Round seven of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship is go! And Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt has already thrown down the gauntlet to his rivals by topping both Friday’s endurocross timed qualifier and Saturday’s Campoo X-Treme multi-lap cross-country.
Although right at home on the endurocross track, the British rider only narrowly beat countryman Jonny Walker, with the Beta rider finishing just over a quarter-of-a-second behind Bolt. Third fastest was Poland’s Dominik Olszowy (KTM), who continues to show he’s a force to be reckoned with this 2021 season.
Totalling three laps of a massive 54-kilometre course, the Campoo X-Treme cross-country presented a huge challenge in terms of skill and fitness. With just 15 minutes to rest and make repairs in between each lap, the race was intense, and exhausting!
With the endurocross results deciding the start positions for the Campoo X-Treme, Bolt made the very best use of his pole to take the holeshot. Despite momentarily falling behind main championship rival Red Bull KTM’s Manuel Lettenbichler midway through the race, Billy dug deep to re-take the lead, and with the two pushing each other hard right to the finish, the Husqvarna rider ultimately took the win by just eight seconds.
While the top two battled for the race win, third place went to Jonny Walker, just over 12 minutes down on the Bolt. With no points up for grabs in the cross-country, Walker chose to stay at his own pace, reserving his energy for Sunday’s all-important ‘The Lost Way’ main event.
Enjoying performing at his home race, Husqvarna’s Alfredo Gomez went fourth quickest, just 30 seconds ahead of Sherco’s Wade Young. The top 10 was completed by Michael Walkner (GASGAS) in sixth, followed by Mario Roman (Sherco), Dominik Olszowy, and GASGAS riders Travis Teasdale and Will Hoare in ninth and tenth.
These top-10 qualifiers will face tomorrow’s Le Mans style start where they have to run into the famous Hixpania cave, before firing their bikes into life and heading off. The winner of the two-hour and thirty-minute ‘The Lost Way’ main event will then be crowned 2021 24MX Hixpania Hard Enduro Champion and earn himself 20 very important FIM Hard Enduro World Championship points.
Billy Bolt (Husqvarna): “It’s good to go fastest on both days so far, I’m feeling really good, and the bike has been excellent. The race today was tough and me and Mani were out front and really close for the whole race. I made a few mistakes out there but managed to stay in front right to the line. Tomorrow will definitely be a challenge, and we know from previous years that anything can happen here in Spain, but things are going well, and I’m feeling confident for another strong result.”
LIVE coverage from Sunday’s The Lost Way begins on Red Bull TV at 10.40 CET, with racing getting underway at 11.00 CET. Don’t miss it!
Round 7: 24MX Hixpania Hard Enduro
Results: Campoo X-Treme
1. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 4:22:20.081
2. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) +8.056
3. Jonny Walker (Beta) +12:04.257
4. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) +13:54.063
5. Wade Young (Sherco) +14:22.018
6. Michael Walkner (GASGAS) +17:20.750
7. Mario Roman (Sherco) +25:26.760
8. Dominik Olszowy (KTM) 26:11.142
9. Travis Teasdale (GASGAS) +28:10.580
10. Will Hoare (GASGAS) +29:55.183