Billy Bolt impresses at EnduroGP round one

Making a wildcard ride at the FIM EnduroGP World Championship opener, Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt has once again shown he can mix it with the world’s best classic enduro racers, taking on the opening round of the EnduroGP series in Italy this weekend. Finishing in a highly commendable sixth place in the competitive Enduro2 category on Saturday, Bolt maintained his pace to secure seventh on Sunday, despite a big crash early on.

Reigning 2023 SuperEnduro World Champion Bolt chose to race the opening round of EnduroGP to help build both his speed and endurance ahead of the start of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship following a winter of sprint style SuperEnduro events and races. Choosing to ride his favoured FE 350 saw him step into the Enduro2 category and compete against multiple EnduroGP world champions and classic enduro specialists. Billy wasn’t fazed however and came out swinging in the sandy Friday evening Super Test to place an impressive seventh in class.

Into the first full day of competition, Bolt was able to hold his own on the dry, rough Italian tracks, claiming two top-three test results on his way to sixth place in E2. Sunday continued in very much the same way, and even after suffering a crash in the enduro test, Billy held on to the finish, ultimately claiming seventh place in Enduro2 – a solid result for the indoor and extreme enduro specialist.

Bolt now switches his focus to the opening round of the 2023 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship – the Xross Hard Enduro Rally, held in Serbia from May 17-20.

Billy Bolt: “I’m here at the finish and in one piece, which is definitely a positive. Yeah, I knew what I was getting in to, and it’s certainly been a tough weekend, but I’ve enjoyed it. The tests today were a lot rougher than yesterday obviously, so I tried a different setting on my forks, which didn’t help me, so I was struggling straight away. I had a fairly big crash in the enduro test, which lost me quite a lot of time, so after that I didn’t want to push too hard and risk too much. I’ve finished both days and built my stamina back up, which will be a real help ahead of the Hard Enduro World Championship – I’ve only really done six-minute races since last July. Racing in Italy is always cool – even when you mess up a test and you’re feeling a bit sorry for yourself, you look up and there’s a huge crowd of people cheering for you. It’s hard to beat that feeling. The top guys here are on another level, but I’ve really enjoyed having a go and would definitely like to improve and be a little better prepared for next time. I’ve got the HEWC to focus on now, but I’ll be back in the EnduroGP paddock sooner or later.”

Results – 2023 EnduroGP World Championship, Round 1, Day 1

1. Andrea Verona (GASGAS) 1:13:51.52
2. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 1:13:55.11
3. Hamish MacDonald (Sherco) 1:14:35.99

6. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 1:16:47.53

1. Brad Freeman (Beta) 1:13:27.06
2. Andrea Verona (GASGAS) 1:13:51.52
3. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 1:13:55.11

17. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 1:16:47.53

Results – 2023 EnduroGP World Championship, Round 1, Day 2

1. Andrea Verona (GASGAS) 1:05:40.05
2. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 1:05:49.16
3. Hamish MacDonald (Sherco) 1:06:42:54

7. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 1:09:10.32

1. Brad Freeman (Beta) 1:05:23.86
2. Andrea Verona (GASGAS) 1:05:40.05
3. Steve Holcombe (Beta) 1:05:49.16

21. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 1:09:10.32