- Red Bull TKO
FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Trystan Hart has claimed victory at round six of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship at Red Bull TKO. Giving the spectators a North American winner, Hart was simply unstoppable at the Trials Training Centre in Sequatchie, Tennessee, USA, winning all of the event’s multiple knockout-style races, before capping things off with a win in the final to secure his debut FIM Hard Enduro victory.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Manuel Lettenbichler offered Hart his closest challenge, but was unable to stop the Canadian charging ahead to win. With Lettenbichler finishing as runner-up, Sherco Factory Racing’s Mario Roman completed the podium in third.
Trystan Hart secures memorable win at Red Bull TKO
The victory marks the Canadian’s debut FIM Hard Enduro win
Manuel Lettenbichler and Mario Roman complete the podium
Roman holds a narrow one-point championship lead over Lettenbichler
After Thursday’s excitement in nearby Nashville for the Nashville Pro Straight Rhythm, won by AG Racing 89’s Alfredo Gomez, the world’s best Hard Enduro riders got down to business for round six at the Trials Training Centre for the Red Bull TKO.
Across a series of knockout-style qualification races, the fastest riders progressed to a final 30-minute-plus-one-lap race. Eager to build on his results of third and fourth from rounds three and five, Hart was fired up for Red Bull TKO.
The morning qualifier to determine start positions for the first of two Knockout Races would quickly set the tone for the rest of the day. Laying down a blisteringly fast hot lap, Hart fired a warning shot to his rivals that he was up for the fight.
In the opening Knockout Race, Hart comfortably topped the time sheets by over one minute from GASGAS Factory Racing’s Taddy Blazusiak in second. Team Bulgaria’s powered by ECONT Teodor Kabakchiev was close behind in third, while Lettenbichler finished over two minutes behind Hart in fourth.
With the majority of the top riders making it through the first Knockout Race unscathed, pressure mounted for Knockout Race 2 with just the top 20 riders offered a place in the ‘winner-takes-all’ final. Hart again topped the time sheets, this time finishing over one minute and 35 seconds clear of Roman in second, with Kabakchiev a further one minute and 21 seconds back in third.
Hart makes it a Red Bull TKO clean sweep
All eyes were on the 30-minute-plus-one-lap final to see if Hart could pull off a clean sweep on North American soil and secure his debut FIM Hard Enduro win. Urged on by the spectators, he didn’t disappoint.
Quickly out front, he never looked back. Looking increasingly comfortable in the rocky riverbeds with each passing lap, he steadily increased his lead. Setting the fastest lap of the race to cap off a perfect day, Hart crossed the finish line as a very worthy and well deserved winner. Working his way into second, Lettenbichler just didn’t have an answer for Hart in Tennessee and had to settle for the runner-up result – mirroring his Red Bull TKO result from 2021. In the overall championship standings, he now moves to within one point of leader Roman.
Yet again proving himself to be a model of consistency in 2022, Roman claimed another podium result with third. Back in action following a recent injury, Wade Young (Sherco) rode a solid race for fourth. Kabakchiev completed the top five. A strong showing from Ryder Leblond (KTM) saw the American edge out Alfredo Gomez for sixth.
The FIM Hard Enduro World Championship continues its North American tour with round seven at Red Bull Outliers in Canada on August 27-28.
Trystan Hart (KTM): “I had a bit of pressure coming into the final because I had won each round and I just wanted to keep that momentum rolling. It feels amazing to win. This championship is so competitive, so I’m humbled to be up there with the best of them. It’s been an amazing day, I can’t thank the team and the fans enough for their support. Having the fans cheer me on like that was awesome!”
Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM): “From the first qualifier I was struggling so bad today. I have a foot injury I’ve been managing and on the downhill sections here it was very hard to control the rear brake. I just tried to manage each race as they came and do my best. But Trystan rode amazing today, so hats off to him.”
Mario Roman (Sherco): “I’m so happy to finish on the podium here. This format is so intense and you have to push very hard with each round. Getting on the podium is important for the championship too. Things are close, but we’re coming towards the end of the season now so I just need to try and keep fighting as best I can for this title.”
Results: Round 6, Red Bull TKO
Final Knockout Race
1. Trystan Hart (KTM) 5 laps
2. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 5 laps, +1:19.577
3. Mario Roman (Sherco) 5 laps, +58.055
4. Wade Young (Sherco) 5 laps, +2:55.829
5. Teodor Kabakchiev (KTM) 4 laps
6. Ryder LeBlond (KTM) 4 laps, +39.752
7. Alfredo Gomez (GASGAS) 4 laps, +26.267
8. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 4 laps, +43.098
9. Cody Webb (Sherco) 4 laps, +59.056
10. David Cyprian (KTM) 4 laps, +28.429
Provisional Championship Standings (After round 6)
1. Mario Roman (Sherco) 88pts
2. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 87pts
3. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 69pts
4. Teodor Kabakchiev (KTM) 63pts
5. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 62pts
6. Alfredo Gomez (GASGAS) 57pts
7. Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 49pts
8. David Cyprian (KTM) 47pts
9. Wade Young (Sherco) 46pts
10. Dominic Olzsowy (GASGAS) 37pts