Manuel Lettenbichler Sets The Pace At HEWC Season Opener At Valleys Hard Enduro

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The season-opening FIM Hard Enduro World Championship round at Valleys Hard Enduro has enjoyed two incredible days of racing so far, with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Manuel Lettenbichler leading the way. The German topped both Friday and Saturday race days to start tomorrow’s final day of racing as favourite.


Manuel Lettenbichler out to an early lead at HEWC round one
Ashton Brightmore heads the Junior classification
The Valleys Hard Enduro concludes with Sunday’s multi-lap Hard Enduro


Getting the weekend’s racing underway, Friday’s short extreme course, with SuperEnduro elements, saw riders go head-to-head in a series of races. Although hot and dusty, the action was superb at the Walters Arena.


In Heat 1, it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Manuel Lettenbichler who saw off an incredible charge from Junior rider TTR Squadra Corse’s Ashton Brightmore to take the win. Heat 2 saw RIEJU Factory Racing’s Will Hoare top the time sheets. Red Bull Beta’s Jonny Walker comfortably headed Heat 3 and Red Bull Leader Tread’s Wade Young was best in Heat 4.


In the Semi-Final races, Lettenbichler once again took the win, while Sherco Factory Racing’s Teodor Kabakchiev topped the second one. Lining up for the Super Final, all the top riders had comfortably made it through.


With the flag dropping, Lettenbichler, Walker, Alfredo Gomez (RIEJU) and Young were all in the thick of the action. Kabakchiev was pushing hard, with TTR Squadra Corse’s Mitch Brightmore in play too.


However, as the laps wore down, Lettenbichler had everyone covered and managed to take the win over Walker. Fending off both Young and Kabakchiev, Gomez was able to clinch third.


Lettenbichler sets the pace in Saturday’s qualification


For Saturday’s Time Trial prologue competitors faced a 10-kilometre course. The quickest time of two runs would see the top 100 qualify through to Sunday’s main event. Adding further spice to proceedings, championship points were up for grabs for the top three finishers.


With the Walters Arena bathed in sunshine, riders headed out for their morning timed lap. Immediately setting the benchmark, Lettenbichler broke the 17-minute barrier to top the time sheets by 10 seconds over Walker. Kabakchiev was just two seconds behind the Beta rider in third.


Following a short break to recharge for the afternoon lap, the pace was incredible for the second Time Trial. Pushing to his maximum, Lettenbichler dipped inside the 16-minute marker to comfortably take victory on Saturday.


Kabakchiev also had things figured out for lap two and improved to move up to second position. He finished 20 seconds behind Lettenbichler. Walker was strong on his Beta but couldn’t improve his time enough to keep Kabakchiev at bay. He placed just over three seconds behind his rival in third.


Behind the top three it was the battle of the brothers. Ashton Brightmore grabbed some well-earned bragging rights over his elder sibling Mitch and slotted into fourth, with Mitch fifth. Ashton was also fastest in the FIM Hard Enduro Junior World Championship supported by KLIM.  

Setting almost identical times, Will Hoare beat Mario Roman (Sherco) by one tenth of a second to take sixth.

With the first two days of racing at the Valleys Hard Enduro complete, racing concludes on Sunday with a morning and afternoon multi-lap Hard Enduro. The morning’s two-and-a-half-hour race is for those who didn’t achieve a top-100 result in Saturday’s qualification Time Trial.


The fastest 100 take to the start line in the afternoon for a three-hour plus one-lap Hard Enduro. Across a 16-kilometre course, with increased difficulty over the morning race, it will be a winner-takes-all battle to the finish line for round one.


Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM): “I’m stoked to take the win today and claim those important championship points. The course was really good today. I pushed hard on lap one, and again on lap two, but I didn’t expect to improve my time by so much. I feel good on the bike and I’m excited for tomorrow!”


Teodor Kabakchiev (Sherco): “I had a good flow on the trail and really enjoyed it out there. The terrain is nice here and I’m excited to see what tomorrow brings.”


Ashton Brightmore (GASGAS): “It’s been a great two days so far. I’m riding well and enjoying it a lot. Today I managed to improve my time in the second run to place fourth overall and fastest Junior. As it’s my home round I’m looking for a good result tomorrow.”

Results: FIM Hard Enduro World Championship, Round 1
Saturday Prologue Qualification
1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 15:59.04
2. Teodor Kabakchiev (Sherco) 16:18.96
3. Jonny Walker (Beta) 16:22.62
4. Ashton Brightmore (GASGAS) 16:33.25
5. Mitch Brightmore (GASGAS) 16:38.65
6. Will Hoare (RIEJU) 16:50.86
7. Mario Roman (Sherco) 16:50.99
8. Wade Young (GASGAS) 16:59.51
9. Alfredo Gomez (RIEJU) 17.00.33
10. Robert Crayston (KTM) 17:11.04

More Information

We are an exciting offroad motorcycle championship for EVERYONE. Our races are designed for all different skill levels. With professional and amateur competitors racing side-by-side, we welcome all enduro riders.


Gearing up for an exciting season of racing, the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship is set to enjoy unique, distinctive, and vastly challenging races. All events are open to amateur and professionals alike. Participants compete in different categories based on their skill level and experience.