Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Manuel Lettenbichler is ready to take on the 2021 edition of Extreme XL Lagares. The three-day Portuguese event, running from May 7-9, marks the opening round of the inaugural FIM Hard Enduro World Championship.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Manuel Lettenbichler are keen to get started on what looks set to be an exciting season following the introduction of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship.

Evolving from the WESS Championship, the new-for-2021 series focuses on hard enduro events in Europe and North America. Challenging riders with notoriously extreme races throughout the calendar, the FIM HEWC will feature a number of different event formats including some of the most well-known enduros on the planet.

A three-day event, round one of the FIM HEWC will take Mani to Extreme XL Lagares, held in Portugal this coming weekend. Featuring a revised format for 2021, due in part to the needed spectator restrictions, the event will undoubtedly continue to challenge riders with its mix of extreme terrain, including the infamously slippery riverbeds that will once again make things incredibly tough for all.

Despite the lack of events last season, 2020 was still a good year for Lettenbichler. Signing with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing at the start of the season, Mani went on to podium at the King of the Motos event in North America on his first attempt. Returning to competitive action in October, the likeable German won the grueling five-day Red Bull Romaniacs – an event made even tougher due to the changeable autumn weather.

Highly motivated and raring to go, Lettenbichler hopes to make a strong start to his FIM HEWC campaign, aiming for the win at round one in Portugal. And with the remaining other championship events falling well within the 23-year-old’s comfort zone, Mani hopes to take the title fight to the series-ending GetzenRodeo event in Germany, on October 29-30, and challenge for the world title in front of his home fans.

Manuel Lettenbichler: “I’m super excited for this season. The FIM Hard Enduro World Championship looks like it’s going to be amazing. Obviously, we didn’t have so much racing last year, so to be looking forward to a full season is cool. I know things will be a little different at first as there won’t be many spectators, certainly at the first events, but even getting back into race mode and seeing all the other guys again is going to be good. Hopefully as the year goes on, we’ll have some fans back to cheer us on. Testing has been going well and I’m really happy with the bike. We’ve been doing some fine tuning on the suspension and I’m super happy with my extreme set-up on the KTM 300 EXC TPI. Hopefully if everything goes well, I can have a good result in Portugal and then carry that on to the other events. The goal as always is to win the championship, that part never changes.”

View Mani's preparation video on Youtube here.