24MX Hixpania Hard Enduro preview: Penultimate HEWC round this weekend in Spain – can Mani take the title?
The 2023 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship arrives at its fifth and penultimate round in Spain this weekend at the 24MX Hixpania Hard Enduro where a win lands Mani Lettenbichler the ‘23 title while Bolt and Hart fight for the podium.
Not for the first time this season we find ourselves making the point that someone, anyone else needs to step up and take a win. The trouble is no-one has the measure of Mani the Hard Enduro machine this year.
Looking at former Hixpania winners Mario Roman, Graham Jarvis and Alfredo Gomez, past former Hard Enduro World Championship winner Billy Bolt, and HEWC round winners like Wade Young and US Hard Enduro Champion Trystan Hart and you have an incredible list of talent capable of winning this weekend.
The problem, their problem, is Mani. Would you put money on him not winning every race this season? His form and fitness have been different level as he’s walked a 100% winning record this year.
Billy and Trystan podium tussle
The battle for second in the championship is incredibly tight between Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt and FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Trystan Hart. Bolt is 21 points behind Lettenbichler, but only one point in front of Hart and this one looks set to go to the final round in Germany at the start of November.
That gap means Lettenbichler can win the title a round early if he wins this weekend. A decent prologue results (top three gets points) plus 20 points for the main race win would put it out of reach of Bolt or Hart.
(Championship standings and Hixpania schedule below).
Championship Standings (After Round 5):
1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 86pts
2. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 63pts
3. Trystan Hart (KTM) 62pts
4. Teodor Kabakchiev (KTM) 48pts
5. Mario Roman (Sherco) 39pts
6. Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 39pts
7. Wade Young (Sherco) 38pts
8. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 36pts
9. Matthew Green (KTM) 28pts
10. Alfredo Gomez (Rieju) 27pts
Junior Championship Standings (After Round 2):
Enduro21 is still not sure how Matty Green can classify in both the main standings and the Juniors. However, after just two points scoring rounds, the South African leads a trio of British youngsters with SuperEnduro Junior Champion Mitch Brightmore sitting just five points down.
1. Matthew Green (KTM) 42pts
2. Mitch Brightmore (GASGAS) 37pts
3. Richard Moorhouse (GASGAS) 24pts
4. Robert Crayston (KTM) 23pts
5. Felix Bahker (Sherco) 23pts
24MX Hixpania Hard Enduro schedule:
Friday, October 13, 2023
9:00am: Departure Campoo Xtreme (1 lap) SuperEncierro qualification and classification
4:00pm-8:30pm: SuperEncierro (street prologue-style races)
Saturday, October 14, 2023
9:00am: Campoo Xtreme main race qualification and start positions
Sunday, October 15, 2023
11:00am: Acerbis El Camino Perdido main 3hr race
3:00pm: 24MX Hixpania Hard Enduro Podiums
Photo Credit: Future7Media