Spaniard Mario Roman has won the World Enduro Super Series (WESS) opening round.  Racing in the Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares in Portugal, Roman was able to come from behind to take the victory.

Tough conditions

The blisteringly hot conditions made the two-lap event extremely demanding.  The 50 Pro riders were required to complete two laps to complete the event.  With a very demanding course, the pressure was on just to finish.

Taddy Blazusiak races at Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares, Portugal on May 12, 2019  Photo credit: WESS

Race events

Fastest seeded Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Alfredo Gomez (ESP) led at the start.  KTM Factory Racing’s Taddy Blazusiak (POL) was 15 seconds behind.

By the time the duo reached the first challenging riverbed rock step, Blazusiak and KTM’s Manuel Lettenbichler (GER) had passed Gomez.    But midway through the first lap, the running order was jumbled.

Lettenbichler had moved into the lead with a 5-minute advantage over 2nd place Sherco mounted Wade Young (RSA).  Not far behind was Billy Bolt (GB) on a Husqvarna, Jonny Walker (GB) on a KTM and Graham Jarvis (GB) also mounted on a Husqvarna.  Lurking behind was Roman.

Mario Roman races at Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares, Portugal on May 12, 2019 Photo credit: WESS

By lap two, Lettenbichler was out front by six minutes.  But both Roman and Young hit the afterburners and upped their paces even as the conditions deteriorated.  The two charging riders reeled in Young who appeared to be struggling and running out of steam.

Roman was now at his best and broke both Young and Lettenbichler charging all the way to the finish.  By the time Roman crossed the finish line, he was more than 4 minutes in front of Young.

Wade Young races at Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares, Portugal on May 12, 2019 Photo credit: WESS

Roman on his first-place finish

At the end of the event, Roman had this to say:

“I feel amazing, it’s so good to get the win. In 2016 I finished about a minute behind Alfredo (Gomez) and then two years in a row I had mechanical issues with my bike, but I always believed in myself and knew I could do it this year. On the first lap I was lying fifth or sixth and I couldn’t see the top two guys, but as the race went on, I started to feel stronger and was able to push 100% and pass the others one-by-one. The track was so much more difficult on the second lap and I knew I would be able to make up time on those tricky sections.”

Final results

The final results for round one of the WESS are as follows:

1. Mario Roman (Sherco – ESP) 4:01:43.21
2. Wade Young (Sherco – RSA) 4:05:59.04 +4:15.83
3. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER) 4:07:09.68 +5:26.47
4. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna – GB) 4:07:16.12 +5:32.91
5. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GB) 4:15:19.68 +13:36.47
6. Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) 4:29:26.58 +27:43.37
7. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna – ESP) 4:34:51.08 +33:07.87
8. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM – POL) 4:53:58.02 +52:14.81
9. Travis Teasdale (KTM – RSA) 5:01:43.91 +1:00:00.70
10. Jonathan Richardson (Husqvarna – GB) 5:11:22.83 +1:09:39.70

Manuel Lettenbichler races at Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares, Portugal on May 12, 2019 Photo credit: WESS

Round 2 of the WESS, the Trefle Lozerien AMV, a classic enduro event will be held in France on May 17, 2019.  We’ll keep you up to date with the results.

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