Zlatibor, Serbia - 17 May, 2023 — The eagerly awaited 2023 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship is go with riders taking on the AKRAPOVIC EnduroCross Prologue at round one in Zlatibor, Serbia. Setting the pace, Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt topped tonight’s racing at the Xross Hard Enduro Rally, with Rieju’s Alfredo Gomez and FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Trystan Hart second and third.
The 2023 FIM Hard Enduro season gets going in Serbia
Billy Bolt wins the AKRAPOVIC Prologue from Alfredo Gomez and Trystan Hart
Three tough 100-kilometre long Hard Enduro days now await competitors
It’s all systems go in Serbia at round one of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship, with the all-action AKRAPOVIC Endurocross prologue taking place in Zlatibor to kick-start the Xross Hard Enduro Rally.
With the Pro class taking to the start line for their six-minute plus one lap final, it was Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) who qualified fastest ahead of Trystan Hart (KTM) and Alfredo Gomez (Rieju). First away, Bolt grabbed the holeshot and never looked back.
After missing the majority of the 2022 season due to injury, the newly crowned FIM SuperEnduro World Champion made light work of the course to race clear and enjoy a massive 38-second margin of victory.
Behind him the battle for the remainder of the podium raged on. Gomez got his wheels in front to claim second, with Hart eventually holding off defending FIM Hard Enduro World Champion Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) for third.
Britain’s Mitch Brightmore was best of the FIM Hard Enduro Junior World Championship supported by KLIM competitors to take fifth.
Proving all the more important for 2023, instead of only determining the starting order for the following day of racing, this year’s FIM Hard Enduro World Championship prologue races also award championship points to the top three finishers.
With three points in the bag for his prologue win, Bolt already has his 2023 account up and running. Gomez took two well-earned points, while Hart secured one point.
Tomorrow’s racing at the Xross Hard Enduro Rally will see riders begin the first of three 100-kilometre-long days of racing.
Results: Round 1: Xross Hard Enduro Rally -
AKRAPOVIC Endurocross Prologue
1. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 8 laps, 7:20.83
2. Alfredo Gomez (Rieju) 8 laps, 7:59.11
3. Trystan Hart (KTM) 8 laps, 8:02.95
4. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 8 laps, 8:04.56
5. Mitch Brightmore (GASGAS) 8 laps, 8:16.60