Pushing through the pain barrier gets career-best at Red Bull Erzbergrodeo

Pushing through the pain barrier, Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt secured a career-best fourth at Red Bull Erzbergrodeo. The result sees the Brit extend his lead at the head of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship after round three.

Despite managing on-going wrist and ankle injuries, Billy arrived at Austria’s iconic Iron Giant at Eisernez eager to deliver his best during the three days of hard enduro racing. With the Iron Road Prologue qualification kicking things off, Billy powered his Husqvarna TE 300 up the high-speed quarry roads to set the fifth fastest time from over 1,500 competitors. Putting in another fast performance on Saturday’s second day of qualification, Billy secured himself a front-row start for Sunday’s all-important Red Bull Erzbergrodeo main race with sixth.

Knowing the 26th edition of the legendary hard enduro was set to become one of the toughest yet, Bolt put in a determined effort off the start to avoid as much trouble as possible. Riding well inside the top five he negotiated the early chaotic climbs of Waterpipe and Three Kings with relative ease.

Despite needing to remove some track marking lodged in his front wheel shortly afterwards, Billy was able to maintain his high rhythm as the sections like Udo’s Playground and Double Fault saw the race increase with difficulty. Focused on his own performance, he continued to battle his way through the treacherous Carl’s Dinner boulder garden, before clearing the technical forest section of Motorex Highway in a close sixth.

Feeling a little more energy left in the tank, Bolt pushed on with the final two daunting sections of Dynamite and Lazy Noon remaining. Clearing Dynamite to battle his way inside the top five, he then grabbed fourth at Lazy Noon, a position he held to the finish line. The result now sees Billy extend his lead in the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship after round three.

For Husqvarna Motorcycles’ supported hard enduro legend Graham Jarvis, hopes of a record-breaking sixth Erzbergrodeo victory failed to materialise. After drowning his bike in water off the start line, it took over one hour before he could continue. However, what followed was a ride of heroic proportions, as Graham raced his way from 500th to an incredible 18th after four hours.

The FIM Hard Enduro World Championship continues with round four at Red Bull Abestone in Italy on July 8-10.

Billy Bolt: “That was hard, probably the hardest Erzbergrodeo I’ve ever done so I’m happy with fourth considering my fitness and the injuries I’ve got. I was struggling a little at Machine, but I just kept plugging away and taking things section by section. I managed to pass two riders in the closing stages to get fourth, so I’m happy for that and to also extend my lead in the championship is sweet too.”

Results: Round 3 – Red Bull Erzbergrodeo

1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 2:58:51; 2. Mario Roman (Sherco) 3:02:17; 3. Trystan Hart (KTM) 3:11:53; 4. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 3:18:25; 5. Alfredo Gomez (GASGAS) 3:20:30… 18. Graham Jarvis, CP21

Championship Standings (After round three)

1. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 45pts; 2. Mario Roman (Sherco) 43pts; 3. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 40pts; 4. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 37pts; 5. Teodor Kabakchiev (KTM) 35pts…

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