FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Trystan Hart has won the Red Bull TKO – round six of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship. Red Bull KTM’s Manuel Lettenbichler fought his way through to finish as runner-up and now moves to within just one point of the overall championship lead.
Taking place in Sequatchie, Tennessee, Red Bull TKO is one of North America’s best-known and toughest hard enduros. Featuring on the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship calendar for the second year, the 2022 event opened on Thursday night with a spectacular urban straight rhythm, held in downtown Nashville. On Sunday riders faced a grueling day of racing, first with qualifying, which was then followed by two knockout races, and finally the top 20 competitors went through to the intense 30-minute-plus-one-lap final.
Manuel Lettenbichler made a strong start to his TKO campaign, finishing as runner-up on the Thursday night straight rhythm to the delight of the passionate fans. The result came at a cost however, with the KTM 300 EXC rider injuring his foot at the event. The real hard work came on Sunday. After safely qualifying second behind teammate Trystan Hart, Mani went on to finish Knockout Race 1 in fourth, before advancing to the final with fifth place in Knockout Race 2. With Hart on top form, Lettenbichler knew he’d be tough to stop on North American soil, but pushed hard despite the pain from his injured foot. Giving his absolute all, the German finished close behind in second.
Manuel Lettenbichler: “From the first qualifier today I was struggling so bad and knew it would be a really tough event for me. I have a foot injury I’ve been managing, and on the downhill sections here it was very hard to control the rear brake. I just tried to manage each race as they came and do my best. But Trystan rode amazing today, so hats off to him. I’m really happy to finish second and close in on Mario at the top of the championship, with just one point in it, there’s still everything to play for.”
Dominant right from the start at Red Bull TKO, FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Trystan Hart topped every single session in this year’s event. The young Canadian, feeling at home on the rocky Tennessee terrain, delivered a masterclass in North American hard enduro racing to ultimately secure the win in the Final Knockout by well over one minute from Lettenbichler. The victory marks Hart's first ever FIM Hard Enduro win and he now looks forward to carrying that momentum to his home race, Red Bull Outliers in Canada, in two weeks’ time.
Trystan Hart: “Oh this feels awesome! It’s definitely a big relief to take the win. After winning everything all day I felt a lot of pressure going into the final, and then when that was delayed by 40 minutes, it only made it worse. I had a few close calls out there, but managed to stay focused and bring it home. The support from the fans was incredible too.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing return to FIM Hard Enduro World Championship action with the penultimate round seven of the series – Red Bull Outliers – held in Calgary, Canada from August 27-28.
Provisional Results – 2022 Red Bull TKO
1. Trystan Hart (CAN), KTM, 5 laps
2. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER), KTM, +1:19.577
3. Mario Roman (ESP), Sherco, +58.055
4. Wade Young (RSA), Sherco, +2:55.829
5. Teodor Kabakchiev (BUL), KTM, 4 laps
6. Ryder LeBlond (USA), KTM, 4 laps, +39.752
Provisional standings - FIM Hard Enduro World Championship (after 6 of 8 rounds)
1. Mario Roman (ESP), Sherco, 88 points
2. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER), KTM, 87 pts
3. Graham Jarvis (GBR), Husqvarna, 69 pts
4. Teodor Kabakchiev (BUL), KTM, 63 pts
5. Billy Bolt (GBR), Husqvarna, 62 pts