Overcoming the odds, Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt has put in a heroic ride at round three of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship to take fourth overall at Red Bull Romaniacs. Despite nursing a shoulder injury the result keeps Billy inside the top three in the championship standings.
Always an eventful and tough week of racing, this year’s Red Bull Romaniacs was even harder for Billy Bolt. After a terrific runner-up result at round two of the championship – Red Bull Erzbergrodeo in early June – a shoulder injury meant the TE 300 mounted rider spent little time on his bike preparing for the world’s toughest Hard Enduro Rallye.
Nevertheless, Billy was optimistic about what lay ahead in the 20th edition of the race. Favouring the infamous city prologue that kickstarted the week, Billy was determined to take the win on the streets of Sibiu, Romania and collect the three important championship points that were up for grabs to the winner.
Entertaining the thousands of spectators that lined the streets, Billy won the race in style. However, with four physical offroad days lying ahead of him, he knew the ultimate goal of reaching the finishing line was a lot further down the road.
Feeling good, Billy rode superbly on the first offroad day in the Carpathian Mountains. Mastering the treacherous hill climbs and a powerful afternoon thunderstorm, Billy ended his day third overall. On the second offroad day, Billy continued his strong pace, hitting his markers along the way to finish in third.
However, with the third offroad day the most demanding of the week, Billy’s hopes of ending the race on the podium began to fade. Losing a lot of time against his closest rivals, he finished the day in sixth position, arriving at the fourth and final offroad day defending a five-minute advantage over Teodor Kabakchiev.
Giving it his all during the final five hours of racing, Billy pushed for all his worth, but was unable to keep Kabakchiev at bay. Ending the day in seventh, he slipped to fourth overall in the final results. But thanks to his efforts in the opening prologue, he was able to leave Romania with a strong points haul to maintain his top-three position in the championship standings, as he now enters the second half of the season.
The FIM Hard Enduro World Championship continues with round four at the Red Bull Outliers in Canada on August 26-27.
Billy Bolt: “It’s been a tough week. Red Bull Romaniacs is never easy but coming here with limited bike time and still nursing an injury added to the difficulty of it. It started out great by winning the prologue and then followed with two good days in the mountains, but as the race continued it wore me down and that was frustrating. I would have loved to take the podium, but ultimately the goal was always to reach the finish line. With my fourth-place result, plus the three additional points for winning the prologue, it has been good for my championship.”
Results: FIM Hard Enduro World Championship, Round 3: Red Bull Romaniacs
1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 19:45:15
2. Trystan Hart (KTM) 20:55:14
3. Teodor Kabakchiev (KTM) 21:19:16
4. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 21:25:16
5. Wade Young (Sherco) 21:32:02
Championship Standings (After round 3)
1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 64pts
2. Trystan Hart (KTM) 46pts
3. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 44pts
4. Teodor Kabakchiev (KTM) 38pt
5. Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 31pts