After eight action-packed rounds of multi-discipline Enduro racing, Billy Bolt rode into the World Enduro Super Series’ record books as the inaugural ULTIMATE ENDURO CHAMPION.
Making his championship ambitions known early with victory at the series opener Extreme XL Lagares in Portugal, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider unquestionably adapted well to the many WESS challenges.
From Hard Enduro to Classic Enduro, Cross-Country and Beach Racing, Bolt has proved a force to be reckoned with. And now, following a strong result at Red Bull Knock Out in The Netherlands, he has been crowned ULTIMATE ENDURO CHAMPION 2018…
Congratulations Billy, how does it feel to be the ULTIMATE ENDURO CHAMPION 2018?
Billy Bolt: “It’s a feeling that’s definitely going to take some time to sink in, but it feels pretty good. When you think about how far we’ve come this season, racing so many Enduro disciplines, to be on top after all of that feels really good.”
Holding a 275-point lead in the championship coming into Red Bull Knock Out, what was your tactic for the race?
“To be honest with so many riders out on track at the same time I knew it would be carnage out there, so trying to focus too much on tactics would be impossible. The sand was so soft that the slower riders were suffering from lap one. With a lot of Beach Racing specialists here I knew challenging for the race podium wasn’t possible, but I knew I still needed to push for a strong result and beat the guys I was battling in the championship. I was aiming for top 15, so to finish 12th and also beat Manni Lettenbichler and Josep Garcia was a real plus, too.”
Overall, how did the race go for you?
“I got a decent start and managed to stay out of trouble up until my first refueling. But afterwards I ended up having two big crashes. I collided with some riders who got off line and ended up tumbling down some big sand banks. I twisted up my bike in the process and struggled a bit after that. I fought on for another five laps before pitting again for fuel and to fix the issues. That settled my head too – I regrouped and rode strong to the finish, despite a badly beaten up track at that stage.”
In what’s been such a varied season of racing, what stands out to you as a personal highlight?
“It’s difficult to pick just one because we’ve raced in so many different types of races. Of course winning round one at Extreme XL Lagares was a personal highlight. It was the championship opener, with so many good riders fresh and ready for the season. To beat them and take my first international victory was a huge moment and that ultimately gave me a lot of confidence and belief in myself for the remainder of the series. Another personal highlight was finishing on the podium at my home round at the Hawkstone Park Cross-Country. I feel like I showed there that I can ride the faster stuff, too.”
Have you enjoyed the preparation between the races, switching from one Enduro discipline to another?
“Yes, I have. But it’s definitely not been a one-man show. Of course I’m the rider and I have to get the results, but it’s been a huge team effort from everyone involved in Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing to come away as champions. We’ve put in the long hours to get ready for each round. My mechanic Lee, team manager Andi and everyone else in the team have always pushed to be better and better all year and I 100 per cent feel that’s why we’re champions today.”
Finally, as the ULTIMATE ENDURO CHAMPION 2018, are you looking forward to testing your WESS prize?
“I can’t wait to sit in the driving seat and see what this KTM X-Bow will do. It’s a beautiful car and I’m looking forward to getting out on the road in it. It’s one heck of a trophy to win that’s for sure!”
With the 2018 World Enduro Super Series complete, stay tuned for details of the 2019 calendar soon…
World Enduro Super Series Final Championship Standings
1. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GBR) 4800pts; 2. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER) 4470pts; 3. Nathan Watson (KTM – GBR) 4103pts; 4. Josep Garcia (KTM – ESP) 4010pts; 5. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM – POL) 3675pts; 6. Paul Bolton (KTM – GBR) 3377pts; 7. Wade Young (Sherco – RSA) 3220pts; 8. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna – GBR) 3010pts; 9. Jonny Walker (KTM – GBR) 2900pts; 10. Lars Enockl 2272pts…
Photo credit: Future7Media