British rider Jonny Walker will be reinstated into the results of round seven of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship, the 24MX Hixpania Hard Enduro due to a procedural error, and the Vision Track Beta rider has been allocated fifth in the race as a result.
During round seven of the series in Spain, Walker was excluded from the results of The Lost Way race due to a course violation. However, Walker later received incorrect information from the FIM Jury Secretary regarding his right to appeal the decision. Walker’s exclusion from the final standings of round seven has therefore been rescinded with immediate effect.
Winfried Kerschhaggl has stated that the original decision to disqualify Jonny was fact correct, however the misinformation provided regarding being able to protest the disqualification has led to this turn of events.
Winfried Kerschhaggl – FIM Hard Enduro World Championship Series Manager
“While there is no doubt that that the decision of the Clerk of the Course to disqualify Jonny was correct, based on the fact that he left the track to return to the paddock and repair his motorcycle, which was not permitted, the decision has to be reversed due to a procedural error. Simply, Jonny was given the wrong information by the FIM Jury Secretary regarding what he needed to do about protesting against his disqualification. Therefore, his fifth place result is reinstated.”
Round Seven of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship took place over the weekend, as riders duked it out at the 24MX Hixpania Hard Enduro, with the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team going 1-2. Alfredo Gomez took the win and Billy Bolt extended his championship lead on Sunday, while KTM’s Manuel Lettenbichler completed the podium.
Always a threat on home soil, Gomez came on form at just the right moment to secure a memorable win in the deciding Sunday ‘The Lost Way’ race. After Bolt topped proceedings on Friday and Saturday, many thought the British rider would keep that momentum rolling through Sunday, but hopes of a clean sweep failed to materialise.
Bolt won Saturday’s Campoo X-Treme multi-lap cross-country, which totalled three laps of a massive 54-kilometre course, with just 15 minutes to rest and make repairs in between each lap, ensuring the racing was intense, and exhausting.
Campoo X-Treme Qualifying Video:
With the Friday endurocross results deciding the start positions for the Campoo X-Treme, Bolt made the very best use of his pole to take the holeshot. Despite momentarily falling behind main championship rival Red Bull KTM’s Manuel Lettenbichler, the Husqvarna rider took the win by just eight seconds. Third place went to Jonny Walker, just over 12 minutes down on the Bolt.
Sunday would see the top-10 qualifiers facing a Le Mans style start where they have to run into the famous Hixpania cave, before firing their bikes into life and heading off.
In total 50 qualified riders faced the tough battle of a three-hour The Lost Way race, and Gomez was up for the fight. Fast and clinical around the intense five-kilometre course, Gomez barely put a wheel out of place as he found his flow on the technical rocky climbs and steep quarry walls.
Despite a late push from Bolt, Gomez had enough in hand entering the final extreme loop. Mastering the last climb, the Spaniard crossed the finish line as the well-deserved winner.
In comparison for Bolt, The Lost Way was filled with ups and downs. Although making good the Le Mans start, he failed to hit the rhythm he’d shown during the previous two days. Working his way up the leaderboard, he began to come on strong as the race entered the second half.
But with Gomez comfortably out front, it was a gap he couldn’t close. In the fight for this year’s championship honours, in finishing as runner-up, Billy extends his lead over closest rival Lettenbichler, by two points, making it three in total.
Sitting second behind Gomez after the opening lap, Lettenbichler was in a strong position to take back the championship lead. However, Bolt was closing in and pretty soon the duo were locked in a battle for second.
Not quite able to keep Bolt at bay, Lettenbichler slipped behind him, and as Bolt upped his pace in the closing laps, he had to settled for third.
Behind the top three, the race was filled with plenty of drama as the overnight rain made an already tough course even harder. Sherco Factory Racing’s Mario Roman fought his way through for fourth.
Entering round seven third in points, Wade Young (Sherco) lost ground to Bolt and Lettenbichler with fifth in Spain. Putting in a strong performance, GASGAS Factory Racing’s Michael Walkner was sixth, while Britain’s Jonathan Richardson (Husqvarna) impressed, coming home seventh.
The 2021 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship concludes with the eighth and final round of the season at Germany’s GetzenRodeo on October 30.
Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) – P1
“I’m so happy to take the win here in 24MX Hixpania Hard Enduro, it’s definitely been a tough race, but it feels so good to do it in front of the Spanish fans. I saved some energy for today and it has certainly paid off. I took the lead on lap one and just felt good straight away. I managed to focus on myself and not make too many mistakes. It felt awesome to cross the finish line as the winner!”
Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) – P2
“On the first two laps today I struggled a lot to be honest. I found it hard to find my rhythm and ended up making too many mistakes, losing energy and time. At the refuelling I made a few adjustments to the bike and then the second half of the race went much better. I made a bit of a gap on Mani and even started to claw back some time on Alfredo ahead, but it was too little, too late. Full credit to Alfredo today, he was in a different league.”
Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) – P3
“We were a little worried this morning coming into the main race because of all the rain we had overnight, but it’s turned out ok and the traffic wasn’t too bad out there. I wasn’t feeling 100 percent last week and I think my fitness definitely suffered today. Despite that, I think I rode a good race and I’m happy to finish on the podium again. The guys ahead were riding really well, and with today’s result it means I’m three points behind Billy going into my home race at GetzenRodeo, so there is everything still to play for. I’m really excited for that one, and I’ll give it my best as always.”
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.