There are a lot of riders racing the inaugural WESS championship who ducking under the radar but no doubt stand as contenders: Austrian enduro champion, Sea-to-sky winner, podium finisher at major hard enduro events including Hell’s Gate and a top ten rider at the biggest of competitions like Lagares, Erzberg and Romaniacs all puts Enöckl firmly in that ‘contender’ bracket.

With so much experience under his belt and ahead of the series’ opening race, we caught up with Lars to find where he’s at after switch to Gas Gas and how he’s recovering from an recent injury…

What’s the deal with Gas Gas, it was a change for you over the winter period to start afresh in 2018?

“Simply I had a great opportunity from the Gas Gas guys in Austria which gives me the chance to go on racing. For me to race as a privateer, especially with the new series, it would have been tough to come to all the races.

“Gas Gas gave me the chance with a great bike and for me it is an opportunity to go forward and do the whole WESS series.”

So this is your plan to do the whole WESS championship?

“Definitely. I think it is a cool project for the future and it is great to be here and be part of it. The plan is to do the whole series.

“I get factory support but I am still an amateur guy competing with the pro riders – I still have to go to work during the week! But I can focus more on racing with support from Gas Gas in Spain and Austria.”

“Gas Gas team is supporting me with the team manager, Josep Alonso coming this weekend and I have a mechanic which is a really big help. Sometimes in the last few years I have been going to races without a mechanic but it is necessary if you want to improve as a rider and get the best result you can.”

You had an injury just a few months ago, are you ready to race in Lagares?

“I am almost ready! [laughs]. I had an injury two months ago which needed surgery and that means I have been on the enduro bike only five or six times since. So definitely I am not on my top level but I wanted to be part of the series so I came here without big goals and I will try to do as best as possible.”

Extreme XL Lagares begins tonight, Friday May 11

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