Manuel Lettenbichler Wins FIM Hard Enduro Round Four At Red Bull Abestone!
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Manuel Lettenbichler has won the fourth round of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship with victory at Red Bull Abestone in Italy. Claiming his third win in a row, Lettenbichler led home Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt in second with Sherco Factory Racing’s Mario Roman third.
- Manuel Lettenbichler secures 2022 hat-trick with Red Bull Abestone win
- Billy Bolt and Mario Roman complete the podium in second and third respectively
- Matthew Green achieves career-best fifth to dominate the Junior category
Three-in-a-row! The 2022 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship keeps getting better and better for Manuel Lettenbichler with the German racing to victory at Red Bull Abestone in Italy. Coming in strong following wins in Serbia and Austria, the KTM rider kept that momentum rolling to top the podium once again.
After Saturday’s JUST1 Straight Rhythm qualifier it was Bolt who led the field away for the LIQUI MOLY FINAL A, starting 1953 metres above sea level at the Abetone gondola. AG Racing Team 89’s Alfredo Gomez was next to leave the start line 30 seconds later, with Lettenbichler the third rider flagged away a further 30 seconds behind Gomez.
Between high temperatures and a brutally tough course, the two-lap race would prove a hard task for all. Bolt opened the course, but after 45 minutes Lettenbichler had already disposed of Gomez and was closing in on the Husqvarna rider. Despite pushing hard, Bolt had no answer for Lettenbichler and midway through lap one, the German got out in front.
Controlling the pace, Mani steadily built up a cushion that he would work to his advantage on lap two. Managing the race superbly, Lettenbichler pushed on in the final stages to claim the win by over eight minutes.
For Bolt, he would not end Red Bull Abestone on the top step of the podium. Despite a powerful performance on Saturday, winning both the morning qualifier and JUST1 Straight Rhythm, he was unable to hold off Lettenbichler in the LIQUI MOLY FINAL A. An ongoing wrist injury wasn’t helping him on the steep technical downhills and with Lettenbichler proving too strong, Bolt ultimately managed second place to keep his championship lead intact.
Behind the top two, the fight for the final step of the podium was exciting. Gomez held third for the majority of the race, but a late-starting Roman was charging. The Sherco rider was picking off riders left, right, and centre as he worked his way up the leaderboard. Ending lap one inside the top five, he knew a podium result was on the cards. Leaving it all on the track, he caught and passed Gomez to get the job done and claim third.
With no answer for his fellow Spaniard on the final lap, Gomez saw his hopes of a podium dashed and he had to settle for fourth.
Rigo Racing’s Matthew Green is a rider going from strength to strength in 2022. The South African has made the Junior category his own by remaining undefeated so far. But at Red Bull Abestone he pushed his own performance even further again. Racing to a career-best fifth, he headed off high profile Hard Enduro names like Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) and Michael Walkner (GASGAS) in sixth and seventh respectively.