[Husqvarna]

BOLT IS 2021 HARD ENDURO WORLD CHAMP!

7 months ago | Words: Andy Wigan | Photos: Red Bull Content Pool

Britain’s Billy Bolt has won the 2021 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship at the season-ending 24MX GetzenRodeo in Germany, and cemented his place in history as the sport’s first FIM Hard Enduro World Champion. Despite giving his all and winning the eighth and final round of the championship, KTM’s Manuel Lettenbichler ended his season as vice-world champion, while Sherco Factory Racing’s Wade Young joined them on the championship podium for third overall.

After an incredible inaugural season of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship, it all came down to 24MX GetzenRodeo to decide the sport’s first world champion. The math was simple. If Lettenbichler won his home race, Bolt had to finish in second place to clinch the title on a tiebreaker.

The two-hour morning GetzenRace offered a taste of what was to come for the afternoon feature GetzenChamp battle. With 60 riders starting to the deafening sound of a cannon, the fight was on to earn one of the top-15 qualifying positions. Bolt and Lettenbichler meant business and after a race-long battle, Lettenbichler just beat Bolt across the line to win.

Heading into the GetzenChamp race, the history books were waiting to be written following the next 80 minutes and one lap of racing. Lettenbichler was the first rider flagged away, with Bolt hot on his heels, four seconds later. Next came Young, Mario Roman (Sherco), Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna), and Jonny Walker (Beta).

Midway through lap one, Bolt caught and passed Lettenbichler and built a gap of 10 seconds. But then things appeared to unravel for the Brit. A mistake on a technical climb sparked a catalogue of errors and as Bolt dropped down as far as sixth, Lettenbichler took the lead and suddenly looked champion elect. Bolt had to regroup.

Needing a moment to reset, Bolt then got to work and picked the riders off. Up to second by mid-distance, he was back in charge of the championship outcome. However, Roman was in close contention in third and not allowing for any more mistakes from Bolt.

Gradually as the race progressed, the top three broke away from the rest of the field. On the final lap, Bolt had the gap to Lettenbichler down to one minute and was now comfortably ahead of Roman in third. The championship was his to lose and Lettenbichler knew it too.

For Lettenbichler, it was a near flawless performance as he crossed the finish line to win the 24MX GetzenRodeo for the third time in succession. However, this time around it wasn’t enough to win the title. Dropping out of the final Red Bull X-Loop, Bolt reached the chequered flag in second and with it became Hard Enduro’s first FIM World Champion.

With the top two championship placings settled, Young held off a late charge from Beta’s Jonny Walker to maintain fourth in the race and third overall in the championship. Roman, with a strong ride for third on the day, was unable to leapfrog his teammate in the standings and took fourth overall. Consistent as ever, Walker completed the championship top-five with fifth in Germany.

Billy Bolt: “Right now I’m struggling to process what’s just gone on. I’m a whirlwind of emotions. I can’t believe I’m the FIM Hard Enduro World Champion. It’s an incredible feeling. It all boiled down to those last 80 minutes. I struggled like mad at the beginning. I had hurt my finger in the morning race and needed to figure out how to adapt. I made a bunch of mistakes and that was like a tornado or errors. I think I dropped to sixth, but I regrouped and knew I could recover. I settled in and enjoyed the second half of the race, finding new lines and finding a flow. Once I got up to second, I knew the title was back on, so I held my ground and did it!”

Manuel Lettenbichler: “Ah man, that was close, but I couldn’t get the championship done. I knew coming into it that it would be hard to win the title with how the points were, but I gave it my best shot. The fight was good early on, but when Billy made some mistakes, it gave me a gap. I feel like I rode a good race after that. I did what I had to do by winning, but the luck was missing. Hats off to Billy, I’m proud of him too, we had a great season together.”

RESULTS: GETZENRODEO – GETZENCHAMP

RESULTS: GETZENRODEO – GETZENCHAMP

  1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 11 laps, 1:29:20.433
  2. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 11 laps, 1:30:16.852
  3. Mario Roman (Sherco) 11 laps, 1:32:05.524
  4. Wade Young (Sherco) 10 laps, 1:31:29.066
  5. Jonny Walker (Beta) 10 laps, 1:31:52.822
  6. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) 10 laps, 1:32:37.808
  7. Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 8 laps, 1:30:46.348
  8. Teodor Kabakchiev (Husqvarna) 8 laps, 1:31:42.006
  9. Sonny Goggia (GASGAS) 8 laps, 1:33:45.546
  10. Travis Teasdale (GASGAS) 8 laps, 1:35:23.269
  11. Dieter Rudolf (KTM) 7 laps, 1:34:58.325
  12. Kevin Gallas (GASGAS) 6 laps, 1:39:36.585
  13. Michele Bosi (KTM) 6 laps, 1:43:36.081
  14. Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS) 5 laps, 1:16:34.115
  15. Dominik Olszowy (KTM) DNF

2021 FIM HARD ENDURO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (FINAL STANDINGS)

  1. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 104pts
  2. Manuel Lettenbichler 104pts
  3. Wade Young (Sherco) 83pts
  4. Mario Roman (Sherco) 76pts
  5. Jonny Walker (Beta) 66pts
  6. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) 63pts
  7. Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 46pts
  8. Teodor Kabakchiev (Husqvarna) 36pts
  9. Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS) 29pts
  10. Dominik Olszowy (KTM) 24pts

With the inaugural FIM Hard Enduro World Championship delivered, the wait is now on for the 2022 season, beginning with the Minus 400 in Israel on April 5-7.

Be the first to comment...

You might also like...

Husqvarna

2 days ago

FIRST LOOK: 2023 HUSQVARNA MX & CC MODELS

Husqvarna unveils a total new generation of motocross and cross-country models for 2023 – two-strokes and four.

Yamaha

2 days ago

2022 YAMAHA TÉNÉRÉ 700: DARK HORSE EDIT

Motology’s Adam Riemann tests the open-terrain capabilities of Yamaha’s Ténéré 700’s in WA’s remote Pilbara region.

Husqvarna

4 days ago

SERBIAN HARD ENDURO: WAR OF ATTRITION?

After a crazy round 1, the following Serbian round 2 is set to be a jaw dropper.

Husqvarna

5 days ago

BIKE CHECK: BILLY BOLT’S 2023 TE300i

Aside from some factory parts, is there anything different between a stock bike and Billy Bolt’s?

Yamaha

5 days ago

2022 A4DE: JOSH GREEN’S ROLE IN BACON’S BIG WIN

An insight into the key role that ShopYamaha team vet, Josh Green, played in Kyron Bacon’s incredible A4DE win.

Fox

5 days ago

AUSSIE SX C’SHIP GETS A REVAMP

The FOX Australian Supercross Championship will make its long-awaited, post Covid-19 return this October.

KTM

6 days ago

KTM’S SAVVY AMA MX PLANS

How do you counter the disappointment of Cooper Webb not racing the 2022 Outdoors? Call on Ryan Dungey and Tony Cairoli!

Yamaha

2 weeks ago

YAMAHA RIDERS ON A TEAR @ THE 2022 A4DE

Nineteen-year-old Kyron Bacon becomes the first 250cc rider to win the A4DE Outright since Daniel Milner in 2013.