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Serbia awaits Fim Hewc for Round Three at Xross Hard Enduro Rally – Preview

Serbia awaits Fim Hewc for Round Three at Xross Hard Enduro Rally – Preview

The FIM Hard Enduro World Championship gears up for round three, and four days of racing, with the Xross Hard Enduro Rally in Serbia on June 19-22. With championship leader Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) absent due to injury, the door is wide open for a new winner to emerge. In the FIM Hard Enduro Junior World Championship supported by KLIM it’s TTR Squadra Corse’s Mitch Brightmore in charge.

  • FIM HEWC heads to Serbia for round three
  • The Xross Hard Enduro Rally is a four-day race, beginning June 19
  • Mountainous riding awaits up to 60 Pro class riders and 350 entries

Heading to the big mountains of Serbia, the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship readies itself for the first GPS navigation rally of 2024 with the tough and testing Xross Hard Enduro Rally. A firm favourite for every rider, the four-day race takes competitors deep into the spectacular wilderness of the Zlatibor, Tara and Mokra Gora mountains.

Starting midweek, Wednesday is all about the AKRAPOVIC Prologue qualification. It’s a chance for riders to stretch their legs, and the Superenduro format offers the first opportunity for them to score championship points.

Early Thursday morning, and it’s time for the mountains. Each day, riders will take on a 100-kilometre Hard Enduro course that will uncover both the beauty and the difficulty of the surrounding Serbian terrain.

FIGHT FOR VICTORY WILL BE WIDE-OPEN AND INTENSE IN SERBIA

On the injury bench for round three, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Manuel Lettenbichler will be a notable absentee in Serbia. The defending champion, and round one and two winner, suffered a knee injury in training, forcing him to miss the action at Xross Hard Enduro Rally.

This means we will see a new winner on top of the podium at the end of day four. With Lettenbichler having won the last 10 consecutive FIM HEWC races since 2022, Serbia is set to have us on the edge of our seat with excitement. In total, almost 60 riders are entered in the Pro class, but who are favourites for success?

Lying second overall in the championship standings, Sherco Factory Racing’s Mario Roman knows that it’s now or never to take victory in Serbia. The Spaniard favours the long, multi-day race formats and will look to boost his 2024 podium streak with a victory.

Enjoying a strong start to his year is Red Bull Leader Tread’s Wade Young in third overall. The South African is another rider who often excels in GPS navigation events and knows how to dig deep when the terrain gets tough. Yet to finish on the podium in 2024, we’re expecting Young to be in the mix in Serbia.

Sitting fourth overall in standings, while also leading the FIM Hard Enduro Junior World Championship supported by KLIM, is TTR Squadra Corse’s Mitch Brightmore. The young Brit has had a stellar start to his year and is quickly establishing himself as a contender among the world’s best Hard Enduro riders. Working towards his first overall podium, there’s lots to come from Brightmore.

Sherco Factory Racing’s Teodor Kabakchiev completes the top five. The Bulgarian placed as runner-up at round one, but a missed checkpoint during round two ultimately hampered his points tally. In Serbia, he will look to bounce back strong. A podium finisher of the race in 2022 and 2023, Kabakchiev has what it takes to secure his debut FIM HEWC victory.

The battle for sixth overall is heating up between Francesc Moret (Sherco), Marc Riba (KTM) and Matthew Green (KTM). Both former top Trial riders, Moret and Riba are showing great promise since switching fully to Hard Enduro. Battling with Green, it will be exciting to see this rivalry develop in Serbia.

MITCH BRIGHTMORE HEADS JUNIOR CLASS TO SERBIA

In the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship supported by KLIM, it’s defending champion Mitch Brightmore who leads the way heading into round three. The Brit has claimed victory twice so far in 2024 and will look to deliver again this week.

His younger brother Ashton is second overall in standings and is aiming to topple his brother from the top step of the podium. However, Ashton will be a newcomer to Xross Hard Enduro Rally and faces four tough days ahead.

Beta UK’s Richard Moorhouse holds onto third overall in standings but is only one point clear of Triple D Motorsport KTM’s Robert Crayston in fourth. With Jarvis Racing’s Barnabas Csizmazia close behind in fifth, it’s all to play for at round three.

AKRAPOVIC LIVE EXPERIENCE

Don’t forget, you can follow all the action from round three at Xross Hard Enduro Rally on the AKRAPOVIC Live Experience on iridehardenduro.com. Filled with information, it will feature all the official results, event coverage and schedules to help you stay up to speed with the action.

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (AFTER ROUND 2)

FIM HEWC
1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 45pts
2. Mario Roman (Sherco) 32pts
3. Wade Young (GASGAS) 29pts
4. Mitch Brightmore (Husqvarna) 13pts
5. Teodor Kabakchiev (Sherco) 20pts
6. Francesc Moret (Sherco) 18pts
7. Marc Riba (KTM) 17pts
8. Matthew Green (KTM) 17pts
9. Will Hoare (RIEJU) 13pts
10. Vaclav Nedved (KTM) 12pts

FIM HEJWC supported by KLIM
1. Mitch Brightmore (Husqvarna) 42pts
2. Ashton Brightmore (GASGAS) 37pts
3. Richard Moorhouse (Beta) 28pts
4. Robert Crayston (KTM) 27pts
5. Barnabas Csizmazia (Husqvarna) 20pts

Words and ~Images by FIM HEWC