The seventh stop of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship was one to savour for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing as teammates Alfredo Gomez and Billy Bolt claimed a commanding one-two at the Hixpania Hard Enduro. Gomez came out swinging in Sunday’s feature race The Lost Way to secure a memorable home win. Bolt topped the proceedings on Friday and Saturday before finishing a comfortable runner-up to Gomez on Sunday to further extend his championship lead.
Heading to Spain for the penultimate round of this year’s FIM Hard Enduro World Championship, there was a lot to look forward to for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing. A home round for Gomez was added motivation for the Spaniard, while Bolt was fully focused on building his championship points lead.
After a steady start to the Hixpania Hard Enduro, Gomez looked to pull out all the stops in the event-deciding The Lost Way race on Sunday. Eager to impress the local Spanish fans attending the three-hour multi-lap hard enduro race, the Spaniard immediately hit the ground running. Quickly finding his pace on the tough and technical course, Gomez steered his TE 300i into the lead at the end of lap one.
Rarely putting a wheel out of place, Alfredo navigated the slippery conditions with ease to build up a comfortable advantage over the chasing pack. Looking smooth, and maintaining a strong pace, Gomez ticked the laps off one by one before finally scaling the steep final climb at the end of the three-hour race to clinch a deserved and emotional win.
For Bolt, the Hixpania Hard Enduro got off to a winning start. Fastest in the Friday afternoon superenduro qualifier, he then went on to win Saturday’s Campoo X-Treme – a 54-kilometre course ridden three times.
Although eager to keep that winning momentum rolling into Sunday, Billy proved a little too eager on the opening laps and had to work his way through the field. With Gomez clear out front by the time he fought his way into second, Bolt had to settle for the runner-up result. He now leads this year’s FIM Hard Enduro World Championship by three points with the final round remaining in Germany on October 30.
Alfredo Gomez: “I’m so happy to take the win here in Hixpania. It’s definitely been a tough race, but it feels so good to do it in front of the Spanish fans. On days one and two I definitely took things a little easier as I have struggled with my fitness this year a little and haven’t been able to train as much as I wanted in the pre-season. I saved some energy for today and it has certainly paid off. I wasn’t sure how things would go, but after I took the lead on lap one, I had to hold on to the finish. I knew that with this race, and possibly GetzenRodeo, being held in tough, wet conditions they should suit me, and I think I proved that today.”
Billy Bolt: “It’s been a good weekend for me. I was happy to go fastest on the first two days and that put me in a good position for today. I struggled a lot on the first two laps 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 was able to make a few adjustments to the bike and then the second half of the race went much better, and I was able to push like I wanted to. 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 and so I had to settle for second – full credit to Alfredo today, he was in a different league. I’ve got a three-point lead going into GetzenRodeo now, I kind of wish it was four, but it puts us in a good position for the title, but my plan as always is just go there and give it my best.”
Results – Round 7: Hixpania Hard Enduro
1. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) 2:35:49.125
2. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 2:37:04.784
3. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 2:39:45.529
4. Mario Roman (Sherco) 2:45:59.409
5. Wade Young (Sherco) +2 laps
6. Michael Walkner (GASGAS) +3 laps
7. Jonathan Richardson (Husqvarna) +4 laps
8. Teodor Kabakchiev (Husqvarna) +4 laps
9. Matthew Green (GASGAS) +4 laps
10. Sonny Goggia (GASGAS) +4 laps
Championship Standings (After round 7)
1. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 87pts
2. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 84pts
3. Wade Young (Sherco) 71pts
4. Mario Roman (Sherco) 61pts
5. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) 53pts
6. Jonny Walker (Beta) 44pts
7. Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 38pts
8. Teodor Kabakchiev (Husqvarna) 29pts
9. Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS) 26pts
10. Dominik Olszowy (Husqvarna) 24pts