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Hart tops Lettenbichler at Red Bull Tennessee Knockout; Mario Roman rounds out the podium

Trystan Hart (center), Manuel Lettenbichler (left) and Mario Roman finished first through third at the 2022 Red Bull Tennessee Knockout. Photo: Future7Media.

FMF KTM Factory Racing-backed Trystan Hart topped the 2022 Red Bull Tennessee Knockout. The Canadian dominated the day by setting the fastest times in all four rounds of racing that totaled nearly three hours on the rocky and challenging terrain. Red Bull KTM’s Manuel Lettenbichler finished second. The German was one minute and nineteen seconds behind Hart in the main event. Sherco Racing-backed Mario Roman finished third at the TKO to maintain a one point lead over Lettenbichler in the championship. The event served as round six of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship (HEWC) and also served as the AMA Grand Championship for Extreme Off-Road racing so world championship points were earned and an AMA number one plate.

In addition to the pro racing, the Red Bull Tennessee Knockout crowned amateur champions. Saturday included two rounds of amateur racing with race two serving as the championship-deciding race. During that second race, Tennessee’s Drew Kirby earned the number one spot with a winning time of fifty-eight minutes and five seconds on his KTM. Rodrigo Lopes finished 4 minutes and six seconds behind and Tyler Soriano rounded out the top three. Sixteen-year-old Chase Landers won the morning race and finished fourth in the race two. The top thirty riders also earned the opportunity to compete with the thirty-two pre-qualified pro riders that included ten of the HEWC riders.

Also on Saturday, Sam Bird raced an Electric Motion to beat JoJo Toole to win the inaugural ECR eMoto electric motorcycle class. Toole was riding a prototype XE4 conversion that utilized a Yamaha YZ250F motocross chassis. Jason Smith rounded out the podium on another Electric Motion. A total of twenty-four riders competed with seventeen completing the full loop. .

Other Saturday class winners among nearly 500 participants included Riley Bender in Amateur B, Nicholas Trailer in Amateur C, Stephen Thaxton in 45+ Vet and Seth Steiner in Youth Lites 12-15.

Sunday’s format consisted of four rounds of racing for the sixty-one riders that earned a spot and it started with the hot lap on a 1.6 mile “short course”. Hart set the fastest time of 7:41.30 seconds. Lettenbichler was second with a time of 7:45.47 and Roman rounded out the top three with a time of 7:49.04. Poland’s Taddy Blazusiak was fourth with a 7:52.00 on the Factory GasGas and American Ryder LeBlond put in the fifth fastest time at 7:55.02.

Round two included all sixty-one riders competing on an eleven mile “long-course” in the order of the hot-lap results and only the top twenty-five riders earn a spot in the next round. Hart again set the standard with a 56:03.61 time. Blazusiak was next with a 57:07.33 lap. Bulgarian Teodor Kabakchiev made his mark with the third fastest time of 57:20.13. Lettenbichler was fourth with a time of 58:35.84. Spain’s Alfredo Gomez was fifth with a time of 1:00:06.55.

There was a last-chance qualification race among the four riders that just missed the cut and Arizona’s James Flynn took that spot to be the last rider to make it to the second round for the second year in a row.

That second round places the riders into five groups (four groups of five and one group of six that included the LCQ winner Flynn). Those groups would be racing another loop on the “long-course” with some additional difficult sections added. The riders are just competing with the riders in their respective groups to take the top four spots to make up the twenty riders that make it to the main event. Hart won group one ahead of Hard Enduro GOAT Graham Jarvis, LeBlond and Israel’s Suff Salla. Roman won group two ahead of American Jordan Ashburn, Blasuzisak and multi-time Trials champion Pat Smage. Group three was won by Kabakchiev followed by FactoryOne Sherco’s Cody Webb, Poland’s Dominik Olszowy, and Germany’s Tim Apolle. Lettenbichler took the win in group four with Czechoslovakia’s David Cyprian second, American Keith Curtis third and Canada’s Cory Graffunder fourth. In the fifth group, South Africa’s Wade Young finished first on a Sherco. Spain’s Alfredo Gomez was second, American Logan Bolopue was third and Mexican David Garza was fourth. The five group winners earn front row starting positions and the second-place finishers start on row two and so on.

The main event was back on the short course with a 30-minute plus one lap race, which ended up taking thirty-seven minutes and forty-one seconds to complete. Hart took the early lead and opened a small gap on Lettenbichler who kept it close for the entire race but was never able to get close enough to make any pass attempts. But with the difficult hill climbs, rocks and roots, it was always close enough to keep things interesting. In the end, Hart finished 1:19.58 ahead of his fellow KTM rider.

Roman had to make a couple of first lap passes to get up to third place but he too was never able to get close enough to Lettenbichler to make any pass attempts. Young put in a good ride on his Sherco to finish in fourth position 5:13.46 behind Hart. Kabakchiev started the race in third position and dropped back to fifth, 7:46.71 behind the winner.

Gomez had to pass a few riders and ultimately finished sixth, just ten seconds ahead of LeBlond, who was the top American on his Dellullo Racing Husqvarna in seventh position. LeBlond was the last rider on the lead lap and finished the main event in 46:12.34.

Jarvis, the winner of the 2022 Red Bull Romanics event two weeks before the TKO, finished eighth. Webb was ninth on his Sherco and Cyprian rounded out the top ten on a KTM.

“It feels amazing to be standing on the top of the podium,” said Hart. “I am stoked to get the win here in North America, these boys have been kicking my butt the last couple of weekends (Erzberg and Romaniacs).” The Canadian will now be looking for a second in his home country at the Outliers Hard Enduro on August 27-28 in Calgary.

“Pretty stoked to be back racing in the US,” said Lettenbichler. “I had a pretty hard day, I hurt my heel in Nashville at the straight rhythm which was a little frustrating but I fought through it. Congrats to Mario who was riding good today and also to first place Trystan Hart because he dominated today.”

“Thank you very much to the crowd who was yelling Mario all day,” said Roman. “I had a fantastic day and a good battle with the boys. Knockout one, I was riding too relaxed but Knockout two, I rode better and got a first row start. In the main event, Teo made an aggressive pass in the first turn and I almost crashed and had to overtake some riders and do a good job for the Sherco racing team.”

The Women’s pro class competed along with the top amateurs on the more difficult race two and FactoryOne Sherco rider Louise Forsley took the win ahead of Beta USA’s Morgan Tanke. Nikki Russell rounded out the podium on a Husqvarna. Forsley took the AMA Grand Championship number one plate and impressively finished thirty-second overall among all the amateur riders.

2022 Red Bull Tennessee, Knockout Main Event Results

    1. Trystan Hart, KTM, Canada
    2. Manuel Lettenbichler, KTM, Germany
    3. Mario Roman, Sherco, Spain
    4. Wade Young, Sherco, South Africa
    5. Todor Kabakchiev, KTM, Bulgaria
    6. Alfredo Gomez, GasGas, Spain
    7. Ryder LeBlond, Husqvarna, USA
    8. Graham Jarvis, Husqvarna, Great Britain
    9. Cody Webb, Sherco, USA
    10. David Cyprian, KTM, Czechoslovakia
    11. Taddy Blazusiak, GasGas, Poland
    12. Dominik Olszowy, GasGas, Poland
    13. Patrick Smage, Sherco, USA
    14. Suff Sella, KTM, Israel
    15. Keith Curtis, Sherco, USA
    16. Logan Bolopue, Sherco, USA
    17. Cory Graffunder, Husqvarna, Canada
    18. Tim Apolle, Beta, Germany
    19. David Garza, Beta, Mexico
    20. Jordan Ashburn, Husqvarna, USA

Detailed results can be found here.

Keep an eye on Red Bull TV for several videos featuring the 2022 Red Bull Tennessee Knockout.

Trystan Hart dominated the 2022 TKO to take his first ever FIM Hard Enduro World Championship race win. Photo: Future7Media.
Manuel Lettenbichler finished second at the TKO to close to within one point of the FIM Hard Enduro Championship lead. Photo: Future7Media.
Mario Roman tamed the Tennessee rocks to finish third at the TKO. Photo: Future7Media.
Ryder LeBlond was the top American finisher in seventh. Photo: Future7Media.
FactoryOne Sherco rider Louise Forsley won the women’s class. Photo: Andrew Nguyen

 

2022 Red Bull Tennessee Knockout Preview; The world’s best taking on the Tennessee Hard Enduro

The 2022 Red Bull Tennessee Knockout will host most of the best Hard Enduro Riders in the world this week at the Trials Training Center, in Sequatchie, Tennessee.

The event is round six of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship and the AMA Grand Championship for amateur Extreme Enduro. Manni Lettenbichler, Graham Jarvis, Mario Roman, and Wade Young will be among the international riders facing off against some of the best North American riders including Trystan Hart, Cody Webb, Ryder LeBlond, and Jordan Ashburn.

Many of those top riders will kick the weekend off at the Red Bull Straight Rhythm Enduro Prologue on Thursday evening on Broadway Street in downtown Nashville. The course will include urban-inspired obstacles on the iconic street. Sixteen male and four female riders will race in an exciting bracket elimination format in head-to-head pairs. This will be free to the public and run from 7:00 to 10:00 PM CST.  

The riders and fans then reconvene at the Trials Training Center on Friday, August 12th for the amateur class AOMC Hot-Lap qualifying before two rounds of amateur class racing on Saturday to determine the AMA Grand Championships for Extreme Off-Road racing. The ECR eMoto (Electric Motorcycle) class will be part of the Saturday morning racing. The top 30 riders on Saturday will earn the opportunity to compete with the top pro riders that are pre-qualified directly to the Sunday racing. 

The Pro Women will be competing for an AMA Grand Championship #1 plate on Saturday and a few may qualify for Sunday.

Sunday will begin with sixty-plus riders competing in four rounds of racing. Riders will be eliminated in rounds two and three to narrow the field to the top 20 riders in the main event. The riders, including the women, will be fighting for their share of a $20,000 purse, making it one of the largest payouts for off-road motorcycle racing. 

Prequalified riders:  
Manuel Lettenbichler, Germany
Trystan Hart, Canada
Mario Roman, Spain
Graham Jarvis, United Kingdon
Wade Young, South Africa
Cody Webb, United States
Alfredo Gomez, Spain
Ryder LeBlond, United States
Taddy Blazusiak, Poland
Teodor Kabakchiev, Bulgaria
Jordan Ashburn, United States
Tim Apolle, Germany
Pat Smage, United States
Cory Graffunder, Canada
Keith Curtis, United States
David Cyprian, Czech Republic
Dominik Olszowy, Poland
Nick Fahringer, United States
Logan Bolopue, United States
James Flynn, United States
Norbert Zsigovits, Hungary
Ramon Bregoli Italy
Moret Francesc, Spain
David Garza, Mexico
Branden Petrie, Canada
Suff Sela, Israel
Mitch Carvolth, United States
David Knight, United Kingdon
Quinn Wentzel, United States
Casey Satterfield, United States
Adam Hartnagel, United States
George Kowalski, United States
Chris Satterfield, United States
Marc Fernandez, Spain

Manni Lettenbichler won the 2019 TKO, and will be aiming to close the points gap with Mario Roman in the Hard Enduro World Championship. Photo: Future7Media.
Sherco’s Mario Roman is leading the Hard Enduro World Championship points standings coming into the Red Bull Tennessee Knockout. Photo: Future7Media.
Cody Webb won the TKO six years straight. You can’t count him out for a win despite the fact that he is returning from an injury. Photo: Future7Media.
Canadian Trystan Hart earned a podium at Erzberg and a fourth-place finish at Romaniacs. He took his first major US Hard Enduro win at the 2020 TKO. Photo: Future7Media.
The seemingly ageless Graham Jarvis finished second at his one TKO appearance in 2017. A win at the 2022 Red Bull Romaniacs Hard Enduro proved again that he is always a threat to win, especially in tough conditions. Photo: Future7Media.

AOMC Returns as Partner of Red Bull Tennessee Knockout; Presenting sponsor of the Women’s Pro class and Amateur Hot Lap

AOMC (Appalachian Offroad Motorsport Company) has been a major partner of the Red Bull Tennessee Knockout since 2018. The West Virginia-based motorcycle dealership and online parts/accessories/gear supplier will be the presenting sponsor of the Women’s pro class and Amateur Hot Laps. They will have a display to showcase some of their products and be available to greet riders.

The Pro Women will be competing for an AMA Grand Championship #1 plate and a $2,000 purse, with $1,000 going to the winner. The top three finishers will also earn the opportunity to compete in Sunday’s pro class.

The Friday afternoon AOMC Amateur Hot Laps allows the riders to earn their Saturday starting positions. The Hot Lap course will be approximately one mile in length and be difficult enough to allow the best riders to separate themselves from the pack to earn the coveted front row start spots. There are two rounds of amateur racing on Saturday with some of the riders already earning a spot in the championship-deciding race two via top finishes at last years TKO or one of the eight AMA Regional Championship events. All the amateur, women, youth and new ECR eMoto (electric motorcycle) riders will have the opportunity to ride the Hot Lap on Friday.

“AOMC is proud to mark our fifth year of partnership with the TKO,” said Ryan Prather, General Manager of AOMC. “With over 500 riders competing and thousands of fans at the event and watching worldwide via Red Bull TV, it is one of the premier off-road motorcycle events in the United States.”

AOMC will be running a special TKO promotion from Thursday, August 11th through the following Thursday, August 18th. Customers can use the code TKO22 for a 15% discount.

You can learn more about Appalachian Offroad Motorsport Company (AOMC) and shop their huge selection online here.

The 2022 TKO will attract most of the best Hard Enduro racers in the world along with a large crowd. Amateur racing starts on Friday with the AOMC Hot-Laps. Saturday is reserved for the amateur, women and eMoto (electric motorcycle) classes. Sunday is when the pro riders take to the track with four rounds of racing. Photo: Future7Media.

USWE Becomes Partner of Red Bull Tennessee Knockout; The most popular hydration system for Hard Enduro

USWE Sports, the makers of the Bounce Free hydration packs has joined as a partner of the 2022 Red Bull Tennessee Knockout. Nearly every rider competing at a Hard Enduro event uses a hydration system and USWE is the most popular brand among the top pro and amateur riders. Manni Lettenbichler and Billy Bolt, the 2020 and 2021 FIM Hard Enduro World champions respectively, are among the riders utilizing USWE hydration packs. USWE will have a big presence at the TKO with a rider lounge and display area to showcase the product line.

“We are looking forward to having an official presence at the TKO for the first time in 2022,” said Karl-Johan Engdahl, the co-founder and Marketing Director of USWE Sports. “The explosion in popularity of Hard Enduro racing and off-road riding in the last several years has been exciting to be a part of. We feel that our Bounce Free design harness system helps riders of all levels perform better. We invite all the riders and fans to come to see latest products at the TKO.”

You can expect some autograph signings and a few product giveaways at the USWE rider lounge near the start-finish area.

You can learn more about USWE products here.

Manni Lettenbichler is among the top Hard Enduro riders that count on USWE hydration systems. They are great for Hard Enduro racing, off-road riding, mountain biking or just about any outdoor recreation

Kenda Returns as Official Tire of Tennessee Knockout; The most popular tire among TKO racers

Kenda tires will return as the presenting sponsor and official tire of the Red Bull Tennessee Knockout for 2022. Forty-seven percent of the racers competed on Kenda tires at the 2021 TKO event, making it the most popular tire brand by a large margin.

“Kenda has been a partner with the Tennessee Knockout since the first event in 2011 and as the event grows, our market share in extreme enduro grows with it,” said Dave Komoroski, Director of Powersports at Kenda. “We’re enthusiasts first and foremost. In fact, a couple of our Ohio-based engineers are competing this year. It’s rewarding to see our work paying off as more and more riders choose to ride Kenda.”

Kenda will have a tire service crew at the Tennessee Knockout ready to help all the riders choose and mount the best options.

You can learn more about Kenda tires here.

There are still entries available for the Saturday amateur classes, including the new ECR eMoto class. Click here to enter.

Kenda will be back as the official tire of the Red Bull Tennessee Knockout for 2022. The brand will have tire support and a few of their engineers competing in the amateur classes to put their product to the test.

The Red Bull Tennessee Knockout Extreme Enduro