Germany’s Manuel Lettenbichler has won the fourth round of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship at Red Bull Romaniacs. The victory moves the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider to the top of the championship standings. An outstanding performance by Sherco Factory Racing saw them fill the remainder of the podium with Wade Young and Mario Roman in second and third respectively.
Offroad Day 4 saw the world’s toughest Hard Enduro Rallye come to a close following a week of epic racing. At the head of the Gold class, Lettenbichler had a virtual grasp on the overall victory thanks to a healthy 20-minute plus lead, but behind him the remainder of the podium was anything but settled.
Young had a strong grip on securing the runner-up result but still needed a solid final day to seal the deal. Roman, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt, and Vision Track Beta’s Jonny Walker were all capable of taking that third step.
Starting his morning fourth on the road, Lettenbichler set about locking down his third Red Bull Romaniacs victory in a row. In full tune with the terrain, the German was at his best. Reeling in those ahead of him to shadow Young across the finish line in Gusterita, Manuel both won the day and the race. The win moves him to the top of the championship standings.
Knowing he had a slight cushion over this rivals, Young played it safe once Lettenbichler and Bolt caught up to him. Clearing the final sections, he ended this year’s rallye as the runner-up.
Starting out his day seventh, Roman was a man on a mission to defend that third step of the podium. Knowing Bolt was on the attack, Roman produced one of his strongest rides of the week. Topping two checkpoints, he pushed on to end his day in second and with it ensure a Sherco 2-3 result.
For Bolt, hopes of mirroring his Abestone Hard Enduro victory never materialised in Romania. Despite a brilliant end to his week, it was ultimately the opening days that did the damage. Finishing a close third today, the Husqvarna rider had to settle for fourth overall.
For Walker, his first outing on Beta machinery in the Carpathian Mountains was a very promising one. Consistently in the mix throughout the week, he rounded out the top five with fifth. Ending Offroad Day 4 in fifth, GASGAS Factory Racing’s Taddy Blazusiak took sixth overall.
Finishing top rookie in his debut Red Bull Romaniacs, Canada’s Trystan Hart (KTM) took seventh and will no doubt be a rider to watch for at round five’s Red Bull TKO in the USA. Bulgaria’s Teodor Kabakchiev (Husqvarna) certainly came of age this week in Romania to take home eighth, with a similar performance from rising Austrian talent Michael Walkner (GASGAS) in ninth. Poland’s Dominik Olszowy (KTM) will be another rider happy with his efforts, claiming 10th.
The FIM Hard Enduro World Championship continues with round five at the Red Bull TKO in USA on August 13-15.
2021 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship
Red Bull Romaniacs: Final Day
Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 4:38:45
Mario Roman (Sherco) 4:42:18
Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 4:43:44
Wade Young (Sherco) 4:45:02
Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS) 4:50:02
Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 4:50:39
Jonny Walker (Beta) 4:50:44
Trystan Hart (KTM) 4:51:41
Teodor Kabakchiev (Husqvarna) 4:52:19
Dominik Olszowy (KTM) 5:02:39
2021 Red Bull Romaniacs: Overall
Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 19:40:46
Wade Young (Sherco) 20:08:14
Mario Roman (Sherco) 20:13:46
Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 20:19:00
Jonny Walker (Beta) 20:30:55
Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS) 20:46:04
Trystan Hart (KTM) 20:58:03
Teodor Kabakchiev (Husqvarna) 21:12:08
Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 21:14:46
Dominik Olszowy (KTM) 22:14:24
Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) P1
“I am absolutely stoked with the win! And to get three-in-a-row at Red Bull Romaniacs is like a dream come true. It’s been a tough five days here this year, but the pace has been insane. I have to give credit to Graham (Jarvis) for pushing me so hard early on – I think if he’d stayed in it would have been a lot closer at the top. The race has been amazing, the organizers did a great job and I’ve really enjoyed it. It feels good to be leading the championship now too, but there is still a long way to go. I’ll try and get some rest now before the next one.”
Wade Young (Sherco) P2
“With second up for grabs, I gave it everything today to make sure it was mine. I’m so happy for this result, but also for Sherco going 2-3, with Mario in third. We’ve have a good week, some great rides. A highlight was winning Offroad Day 3 for sure.”
Mario Roman (Sherco) P3
“I’ve enjoyed it a lot. It’s been a tough, hard week and I’m happy to have shown myself in this. Today the pressure was on, I knew Billy was close and he’d be pushing. But I also felt that if I could arrive to the service point, without losing time then it would ease the pressure in the closing stages. I managed that and was able to keep it all together to the finish.”
Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) P4
“I didn’t quite get the result I came here looking for. As ever Romaniacs never pulls its punches and on the first couple of days I took a beating. I think I was just overriding the terrain and that’s where the mistakes came from. I managed to tidy things up at the midway point, be more patient and the results started to come good. It’s a bit frustrating to just miss out on the podium, but I’ll learn from these mistakes and come back stronger.”
Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS) – P6
“I’m really happy to have reached the finish line here at Romaniacs. It’s been a wild event with crashes and navigational mistakes, but this is hard enduro and I really love the challenge of it. The adrenalin took over today as I had a big crash yesterday and hurt my shoulder, but I was able to ride through the pain and finish. Overall, it’s good points again and my bike worked great all week, so it’s been a very positive race for me besides my crashes and a few navigational mistakes on day two. It’s been an awesome experience as always at Romaniacs and I’m looking forward to the next one in two weeks’ time.”
Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) – DNF
“I’m gutted with how the race turned out. I felt I was doing everything right and had the pace to push for the win this year. Unfortunately, just one little mistake did the damage, and my race was done. My plan now is to head home and get the injury fully assessed.”
2021 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship Points
Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 37pts
Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 33pts
Wade Young (Sherco) 25pts
Mario Roman (Sherco) 24pts
Jonny Walker (Beta) 24pts
Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS) 20pts
Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 15pts
Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 14pts
Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) 13pts
Teodor Kabakchiev (Husqvarna) 11pts
*Results are provisional and subject to change following GPS inspection
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