2024 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship
Round One – Lievin, France
The 2024 SuperEnduro Championship kicked off in France over the weekend where crowds witnessed Husqvarna’s Billy Bolt stamping his authority on the opening round. The Briton winning all three Prestige races at the Arena Stade couvert de Lievin, as well as the Superpole hot lap, to ride away with the maximum 63-points.
Despite a short turnaround between the final round of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship and round one of the FIM SuperEnduro World Championship, Bolt was fired up to go racing in Lievin following several weeks of intense training. Fastest in timed practice, Bolt then began the evening’s racing by topping the superpole hot lap by over eight-tenths of a second.
Opting for a middle starting gate for race one, Bolt timed his reaction and grabbed the holeshot. With his wheels out front, he set a blisteringly fast pace on the opening few laps to build a comfortable lead. Extending that advantage as the race progressed, he took the opening win of the night by a sizeable 20 seconds. Walker and Olszowy completed the top three.
With the start order reversed for race two, Billy made good of his outside start position on row two. Attacking from the drop of the gate, he exited the first rock garden in sixth, then quickly moved up to third by the end of lap one. During the following lap he took the lead and never looked back. Unchallenged, he eased away to another commanding win. This time Walker was joined in the top three by Gomez.
Aiming to end round one on a high, Bolt took his second holeshot of the night in race three. Knowing the course was deteriorating, he pushed hard for the first few laps to establish a strong advantage over the chasing pack. Remaining mistake free, he raced on to make it three wins from three starts and with it secured a deserved overall victory. The Walker and Hoare duo of Beta riders completed the top three.
Billy Bolt – P1
“It’s been a perfect night and perfect start to the championship here in France. To get three wins from three starts, along with winning superpole, is great. But more importantly, I felt my riding was where I wanted it to be and without mistakes. With only a few weeks between the hard enduro and SuperEnduro series, I wasn’t sure where my intensity level would be in the races. But my fitness was good and I could go the distance each race. I’m looking forward to building on this at round two in Poland.”
Beta rounded out the top three in the standings, Jonny Walker trailing Bolt by 10-points into round two, Will Hoare a further 14-points in arrears in third overall.
Dominik Olszowy was fourth, followed by Gomez when the dust settled, both riding a Rieju.
KTM’s top rider, Manuel Lettenbichler had a tough start to the season, with two top five results, and an eighth in Prestige Race 2, for sixth overall heading into round two.
Manuel Lettenbichler – P6
“It’s been a hard first night back in SuperEnduro, that’s for sure. It’s a while since I did this style of racing and I felt like I was definitely back in the deep end, for sure. The intensity level is crazy high, and I need a little more time to get my head around that and to adapt. I rode quite good in race one and was battling for third before finishing fourth. Race two and three I had some crashes and was always fighting to come back from that. I think I went too extreme enduro with my suspension setting. I had it too soft for the races, so I will try to work on that for the next round.”
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