Home favourite Alfredo Gomez has made a winning start to round four of the World Enduro Super Series, Spain’s Hixpania Hard Enduro, with victory in Friday’s SuperEncierro Prologue.
Making it a 1-2 for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, Billy Bolt (GB) joined his teammate on the podium for second, while Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jonny Walker (GB) completed the top three.
Getting this weekend’s three-day race underway in spectacular style the medieval town of Aguilar de Campoo in northern Spain was treated to some world-class Enduro racing. In the heart of the town square, a short-but-challenging Superenduro course was laid out for the 350 competitors, all of which entertained thousands of spectators who lined the trackside.
With the Knight Pro class taking to the track for a qualifying lap, the fastest 20 made it through to the Super Final. Bolt was quickest off the start, but a mistake in the log pit allowed Walker to immediately capitalise and take the lead.
With a mandatory Joker Lane to be completed once during the 10-minute plus two lap race, Walker dived into the section handing the lead across to Bolt and company. Tactically waiting until lap three, Gomez enjoyed a clear run through the Joker Lane emerging with the race lead. Controlling the race from then on, the Spaniard secured a memorable win to the delight of the spectators.
Finishing on the same lap as his teammate, Bolt placed as runner-up with Walker fending off Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER) and Spain’s Pol Tarres (Husqvarna) for third.
In the Archers category, it was Britain’s Charlie Frost who secured a commanding win placing almost one-minute ahead of Carlos Bures and Alessandro Azzalini.
The action-packed Squires class saw Jose Carballo top the podium with Jose Mugica and Robert Crayston placing second and third respectively.
Round four of WESS at Hixpania Hard Enduro continues with Saturday’s Campoo X-Treme.
Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna – ESP): “Starting from the second row I got away really well. I got into third on the first lap and saw Jonny and Billy take the Joker Lane. I decided not to do it straight away and see when the best opportunity to do it would be. I went through on the third lap and it was just me, so it made it quite easy. I didn’t get stuck and didn’t make any mistakes or crash so it was all good. The goal from here is of course to win, like every race. I had some problems at the previous rounds so I hope my luck is better here.”
Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GB): “It was really tough out there – the lap times were short so we did a lot of laps. I’m happy to be back battling with the boys, obviously with a shorter race like this on a technical track, I can still mix it with the others. I just wanted to put it to them on this one and try to grab as many points as I could, I think I’m going to struggle a little on the longer races. All the points are going to come into play at the end of Sunday and I had good fun banging bars with the boys. We’ll see what the rest of the weekend brings, I’ll go as hard as I can until I run out of energy. I’m just happy to be here to be honest, so anything better than a finish is a bonus.”
Jonny Walker (KTM – GB): “I’ll take third, I’m happy with that. It was quite a crazy race and would be so easy to come out of there with no points at all. It’s only one point but that could make all the difference come Sunday. There was one section that I couldn’t get quite right, which is frustrating, but I’m here in one piece and ready for tomorrow.”
Results – Hixpania Hard Enduro – SuperEncierro Friday
1. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna – ESP) 20 laps, 11:26.598; 2. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GB) 11:48.953; 3. Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) 19 laps, 11:37.596; 4. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER) 11:46.913; 5. Pol Tarres (Husqvarna – ESP) 11:59.753; 6. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna – GB) 18 laps, 11:55.954; 7. Mario Roman (Sherco – ESP) 17 laps, 11:39.032; 8. Josep Garcia (KTM – ESP) 11:44.124; 9. Travis Teasdale 16 laps, (KTM – RSA) 11:35.744; 10. Xavier Leon (Husqvarna – ESP) 11:39.676…
1. Charlie Frost 11 laps, 10:47.040; 2. Carlos Bures 11:41.040; 3. Alessandro Azzalini 10 laps, 11:50.581; 4. Tino Jungmann 8 laps, 11:37.788; 5. Jamie Williams 12:12.756…
1. Jose Carballo 8 laps 12:47.020; 2. Jose Mugica 7 laps 14:19.851; 3. Robert Crayston 6 laps 9:00.537; 4. Eduardo De Pablo 13:06.165; 5. Juan Andreo 13:28.745…
Photo credit: Future7Media