The best Hard Enduro riders in the world will be back to take on the Red Bull Tennessee Knockout at the Trials Training Center on August 11-14. The TKO is round six of the eight-round FIM Hard Enduro World Championship and the top North American riders will be aiming to mix it up with the HEWC regulars. To add to the excitement, the weekend will kick off with a head-to-head Straight Rhythm challenge in downtown Nashville on Thursday, August 11th.
“Last year we got to see an epic battle with Billy Bolt edging out Mani Lettenbichler for the win and Trystan Hart proving that the North American riders can compete on the World stage,” said Eric Peronnard, the TKO co-producer. “It will be great to have all the top riders back at the TKO and the Red Bull Straight Rhythm Enduro event with the top men and women facing off on Broadway Street will be a great way to showcase Hard Enduro to new fans.”
The Red Bull Straight Rhythm Enduro challenge will take place on Broadway Street in downtown Nashville. Sixteen men and four women riders will race head-to-head in pairs in a best two out of three bracket elimination format. The Straight Rhythm Enduro challenge racing is scheduled from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm and will be free for spectators.
The TKO will then kick off at the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie, Tennessee with the amateur class prologue qualifying on Friday and two rounds of amateur class racing on Saturday to determine the AMA Grand Championships for Extreme Off-Road racing. The top 30 amateur riders will also earn a chance to compete with the pre-qualified pro riders on Sunday. Sunday will include four rounds of racing for the pro riders.
The Red Bull Tennessee Knockout (TKO) has teamed up with the eMoto content creators at Electric Cycle Rider (ECR) to announce the first-ever eMoto class at the 2022 TKO on August 12-14 in Sequatchie, TN.
“The interest in electric motorcycles is growing around the world and we want to showcase the capabilities of the latest versions from several manufacturers at the premier Hard Enduro event in North America,” said Eric Peronnard, the co-producer of the Red Bull Tennessee Knockout.
The all-electric class, named ECR eMoto, will compete on an approximately 14-mile-long course that features challenging obstacles on Saturday morning, starting immediately following the last of the amateur riders. The single race will decide the ECR eMoto class championship but any ECR eMoto participant that completes the course within the 2.5-hour time limit will be eligible to compete in the TKO Amateur race two on Saturday afternoon (riders will need to compete on the same motorcycle).
The ECR eMoto class will be an open format that will allow production electric motorcycles of all power levels with a minimum rear wheel size of 16 inches. Riders of all skill levels that are 16 years of age and older will be eligible to enter the ECR eMoto class.
The twelfth annual Red Bull Tennessee Knockout (TKO) is confirmed for the weekend of August 12-14, 2022, at the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie, Tennessee. The TKO will again be a part of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship (HEWC), which will attract the world’s top Hard Enduro riders.
The racing format will be like past years with a Prologue on Friday to set amateur racer starting positions followed by two rounds of amateur racing on Saturday and a four-round Sunday competition. The event will also continue to serve as the AMA Grand Championship for Extreme Off-Road racing.
“The 2021 TKO was the best one yet with Billy Bolt edging out Manni Lettenbichler for the win,” said Eric Peronnard, co-producer of the Tennessee Knockout. “It was amazing to be a part of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship and we learned a lot about how we can improve the event for the riders and spectators for 2022.”
TKO will again pre-qualify the top riders to the four-round Sunday competition. This will include top riders from major US and international off-road racing series and events. Any rider that finished in the top 26 on Sunday at the 2021 TKO, as well as riders that have qualified for a previous TKO Sunday main event, will be qualified directly into the 2022 TKO Sunday program.
The Saturday program will include two rounds of racing and will serve as the AMA Extreme Off-Road Grand Championship for Amateur riders. The overall Amateur winner will be awarded the AMA Extreme Off-Road Grand Championship number one plate. Classes will be available for A, B, C, Women Pro, Women Amateur, and 45+ but only the overall Amateur and to 45+ rider will earn AMA Grand Championship number 1 plates.
New for 2022, the top 50 amateur finishers from the 2021 TKO will earn a spot directly into Saturday round two. Amateur riders will also be able to earn spots directly into round two via several AMA Extreme Enduro regional championship events. Riders that do not qualify via one of the AMA regional events can sign up for one of 500 open spots that will compete in a morning qualifying race that can earn a spot in the championship final on Saturday. The top 30 finishers from Saturday will be invited to Sunday’s expert program.
There will be a Women’s pro class that will start among the amateur riders in race two based on their prologue time. This is also an AMA Grand Championship class. A separate Women’s amateur class will be available and will compete in Saturday race one and start among all the amateur riders based on their prologue qualification time.
Amateur registration opens at 6:00 pm CST on Wednesday, December 15, 2021. There are just 500 spots available, and entries have sold out in just a couple of hours in the past so please plan to get your entry in as soon as it opens. Pre-qualified amateur riders (top 50 from 2021 Amateur TKO race two) will not need to pre-enter. The registration link will be available here on TKO blog.
Pre-Qualified Amateur Riders for 2022 TKO Race Two
Joseph Van Roekel
P. Trent Whisenant
About the Red Bull Tennessee Knockout (TKO)
The Tennessee Knockout first took place in 2011 and has been hosted at the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie, Tennessee every year since then. The TKO is one of the premier off-road motorcycle races in the US, attracting the top American and International riders. For 2021, the event became part of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship (HEWC). Tennessee Native Mike Brown won the first two events in 2011 and 2012 with Californian, Cody Webb close behind both times. Webb then went on a six-year run of winning TKO, topping many of the best riders in the world in the process. Jonny Walker, Graham Jarvis, Wade Young, Mario Roman and Manuel Lettenbichler all challenged Webb but the American was unbeatable.
A knee injury forced Webb to miss the 2019 TKO and Germany’s Lettenbichler became the first international rider to win the event. In 2020, Canadian Trystan Hart broke through for a win over Webb. In 2021, the UK’s Billy Bolt edged out Lettenbichler for the win and Hart rounded out the podium in front of the best Hard Enduro riders in the world. We look forward to seeing who will take the top step in 2022.
The 2021 Red Bull Tennessee Knockout was the best one yet with the top FIM Hard Enduro World Championship riders taking on the best North American Riders. The event generated a lot of media coverage and we have compiled some of our favorite videos below:
Red Bull TV: It’s a Knockout: 2021 Red Bull TKO Full Race Recap:
Red Bull TV 2021 Red Bull TKO – Main Race Raw Highlights:
Red Bull TV: 2021 Red Bull TKO – Pro Prologue Red Bull Straight Rhythm:
2021 Tennessee Knockout Hard Enduro Highlights:
FOX MX | COMING TO AMERICA | MANUEL LETTENBICHLER AT REDBULL TKO:
Billy Bolt – I WON IN THE USA!!
Jonny Walker – Travelling to the USA for TKO:
Enduro Wurx – Billy Bolt Dominates Tennessee Knockout Straight Rhythm | RAW Highlights:
Enduro Wurx – Manuel Lettenbichler sets Fastest Qualifying Time! Tennessee Knockout Hot Lap RAW Highlights:
Seat Time – Billy Bolt Smashes His Pipe, Still Beats Lettenbichler | 2021 Red Bull TKO Enduro Recap:
Adam Does Dirtbikes – Red Bull Tennessee Knockout Enduro Prologue 2021 – Raw Highlights – TKO Extreme Enduro:
Billy Bolt finished just two seconds ahead of Manuel Lettenbichler to take the win at the Red Bull Tennessee Knockout at the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie, Tennessee. The Rockstar Husqvarna rider from the UK was impressive in his first-ever race in the United States but Germany’s Lettenbichler pushed him all the way to the finish on his Red Bull KTM. Canadian Trystan Hart rounded out the podium on his FMF KTM Racing ride. The event served as round five 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, Jared Lambe earned the number one spot with a winning time of one hour, fifteen minutes, and thirty-seven seconds on his KTM. Tobin Miller finished just four seconds behind on a Beta for second and Sherco rider Jackson Davis rounded out the top three. The top thirty riders also earned the opportunity to compete with the thirty-two pre-qualified pro and riders that included ten of the HEWC riders.
New for 2021, there was a Red Bull Straight Rhythm Prologue event to give the top 24 riders an opportunity to earn a spot in a 16 rider bracket race. Bolt and Taddy Blazusiak worked their way to the final round to face off for the win, which ultimately went to Bolt. Bolt was impressive with a skip over a large log pile helping him to take the win. This allowed him to pick his starting spot for the Sunday morning Hot Lap and earn an extra $1000.
Sunday’s format consisted of four rounds of racing for the sixty riders that earned a spot and it started with the Hot Lap on a 1.5 mile “short course”. Lettenbichler set the fastest time with a 6:06.10 lap time. Bolt was second just 1.9 seconds behind and Hart was third with Jonny Walker and Blazusiak rounded out the top five.
The sixty riders moved on to Knock Out round one, which used an 18-mile “long-course” and only the top twenty-five riders would move on to the next round. Lettenbichler led the field that started in thirty-second intervals. Bolt managed to close the gap to Lettenbichler and finish right behind him but set the fastest elapsed time of fifty-five minutes and thirty-one seconds. Lettenbichler was just 14 seconds back on time for second place. Hart was again impressive with a third-place finish but was nearly two minutes behind Bolt. Pennsylvania’s Ryder LeBlond put in an impressive rider for fourth place and Cody Webb rounded out the top five.
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.
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. They were just racing among their respective groups for the top three spots to earn one of the fifteen spots in the main event. Bolt won group one ahead of Spain’s Alfredo Gomez and Australian Will Riordan. Lettenbichler won group two over Magna1 Husqvarna’s Jordan Ashburn, who is a Tennessee native, and GasGas rider Michael Walkner, who is from Austria. Canada’s Hart won group three ahead of Spain’s Mario Roman and Bulgarian Teodor Kabakchiev. Wade Young from South Africa won group four ahead of Pennsylvania’s Leblond and Ohio’s Nick Fahringer. And in the final group, Beta’s Jonny Walker from the UK edged out Webb with Canada’s Cory Graffunder taking the final spot in the main.
The main event was back onto the short course with a 30-minute plus one lap race, which ended up taking thirty-seven minutes and thirty seconds to complete. Bolt and Lettenbichler battled back and forth for all six laps with the two of them exchanging the lead after mistakes on the difficult course. Each rider made mistakes and handed over the lead but neither rider managed to open a gap. Lettenbichler made the last mistake on the final lap to allow Bolt to get ahead of him and they entered the finish straight, which included several logs nose to tail. Lettenbichler made a push to the finish that resulted in a crash as he crossed the finish line. The two Hard Enduro stars embraced on the track in celebration of the great battle.
Hart rode the entire race in third place and closed the gap a few times but never got close enough to challenge the top two, He instead had to worry about Sherco’s Wade Young, who pressured him throughout the main event and nearly passed him for the final podium spot on the last lap when Hart did not make it up a waterfall section. Hart recovered to hold on for third with Young fourth.
Roman and Gomez battled for fifth and sixth throughout the race with Roman taking the spot.
Walker and Webb had an equally exciting battle for eighth and ninth with Walker getting the upper hand when Webb did not make it up a tough uphill on the final lap.
LeBlond didn’t get the start he needed and had to fight back for a ninth-place finish on his Dullulo Racing Team Husqvarna. Teodor Kabakchiev rounded out the top ten.
Ashburn finished eleventh. Walner was twelfth, Riordan finished thirteenth, Fahringer was fourteenth and Graffunder finished fifteenth.
“It was hard work, the first and second races were harder than I expected,” Bolt said. “I finished the first one and thought, oh, this is going to be a long day. Then we had another long race before the main event. The main event is a little different than many hard enduros but I enjoyed it and if you look around, you can see that none of us have anything left so it is harder than it sounds. I enjoyed my first race here in the US.”
“The pace was really high today. In the main, Billy and I got a good start with Billy right behind me. I think everyone got super tired at the end,” Lettenbichler said. “It was really nice to race in front of the American fans. That finish was a bit crazy as I was trying to whip it a little bit at the finish and turned into a pretty big high side but we put on a good show for the fans here. I will need to beat Billy at the next one in Poland to hopefully get some more points back on him.”
“I am actually probably happier about this podium than I was with the win last year,” Hart said. “This field was so stacked so to get a podium among these riders was great. I got third off the start and those first two just sprinted so hard that I lost some time but then I was able to ride a really strong race until the last lap when I didn’t make it up a waterfall and had to turn around and try again. I could see that Wade (Young) was right there so it was close.”
The Women’s classes had a total of eleven amateur riders and three pro riders. The amateur women competed along with the Saturday Amateur race one and Samantha McLeod took the win on her Yamaha and qualified to move on to race two. Mesa Lange finished second on a KTM ahead of fellow KTM rider Stephanie Daniels.
The Women’s pro class competed along with the top amateurs on the more difficult race two and KTM rider Shelby Turner took the win over Sherco’s Louise Forsley and Georgia Eversol on a KTM. Turner took the AMA Grand Championship number one plate and impressively finished seventeenth overall among all the amateur riders.
2021 Red Bull Tennessee, Knockout Main Event Results
Billy Bolt, Husqvarna
Manuel Lettenbichler, KTM
Trystan Hart, KTM
Wade Young, Sherco
Mario Roman, Sherco
Alfredo Gomez, Husqvarna
Jonny Walker, Beta
Cody Webb, Sherco
Ryder LeBlond, Husqvarna
Teodor Kabakchiev, Husqvarna
Jordan Ashburn, Husqvarna
Michael Walkner, GasGas
Will Riordan, KTM
Nick Fahringer, Sherco
Cory Graffunder, Husqvanra
The 2021 TKO will again be featured on Red Bull TV with more details to be announced.