Off Road

Watson, Lettenbichler and Walker round out Hawkstone Park Cross-Country Podium

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Nathan Watson delivers the goods to secure a deserved home win. Photo: Future7Media
Nathan Watson delivers the goods to claim a home win at round six of the World Enduro Super Series, the Hawkstone Park Cross-Country.

Watson showed his class on the physically demanding Shropshire course to take victory over Germany‰Ûªs Manuel Lettenbichler and Jonny Walker.

Placing as runner-up in Great Britain, Lettenbichler extends his lead in this year‰Ûªs title race.

With Saturday‰Ûªs Sprint Enduro qualifiers done and dusted it was time to get down to business for the Original Fast Eddy Cross-Country race. Saturday‰Ûªs glorious weather gave way to scattered showers, but it did little to dampen the race action.

As riders blasted off the Hawkstone Park start line, it was Gas Gas‰Ûª Alex Snow who took the initial holeshot with Walker and the ensuring pack of riders close behind. There was immediate drama when both Watson and 2018 winner Josep Garcia were slow to start. Watson fared better than his teammate and was quickly mid pack, while Garcia had work to do after leaving the start in last position.
Riders blast away from the start of the gruelling two-and-a-half-hour race. Photo: Future7Media
By the end of lap one, Walker was in the lead but Watson was up to second with Lettenbichler, Taddy Blazusiak and Snow chasing. Garcia was battling through the field and closing in on the top-10. A lap later and Watson was out front.

Exiting the mid-distance fuel stop of the two-hour and 30-minute race, Watson had increased his advantage to over one-minute from Lettenbichler and Walker. Controlling the pace for the second half of the race, he rode on to take a memorable win with Lettenbichler and Walker rounding out the podium.
Jonny Walker puts his best foot forward for a first WESS podium finish of 2019. Photo: Future7Media
‰ÛÏI‰Ûªm super-happy to win today," Walker said. "I felt a lot of pressure coming into this weekend because it seems everyone expected me to win. Obviously, I got second here last year so I was extra-motivated this weekend. Winning the Sprint Enduro gave me some confidence for today, but then I got a bad start and was near last. I made some aggressive passes early on to fight my way back up to the front. Once I got into the lead I felt so comfortable and was able to control the pace. I‰Ûªm feeling pretty confident now going into BR2 Enduro Solsona. I‰Ûªm liking the hard pack more and more now too, as well as the sand. The plan is to get some more points back and see where we are in the championship.‰Û
Manuel Lettenbichler stays at the top of the WESS championship standings. Photo: Future7Media
Championship leader, Manuel Lettenbichler was happy to stretch his lead: ‰ÛÏI came into this round with no expectations at all, but the plan was to collect as many points as possible for the overall standings," Lettenbichler explained.

"I thought if I could do a little better than last year and get inside the top-five it would be amazing because there are so many fast guys out there. I got a really good start and managed to find a good rhythm, so the whole race went really well ‰ÛÒ I surprised myself a little. Although my result here gives me quite a confidence boost going into the next round, it‰Ûªs going to be really different racing in Spain. I‰Ûªll give it my best as always and if we can get a good result it will be a boost heading to Getzenrodeo.‰Û
Results - World Enduro Super Series, Round 6 - Hawkstone Park Cross-Country
1. Nathan Watson (KTM - GB) 14 laps, 2:30:41.111
2. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM - GER) 2:33:19.480
3. Jonny Walker (KTM - GB) 2:35:51.529
4. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM - POL) 2:36:36.306
5. Josep Garcia (KTM - ESP) 2:39:09.380
6. Alex Snow (Gas Gas - GB) 2:40:25.430
7. Will Hoare (KTM - GB) 2:42:21.589
8. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna - ESP) 13 laps, 2:32:03.308
9. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna - GB) 2:33:22.425
10. Suff Sella (KTM - ISR) 2:34:13.143

Provisional Standings ‰ÛÒ World Enduro Super Series 2019 (After round 6)
1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM - GER) 4420 points
2. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna - GB) 3920 points
3. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna - ESP) 3654 points
4. Jonny Walker (KTM - GB) 3470 points
5. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM - POL) 3280 points
6. Josep Garcia (KTM - ESP) 3165 points
7. Mario Roman (Sherco - ESP) 3070 points
8. Nathan Watson (KTM - GB) 3031 points
9. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna - GB) 2725 points
10. Pol Tarres (Husqvarna - ESP) 2270 points

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