Red Bull KTM Factory Racing‘s Manuel Lettenbichler easily powered clear of the field to win round three of the 2023 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship season at Red Bull Romaniacs and maintain the perfect start to his world title defence. Here is all you need to know:
Red Bull Romaniacs is the longest event in the Championship and the brainchild of former snowboard champion Martin Freinademetz starting out with the fan-friendly Prolog around the medieval city of Sibiu before a marathon four days of riding around the beautiful Carpathian Mountains.
Riders from 55 countries competed as German Lettenbichler accelerated majestically through the gears over the first three days to open up a 58-minute lead that he never looked like relinquishing.
He made a strong start on Saturday to top the opening checkpoint, then managed his pace superbly throughout the day to finish ahead of the fellow KTM bikes of Canadian Trystan Hart and Teodor Kabakchiev.
“I’m super stoked with how the whole week has gone. To get my fourth Red Bull Romaniacs win and hat trick of victories in the championship this year is kind of crazy.”Lettenbichler, 25, said:
Ending his day sixth, Hart wrapped up his debut podium and became the first Canadian to finish in the top three of the world’s toughest Hard Enduro Rallye as Bulgarian rider Kabakchiev overhauled 2021 world champion Billy Bolt brilliantly late on to claim the final podium place.
“Red Bull Romaniacs is never easy but coming here with limited bike time and still nursing an (shoulder) injury added to the difficulty of it. It started out great, but as the race continued it wore me down. Ultimately the goal was always to reach the finish line.”Husqvarna rider Bolt, 25, said:
Sherco rider Wade Young finished in fifth place with Austrian Michael Walkner sixth.
“This edition of Red Bull Romaniacs didn’t let up. Each day was hard, at the limit of possible. Overall I feel like I had a good week and was able to put a consistent race together.”Young, 27, said:
Lettenbichler now leads Hart by 18 points overall as the 2023 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship season enters its second half with round four at Red Bull Outliers, Canada on August 26-27.
FIM Hard Enduro, Round 3, Red Bull Romaniacs result
- Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 19:45:15;
- Trystan Hart (KTM) 20:55:14;
- Teodor Kabakchiev (KTM) 21:19:16;
- Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 21:25:16;
- Wade Young (Sherco) 21:32:02;
- Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 21:37:48;
- Mario Roman (Sherco) 22:31:30;
- Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 23:44:46;
- Sonny Goggia (KTM) 24:19:31;
- Matthew Green (KTM) 24:44:25
FIM Hard Enduro World Championship Standings (After round 3)
- Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 64pts;
- Trystan Hart (KTM) 46pts;
- Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 44pts;
- Teodor Kabakchiev (KTM) 38pts;
- Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 31pts