Wild card Andrea Verona comes out swinging at round two of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship to win the Red Bull Erzbergrodeo Blakläder Iron Road Prologue. GASGAS Factory Racing’s EnduroGP World Champion was on stunning form and set a blisteringly fast time up the Iron Giant’s gravel tracks that no one could match.
Italy’s Andrea Verona tops the exciting prologue qualifier
Wil Riordan and Sonny Goggia complete the top three qualifiers
Sandra Gomez proves fastest of the female competitors
Long renowned as one of Hard Enduro’s most prestigious races, the Austrian Red Bull Erzbergrodeo roared into life for round two of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship with the Blakläder Iron Road Prologue. Staged across two days, the fast-paced, action-packed qualifier saw up to 1,500 competitors vie for one of the 500 places available for tomorrow’s Red Bull Erzbergrodeo main event.
Opening for business early on Friday morning, the many kilometres of gravel roads around the Iron Giant were soon filled with the sounds of dirt bikes. As the winner of the 2022 Red Bull Erzbergrodeo, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Manuel Lettenbichler was first to lead them off. Clocking in a time of 10 minutes and 26 seconds, he set a benchmark for the rest to follow.
Although only his first appearance in the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship, GASGAS Factory Racing’s Andrea Verona showed some impressive pace up the mountain. The reigning FIM EnduroGP World Champion’s time proved over 14 seconds quicker than RPM KTM Racing’s Will Riordan in second, with MSC Moto’s Sonny Goggia sitting third overall at the end of Friday’s racing.
With Saturday providing one last chance to improve, not even Verona himself could better his time. With his Friday’s effort holding firm, the Italian finds himself as the fastest qualifier heading into tomorrow’s main event. Riordan and Goggia also saw their Friday result place them in second and third overall respectively.
Behind the top three, Sherco Factory Racing’s Wade Young will be well pleased with his effort in fourth. Finding a bit of extra pace today, Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt moved from eighth to fifth.
An exciting watch, home hero and Dakar champion Mathias Walkner (KTM) blasted up the mountain on his rally bike in sixth, while winner of round one Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) confirmed his front row start with seventh.
Multi-time Red Bull Erzbergrodeo winner Jonny Walker took his Beta to eighth, while Dominik Olszowy (GASGAS) and Teodor Kabakchiev (KTM) completed the top 10.
Sandra Gomez (GASGAS) placed inside the top-100 as the fastest female rider and will be looking to figure highly in tomorrow’s racing.
Watch all the action from the Red Bull Erzbergrodeo main race live on Red Bull TV from 11.30CET, Sunday June 11.
Provisional Results: Round 2 - Red Bull Erzbergrodeo
Blakläder Iron Road Prologue
1. Andrea Verona (GASGAS) 10:06.266
2. Wil Riordan (KTM) 10:20.89
3. Sonny Goggia (KTM) 10:22.033
4. Wade Young (Sherco) 10:25.095
5. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 10:25.204
6. Mathias Walkner (KTM) 10:26.292
7. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 10:26.891
8. Jonny Walker (Beta) 10:27.236
9. Dominik Olszowy (GASGAS) 10:29.68
10. Teodor Kabakchiev (KTM) 10:30.14