The 2022 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship got underway with round one at Israel’s Minus 400. A new event to the calendar, it marked the first time a major Hard Enduro event took place in the Dead Sea region. Brutally tough and physically demanding terrain was made even harder by the extreme heat competitors faced. There was no escaping the sun.
While Sherco Factory Racing’s Mario Roman grabbed the limelight with an incredible win, there were many other talking points from Israel. Here’s a highlight of the bits you missed…
Gforce Jarvis is back!
We missed Graham Jarvis at the races since he sustained a knee injury at last year’s Red Bull Romaniacs. But Gforce Jarvis returned with a bang at Minus 400. Now running his own Jarvis Racing Team, Graham had a relatively quiet opening two days in Israel. And even during the first half of the Minus 400 Main Event he went unnoticed. However, as things got heavy in the closing stages, Graham came on song, taking a podium place with third. There’s no slowing this man down, expect even more to follow in the coming races!
Sherco Factory Racing were the biggest powerhouse at Minus 400. It’s clear the French manufacturer have done their homework during the off-season and will be a force to be reckoned with. While Mario Roman stole the show for them with the event win, Wade Young also won the Tuesday morning prologue and then backed it up on day two with another victory. Young was also pushing Roman for victory in the Minus 400 Main Event until mistakes came his way. With Serbia next on the calendar, can they make it two-for-two?
The Dead Sea offered a landscape and terrain few Hard Enduro competitors had ever experienced before. And with a 75-kilometre main event to master, which increased in difficulty with each kilometre, preserving your tyres was key. Some managed better than others. For Billy Bolt it was a case of survival mode after the service point, arriving to the finish line on a slick!
The Next Generation Shine
The next generation of Hard Enduro talent is gathering pace, and that was great to see. Poland’s Dominik Olszowy was consistently in the mix during the three days, while local man Suff Sella took a heat win during the SuperEnduro racing. Austria’s Michael Walkner put in an outstanding ride during the Minus 400 Main Event. Battling with Hard Enduro legends Alfredo Gomez and Graham Jarvis, the GASGAS rider was on for a career-best result. Unfortunately a missed checkpoint dropped him back to eighth on corrected results, but make no mistake, Michael’s time at the top is coming!
Hot, Hot, Hot
Wow, the Dead Sea region is hot. Seriously hot! The extreme heat was a major talking point during the event and caught the majority of riders by surprise. The course itself was tough, but the near-50-degree heat is what made it so physical. The SuperEnduro on day one wowed the crowds, while the Minus 400 Main Event wowed the riders as they took on an incredible landscape.
Watch It Again!
Don’t forget, you can watch the full 26-minute Recap of Minus 400 on Red Bull TV tomorrow, April 15 from 9.00 CET.
The FIM Hard Enduro World Championship continues with round two at Xross Hard Enduro Rally in Serbia on May 18-21.
Championship Standings (after round 1 of 8)
1. Mario Roman (Sherco) 20pts; 2. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 17pts; 3. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 15pts; 4. Alfredo Gomez (GASGAS) 13pts; 5. Wade Young (Sherco) 11pts; 6. Teodor Kabakchiev (Husqvarna) 10pts; 7. Dominik Olszowy (GASGAS) 9pts; 8. Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 8pts; 9. David Cyprian (KTM) 7pts; 10. Francesc Moret (Rieju) 6pts…