Manuel Lettenbichler was on a charge at Red Bull Romaniacs, dominating on day two at round five of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship in Romania.
Following his time penalty from Offroad Day One, the German was out to prove a point and topped the classification by over 16 minutes. Graham Jarvis maintains his overall lead in the Hard Enduro Rallye.
Yesterday’s opening day saw it end with an eleventh-hour drama, with event favourite Manuel Lettenbichler receiving a time penalty. The German rider, who suffered a clutch issue, was found to have received outside assistance and as such was handed a two-hour time penalty, dropping him from seventh to 17th overall.
Determined to fight back, Lettenbichler came out swinging for Offroad Day Two and delivered an outstanding display of Hard Enduro riding. Carving his way through the field from his late starting position, the three-time Red Bull Romaniacs winner repeatedly clocked in fastest checkpoint time after checkpoint time. Making incredibly short work of the signature sections, he eventually took all but one of the day’s 12 checkpoints to complete the course in just over six hours. The second day win moves him back inside the top 10 overall.
Winner of Offroad Day, Graham Jarvis was first to lead the Gold class competitors out at a very early 6:45am this morning. Knowing Lettenbichler would be on a charge, the six-time race winner also knew that it was Teodor Kabakchiev starting in second who he would ultimately need to keep an eye on regarding the overall standings. Getting to work, the Hard Enduro legend also put in a masterful display of riding in the mountains to finish second, while more importantly extending his race lead over Kabakchiev to nine minutes.
A slightly slow start to his morning saw Kabakchiev sit outside the top five on corrected time during the first three checkpoints, but he soon found his flow. Picking up his rhythm, the Bulgarian began to reclaim his lost time and battled his way back into contention, ending his day third.
With Jarvis and Kabakchiev already enjoying 17 and eight-minute advantages respectively over the rest of the class, the fight for the remainder of the top five is quite close.
Always a slow burner in Red Bull Romaniacs, Mario Roman began to show his hand on Offroad Day Two. Ending yesterday in fourth, he picked things up today to again finish fourth, but more importantly move up to third overall in the event standings.
Trystan Hart dropped a position to Roman today. The Canadian steadily lost ground to the Spaniard throughout the day. Ending Offroad Day 2 in sixth, he slips to fourth overall.
With a strong ride, Michael Walkner sandwiched himself between Roman and Hart for fifth. The Austrian is continuing to impress every time he takes to the track and now finds himself just under one minute behind Hart in fifth overall.
With Offroad Day 2 ending away from Sibiu at the Ranca ski resort, Offroad Day Three will take competitors on the return leg back to Sibiu, where some spectacular new trails at over 2000 metres of elevation await.
Results: Round 5 – Red Bull Romaniacs
Provisional Offroad Day 2
1 Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 6:03:23;
2 Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 6:19:53
3 Teodor Kabakchiev (KTM) 6:24:17
4 Mario Roman (Sherco) 6:26:16
5 Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 6:31:19
6 Trystan Hart (KTM) 6:31:29
7 Sonny Goggia (KTM) 6:53:56
8 David Cyprian (KTM) 6:59:21
9 Matthew Green (KTM) 7:02:31
10 Dominik Olszowy (GASGAS) 7:22:25
Provisional Overall Classification (After Offroad Day 2)
1 Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 11:06:23
2 Teodor Kabakchiev (KTM) 11:15:34
3 Mario Roman (Sherco) 11:23:43
4 Trystan Hart (KTM) 11:28:20
5 Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 11:29:10