It’s crunch time for the World Enduro Super Series title contenders as Red Bull Knock Out hosts the eighth and final round of the 2018 championship.
After seven hard-fought races, the outcome of this year’s battle to become the ULTIMATE ENDURO CHAMPION will be decided on the shoreline of Scheveningen, in The Netherlands. Following a season of Hard Enduro, Classic Enduro and Cross-Country racing, the Red Bull Knock Out’s Beach Race will complete this year’s inaugural multi-discipline Enduro championship.
At the top of the standings it’s Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt (GB) who holds a 275-point advantage over Germany’s Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM). With Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Josep Garcia (ESP) in close contention in third, it ensures all will be decided on Saturday, November 10th.
Ready to play host to this year’s championship outcome, 1000 competitors are eager to battle it out at the sixth edition of the Red Bull Knock Out. Split into two parts, the one-hour morning qualifier will see the entry go head-to-head for a place in the afternoon’s main event. The two-hour Red Bull Knock Out Final for the 750 qualified riders – broadcast live on Red Bull TV – sees an added twist to Beach Racing with the inclusion of a technically demanding X-Loop during the final hour of racing.
With a virtual grasp on this year’s title, Bolt is looking to put his best foot forward in the Dutch sand. Although most at home in Hard Enduro, the British rider recently dipped a toe in Beach Racing finishing a very impressive third overall at Weston Beach Race in the UK. Keen to show that result was no fluke, the Husqvarna rider looks to impress one last time in 2018 and with it become the ULTIMATE ENDURO CHAMPION.
Despite a late race crash during round seven, which dropped him to 43rd, Lettenbichler maintains his position of second overall in the championship standings. A rider who has turned heads time and time again this season, the German is most certainly capable of a strong result in The Netherlands.
Third overall and gaining ground on the leading duo during the second half of the season, Garcia is within hustling distance of Bolt and Lettenbichler. Beating both championship rivals at rounds six and seven, Garcia reduced his points deficit in this year’s title chase. Ready once again to play spoiler in the mix, the Spaniard will be eager to use the sizeable entry to his advantage and pick up many more valuable points. Despite lying just 25 points behind teammate Garcia in fourth, Taddy Blazusiak (KTM – POL) exacerbated an already injured finger at round seven and looks set to become an unfortunate spectator at this weekend’s finale.
While Bolt, Lettenbichler and Garcia are favourites to decide the outcome of this year’s championship, it’s Britain’s Nathan Watson (KTM) who starts with his sights set on a debut WESS victory. Sixth overall in the standings, Watson has been patiently waiting all season for the Red Bull Knock Out. Already twice a runner-up in the Dutch Beach Race, the KTM rider is a contender for the top step of the podium. A win at round eight could also see him leap dramatically upwards in the final classification.
Arguably one of the most versatile riders in the series, privateer Paul Bolton (KTM – GB) currently lies seventh overall heading to The Netherlands, while Gas Gas Factory Racing’s Lars Enockl (AUT) completes the top 10. Despite missing the opening two rounds due to injury, Spain’s Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) is now 13th, with Estonia’s Rannar Uusna (KTM) 14th.
With 1000 riders signed up for the final round of the 2018 season, there are some notable wildcard entries who are sure to ruffle the championship contenders. Seventh in this year’s MXGP Motocross World Championship and home favourite, Glenn Coldenhoff (KTM – NED) tops that list. Beach Racing specialist and Red Bull Knock Out winner in 2015, Belgium’s Axel van de Sande (Yamaha) will aim for victory number two.
France’s Camille Chapeliere (KTM), Milko Potisek (Yamaha – FRA) and Yentel Martens (Husqvarna – BEL) are Beach Racing specialists who are sure to shine in the sand. Former Motocross World Champion and winner of the event, Steve Ramon (Yamaha – BEL) is a rider never to be counted out. Making a guest appearance at the final round of WESS, extreme sports athlete Robbie Maddison (KTM – AUS) will also compete in Saturday’s Red Bull Knock Out.
Todd Kellet (GB) – three-time winner of Britain’s Weston Beach Race – is set to add some spice to the mix, while Jamie McCanney (Yamaha – GB) – runner-up in the 2018 Enduro 1 World Championship – completes a world-class line up of riders.