Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Manuel Lettenbichler has won round three of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship at Red Bull Romaniacs. In what’s been a superb week-long performance by the German, he secured his fourth victory at the world’s toughest Hard Enduro Rallye by over one hour, while also claiming his third consecutive win of the 2023 season.
In the battle for the remainder of the top three, FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Trystan Hart took a debut podium in the race with second overall, becoming the first Canadian to do so. By taking the final Offroad Day win, ECONT Bulgaria’s Teodor Kabakchiev overhauled Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt for third.
Manuel Lettenbichler makes it three wins from three starts in 2023
The German collected his fourth Red Bull Romaniacs victory
Trystan Hart and Teodor Kabakchiev joined him on the podium
And just like that, the 20th edition of the Red Bull Romaniacs has been decided. In what’s been an incredibly exciting, demanding, and exceptional week of racing, it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Manuel Lettenbichler who ultimately raced his way to the overall victory at round three of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship.
Lettenbichler conquers Carpathian Mountains for the fourth time
Entering the fourth and final Offroad Day with a virtual grasp on the winner’s trophy, Lettenbichler’s race lead of 58 minutes would prove impossible to catch. A strong start to his day saw him top the opening checkpoint. With a smart, safe, and controlled ride, he managed his pace well throughout the day.
Arriving second to the finishing arena behind Kabakchiev, the KTM rider took the final climbs in his stride and crossed the finish line as the overall winner to make it a hat trick of wins in 2023.
Kabakchiev pushes for the podium
For Kabakchiev, the final Offroad Day marked a great chance to finish on the overall podium. Starting the day trailing Bolt by five minutes, the Bulgarian pushed for all his worth.
Fastest in three of the four checkpoints before the service point, Teodor was on a mission. Clean and fast through the remainder of the day, he won Offroad Day 4 on corrected time and with it earned his place on the podium with third.
Debut podium for Hart at Red Bull Romaniacs
Knowing he had a sizeable cushion over both Kabakchiev and Bolt in their battle for third, Trystan Hart rode to maintain his position of runner-up in Red Bull Romaniacs. Ending his day sixth, he did more than enough to not only secure his debut podium in the race, but also become the first Canadian to stand on podium in the world’s toughest Hard Enduro Rallye. That result now bumps him up to second overall in the championship standings heading into his home race at Red Bull Outliers next month.
For Bolt, hopes of a debut Red Bull Romaniacs podium didn’t materialise. Despite holding third overall until the final day, the Brit - who’s been battling a shoulder injury - couldn’t hold the flying Bulgarian at bay. Ending his day seventh, he slipped to fourth in the final result.
Arguably getting stronger and stronger as the race grew tougher, Sherco Factory Racing’s Mario Roman enjoyed another solid day in the saddle. The Spaniard put together a consistent day to take third, just edging out teammate Wade Young in fourth. Young however would ultimately get the better of his teammate in the overall standings to end the 20th edition of the Red Bull Romaniacs in fifth.
After a big week of racing in the Carpathian Mountains for the world’s toughest Hard Enduro Rallye, the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship enters the second half of the season with round four at Red Bull Outliers, Canada on August 26-27.
As the day pushed on, so too did Manuel. Taking four more top checkpoint times before the service point, he then maintained his advantage for the remainder of the day to take a healthy 14-minute and 24-second win. He now enters tomorrow’s fourth and final Offroad Day with a 58-minute lead over FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Trystan Hart.
Kabakchiev hunting down overall podium result
Admitting to missing his markers on the LIVEmaniacs section, Kabakchiev soon found his rhythm as they headed into the mountains. On pace, he managed to catch back up to Lettenbichler and win checkpoint 6.
Although losing the tow to the German before service, Teodor topped one of the day’s final three checkpoints to place second. A danger man for the podium, the Bulgarian is only five minutes behind Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt, who holds third overall.
Mario Roman rises to the challenge
When the going gets tough, it seems Sherco Factory Racing’s Mario Roman rises to the occasion. Today was the best result of the Spaniard’s week, with Mario finishing third.
The Sherco rider looked strong from the outset, placing second fastest in LIVEmaniacs and then carried that momentum throughout the remainder of the day. He’ll be hoping for another tough day at the office tomorrow.
With three Offroad Days complete, the 20th edition of the Red Bull Romaniacs looks set to conclude with tomorrow’s final day of racing. The final climb and finish line will be broadcast live on LIVEmaniacs from 12.00EEST.
Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM): “I’m super stoked with how the whole week has gone. To get my fourth Red Bull Romaniacs win and hat trick of victories in the championship this year is kinda crazy. After last year’s frustration, it feels like redemption to come back and win again. Each day I gave it my best because you just never know what is around the corner here. With three wins from three starts we’re in a good place in the championship too as we enter the second half.”
Trystan Hart (KTM): “I’m blown away by how good this week has gone for me. To get my first podium here and to be the first Canadian on a Red Bull Romaniacs podium is special. I feel like I’m still learning this race every day we ride. It’s been a hell of week and it didn’t let up, even in the finishing arena. My home race of Red Bull Outliers is next, so I’m excited for that.”
Teodor Kabakchiev (KTM): “It’s been a big comeback all week to get this podium result. With my 30-minute penalty on Offroad Day 1, I just kept pushing to see what I could do. In the end I won two days and got third. I’m proud of that. You can’t give up in this sport!”
Billy Bolt (Husqvarna): “It’s been a tough week. Red Bull Romaniacs is never easy but coming here with limited bike time and still nursing an injury added to the difficulty of it. It started out great, but as the race continued it wore me down. I would have loved to take the podium, but ultimately the goal was always to reach the finish line.”
Wade Young (Sherco): “This edition of Red Bull Romaniacs didn’t let up. Each day was hard, at the limit of possible. Overall I feel like I had a good week and was able to put a consistent race together.”
Results: FIM Hard Enduro, Round 3
Red Bull Romaniacs
1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 19:45:15; 2. Trystan Hart (KTM) 20:55:14; 3. Teodor Kabakchiev (KTM) 21:19:16; 4. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 21:25:16; 5. Wade Young (Sherco) 21:32:02; 6. Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 21:37:48; 7. Mario Roman (Sherco) 22:31:30; 8. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 23:44:46; 9. Sonny Goggia (KTM) 24:19:31; 10. Matthew Green (KTM) 24:44:25…
Championship Standings (After round 3)
1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 64pts; 2. Trystan Hart (KTM) 46pts; 3. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 44pts; 4. Teodor Kabakchiev (KTM) 38pts; 5. Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 31pts…