Round four of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship saw Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Manuel Lettenbichler claim his fourth consecutive victory of the season. Capping off a perfect weekend in Canada, Lettenbichler won the Red Bull Outliers.Following a race-long battle, Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt took second, with FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Trystan Hart closing out the podium for third.
Manuel Lettenbichler rides to victory at Red Bull Outliers
The German has now secured four wins from four starts in 2023
Billy Bolt and Trystan Hart complete the podium
After an exciting urban prologue in Calgary, Canada, round four of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship headed to the iconic Badlands in Steveville for the final day of racing at Red Bull Outliers. A multi-lap Hard Enduro race, the course featured a mix of steep, slippery clay climbs to navigate. After three laps, a final loop would determine the outcome of the race. Coupled with intense heat, Red Bull Outliers was set to become a big test of perseverance.
On a roll following his prologue victory, Lettenbichler shot out to an early lead as the field of riders headed out deep into the Badlands. Bolt was quick to join him as the duo went 1-2 on the opening lap of three. Behind the leaders, the opening sections proved hectic as riders fought for track position.
Roman charges back to the front
Sherco Factory Racing’s Mario Roman crashed early and was buried deep in the pack. A heroic charge from the Spaniard saw him carve his way through the field on lap one to make it a three-way battle for the lead. Roman was pushing the pace, but time would tell if that lap one effort would prove too much in the searing heat.
After two laps, it was Lettenbichler, Bolt, and Roman holding down the top three. Following a slow start, Hart had regrouped and was closing in. The Canadian was hungry for podium pie on home soil and was ready to put on a charge on the final lap.
Keeping control of the race, Lettenbichler managed well the attacks from Bolt, who was also under pressure from Roman. Despite a crash on the penultimate climb that damaged his handlebars, the German kept his cool to cross the finish line as the race winner. The victory marked his fourth consecutive win in 2023.
Losing the wheel of Lettenbichler, Bolt was unable to make a final challenge for victory. And with Roman making a mistake of his own on the final climbs, he could settle for a well-earned runner-up result.
Podium for Hart as Roman crashes
In a toss up for third, Hart capitalised on a fallen Roman. Clearing the final section without error, the Canadian rode on to the podium. Putting in arguably one of the most exciting rides of the day, Roman’s luck ran out at the final hurdle. The Spaniard slipped back to fourth, finishing just seven seconds behind Hart.
Crossing the finish line over 12 minutes behind the top four, Wade Young (Sherco) completed the top five, with ECONT Bulgaria’s Teodor Kabakchiev coming home in sixth. A solid ride from Rigo Racing’s Matthew Green saw him take seventh.
After an exciting stop in Canada, the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship moves on to Spain and the 24MX Hixpania Hard Enduro for the fifth and penultimate round of the season on October 12-15.
Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM): “I’m speechless, four wins in a row is incredible. With this course, in this heat, I knew today was going to be tough. I focused on getting up every climb as good as I good, saving energy. On the second last uphill I bent my handlebars, but managed to get across the finish line. What a day!”
Billy Bolt (Husqvarna): “I had a good start with Mani and we rode together early on. On the final lap I had one big mistake that allowed Mario to close the gap to me, but I managed to recover and get some breathing room coming into the final big section. I got onto Mani’s wheel there, but had pushed a bit hard and just didn’t have an answer to him at the end.”
Trystan Hart (KTM): “I felt I rode bad early on and didn’t clear the hills as good as the other guys. I got into a better flow on the final lap and turned it around to get third. I’m pumped about that with a podium result on home soil.”
Mario Roman (Sherco): “I’m a bit gutted to lose the podium at the end. The start was a bit crazy and I had a crash and lost a lot of places. But during the first lap I rode hard and recovered well to get onto the wheels of Billy and Mani. I rode with Billy for most of the race, but on the final section I made one mistake and lost out on the podium to Trystan.”
Results: Round 4, Red Bull Outliers
1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM)
2. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna)
3. Trystan Hart (KTM)
4. Mario Roman (Sherco)
5. Wade Young (Sherco)
6. Teodor Kabakchiev (KTM)
7. Matthew Green (KTM)
8. Wil Riordan (KTM)
9. Jonny Walker (Beta)
10. Michael Walkner (GASGAS)