Explaining the keys to his success, Sherco Factory Racing’s Mario Roman tells how he won round one of the World Enduro Super Series at Portugal’s Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares…
For Mario, victory at the opening round of the World Enduro Super Series was a perfect example of everything coming together at just the right moment.
Sitting sixth on lap one and over six minutes behind pacesetter Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER), it may have looked like Roman wasn’t in contention. But the Spaniard knew that lap two would be the decider.
Understanding the terrain, his bike and body, he piled on the pace and began ticking riders off his list as he worked his way up the leaderboard. In perfect flow he applied pressure to rivals as he went on the attack. Finally catching and passing Lettenbichler with less than half of a lap to go, the victory was his.
In what he considers as one of the best performances of his career, Mario explains how he never gave up waiting for this day to come and how it’s arrived at just the right time for the start of WESS 2019.
Mario Roman on…
The biggest win of his career
“I’ve won Hard Enduro races in the past but I feel like this is easily the biggest victory of my career to date because there are so many top riders here. I don’t think anyone expected me to do it, but I was believing in myself that I could win. I feel like this country (Portugal) and this long technical race is good for my style of riding. I hope this shows that I’m still a top rider and that I can be a threat for victory in other races to come.”
Always keeping the faith
“Despite so many problems in my career I’ve never given up on myself. Through the injures I’ve always been fighting. I don’t believe in luck but sometimes you do need a little to have everything come together. It’s not always down to the rider.
“You can have a mechanical or catch a slower rider in the wrong place and then lose energy and flow by overcoming that. I always knew I was good enough and finally after four years of trying at Extreme XL Lagares I finally did it.”
Just focus on yourself
“I think the key to success was not thinking about other riders and what they were doing. I only focused on myself and the effort I could give. On lap one, even though I wasn’t at the front, that was the speed I could ride at. Then when things came good, my speed improved.
“If I had to panic early on because Mani had a six-minute lead then I may not have won. Instead I would have made mistakes. The best thing I could do was to keep pushing myself, keep my riding clean and not stress. With about half a lap to go I was told Mani was two minutes in front, so I pushed at 100 per cent. Once I saw his helmet I knew it was my race to win.”
Timing things right for the Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble
“This win is a huge confidence boost to me and it’s coming at just the right time for the Erzbergrodeo. I’ve been there five times, but only once finished fourth.
“It’s a shorter race – more of a sprint than a four-hour battle like today, so it’s a different style of Hard Enduro. But I’m going there off the best race I’ve ever ridden, so if I feel good on the day and everything works well then hopefully good things can happen.”
Aiming to win on home turf at Hixpania Hard Enduro
“I’m excited for the Hixpania Hard Enduro next month. I think it’s going to be an amazing race. It’s my home race and I go there as the 2018 winner. The level wasn’t as high last year as what it will be this year, but experience will count a lot. It’s three days but each one is as important as the next one.
“You want to be at the front every day to ensure a good position and trouble-free ride. That’s the secret to doing well there. I’ve shown myself today that I can win, so that’s something I want to carry into my home race.”