The World Enduro Super Series rips back into action this weekend at Hixpania Hard Enduro but what about the guy topping the points? Manuel Lettenbichler is sitting pretty, enjoying life and getting the results.
Two podium results from three events, plus 14th at the French Classic Trèfle Lozérien, has rewarded the likeable, 21-year-old German, Manuel Lettenbichler with a 190-point advantage in the WESS Championship.
Though very much focused on winning the WESS, Lettenbichler’s ‘lighter’ approach to life and the tight-bond within his small team is helping to deliver the results in 2019.
Continuing to work hard at improving his overall speed, Manuel is aiming for that a debut WESS win…
“It’s awesome to be in this position so soon in the championship.” Says Manuel. “I wanted to be pushing at the front, but I didn’t really expect it to happen already. It’s cool and while it means that things are obviously going good, I’m not getting too hung up on it.
“We’re only just getting into round four so there’s a long way to go. What I’m trying to do is focus on one race at a time, give my best there and then move on to the next one. I feel like that’s working - I’ve had two podiums and a strong ride at Trèfle Lozérien AMV, so now it’s time to push hard in Spain and give my best again.”
Check out Lettenbichler’s VLOG from Trèfle Lozérien at the bottom of this post.
Racing Hixpania Hard Enduro for the first time
This weekend see round four of the 2019 WESS championship and will be Lettenbichler’s first time racing at Hixpania Hard Enduro: “I’m looking forward to it and while a lot of the guys have raced it before, I’m hoping I won’t be at too much of a disadvantage – it is what it is, and I can’t change that.
“One thing different for everyone is that it’s now a summer race and not a winter one, so the dirt and temperature will be new for everyone. The format looks good, a cool Prologue and then a tough Cross-Country style race on Saturday.
“Sunday’s multi-lap format is something I haven’t much experience in for Hard Enduro, so it will be interesting to see how that goes. Depending on traffic late in the race I think it will be a close battle the whole way.”
Loving the privateer life
“I really love the setup I have now and believe it fits me perfectly. We’re a small crew, but a really tight one – it’s mostly my Dad, my friend Tobi and myself at each round.
“My father has been around for a long time in this sport (a veteran of Erzberg and Romaniacs to name a few!), so having him in my corner is amazing.
“Overall, we work well together and everyone knows exactly what needs to be done. I think that’s what I love about Enduro, you don’t need a huge team to make it happen, just the right people. However, I need to say thanks to KTM for helping out - they let us pit under their awning at the first two rounds and it was a huge help.”
“I feel lucky to do the job I have. It was always my dream to race professionally and now here I am getting to live that dream - it’s crazy! Of course, when the time comes you need to be serious and focused, but outside of that it’s super important to have a smile on your face.”
In 2018 Lettenbichler was certainly a contender in the WESS Championship. A regular podium rider in the extreme events, like many of the top riders in the series, the mixed events in the championship dished-up new challenges for Manuel.
In 2019 the aim has been to up his game in the more traditional enduro events in the series, “I think what I improved on the most last year was my overall speed. I had the technical skills but lacked pace on the fast stuff.
“I didn’t race SuperEnduro during the last winter, so that I could work on that. Following my results at Trèfle Lozérien AMV I feel that I’ve stepped things up.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do at Hawkstone Park Cross-Country and the BR2 Enduro Solsona later in the year.
“Overall, I feel like I’ve got faster too and moved another step forward with my riding. That’s basically all I’m trying to do at the moment – improve little by little and the results will come.
“I want to win too, but I don’t think you can rush it either. That’s how you make mistakes. But I know I’ll get there because I don’t want to be the guy leading the championship and not winning races!”
Lettenbichler’s ‘Nuts and Bolts’ VLOG takeover…
The World Enduro Super Series continues this weekend with Spain’s Hixpania Hard Enduro on June 21-23.
2019 Hixpania Hard Enduro schedule:
June 20: Hixpania Village opens
June 21: SuperEncierro Prologue 17.00h - 20.30h
June 22: Campoo X-treme
June 23: MITAS El Camino Perdido 11.00h - 14.15h
Hixpania Village open throughout race weekend
2018 Hixpania Hard Enduro podium:
- Mario Roman (Sherco)
- Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna)
- Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna)
Hixpania Hard Enduro past winners:
2018: Mario Roman (Sherco)
2017: Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna)
2016: Alfredo Gomez (KTM)
World Enduro Super Series standings (after round 3 of 8):
- Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM - GER) 1960 points
- Mario Roman (Sherco - ESP) 1770 pts
- Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna - GBR) 1690 pts
- Josep Garcia (KTM - ESP) 1665 pts
- Jonny Walker (KTM - GBR) 1520 pts
- Billy Bolt (Husqvarna - GBR) 1465 pts
- Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna - ESP) 1464 pts
- Wade Young (Sherco - RSA) 1460 pts
- Taddy Blazusiak (KTM - POL) 1370 pts
- Nathan Watson (KTM - GBR) 1271 pts