself were just going at it. It was a battle the whole race. I was swapping places with Mani and then it came right down to the wire between us two. Every time I thought I would break away I made a mistake and vice versa. It was a heck of a race for two and a half hours.”
Provisional Results: Round 7 – Red Bull Outliers
1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM)
2. Trystan Hart (KTM)
3. Mario Roman (Sherco)
4. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna)
5. Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS)
Provisional Championship Standings (After round 7)
1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 107pts
2. Mario Roman (Sherco) 103pts
3. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 82pts
4. Teodor Kabakchiev (KTM) 72pts
5. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 62pts
6. Alfredo Gomez (GASGAS) 57pts
7. Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 57pts
8. David Cyprian (KTM) 57pts
9. Trystan Hart (KTM) 50pts
10. Wade Young (Sherco) 46pts