The eighth and final round of the 2022 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship got underway at the 24MX Hixpania Hard Enduro with Friday’s SuperEncierro city prologue. Leading them home, AG Racing Team 89’s Alfredo Gomez gave the home crowd the win they came to see.
KTM Factory Racing’s Manuel Lettenbichler got his title bid off to a strong start by finishing second, with GASGAS Factory Racing’s Taddy Blazusiak third. Title contender Sherco Factory Racing’s Mario Roman took fourth on the night.
With Friday marking the first of three days of racing at the round eight’s 24MX Hixpania Hard Enduro, action began this morning with a practice loop of tomorrow’s Campoo Extreme Race, before riders completed a hot lap qualifier around the endurocross track at the Hixpania Hard Enduro paddock. The SuperEncierro in the heart of Aguilar de Campoo’s medieval town square concluded the day’s events.
Through a series of heats, competitors advanced to the night’s final. Lettenbichler topped the first semi final, before FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Trystan Hart won the second semi final.
With the majority of the top riders making it through to the 16-rider final, all eyes were watching to see who would take the first victory of the weekend. As the flag dropped to start the race, Lettenbichler was quickest off the line, but a mistake on the second obstacle saw Roman, Gomez, Hart and Blazusiak gain advantage.
Roman set about opening up a lead, but Gomez was having none of it. Keeping the Sherco rider in his sights, Alfredo bided his time, waiting for the right moment to strike. With lapped traffic mounting up, Alfredo seized his chance and put his GASGAS into the lead. Holding firm, he rode home for a well-deserved win.
Chipping away at the leading four, Lettenbichler raced his way back into the mix. Looking comfortable on the urban course, he too worked the lapped traffic to his advantage and came home in second. In the scramble for the final step of the podium, Blazusiak held off Roman and Hart to take third.
Alfredo Gomez (GASGAS): “It’s been a good start to the weekend with the win tonight. I got a good start in the final and knew it would get hectic with lapped traffic. I waited for my chance and then got into the lead to take the win.”
Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM): “I got a good jump and then got stuck to drop way back. I then made another mistake, so I made it hard work for myself to be honest. To get back to second is cool. I’m happy with that!”
Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS): “I always like this style of racing. I had a crash on lap one, but caught back up to third, which was awesome.”
Round 8, 24MX Hixpania Hard Enduro, Friday
1. Alfredo Gomez (GASGAS) 12 laps, 6:53.118; 2. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 12 laps, 6:57.325; 3. Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS) 12 laps, 7:03.759; 4. Mario Roman (Sherco) 12 laps, 7:04.851; 5. Trystan Hart (KTM) 12 laps, 7:05.201