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Mitch Brightmore: Hard Enduro's newest Champion Looks Forward to 2024
Ending 2023 as the FIM Hard Enduro Junior World Champion, Mitch Brightmore is certainly making his mark in Hard Enduro. At only 20 years of age, the TTR Squadra Corse rider is relatively new to the FIM Hard Enduro Junior World Championship supported by KLIM but is now the rider to beat!
Despite working full time as a builder in his fatherís business, Mitch juggled a lot to reach the top in 2023. But naturally he wants more. Back racing, and back working, our Junior World Champ just clocked an impressive runner-up result to none other than Mani Lettenbichler at an off-season race in the UK, while banking impressive rides indoors in SuperEnduro. A competitor full of promise, itís time to catch up with our 2023 FIM Hard Enduro Junior World ChampionÖ
Firstly, congratulations Mitch, you had one heck of a season last year to become the FIM Hard Enduro Junior World Champion!
Mitch Brightmore: ďThanks! Honestly, itís amazing to have won the title. Itís definitely been a whirlwind sort of journey to get here. Standing up on the podium at that final event last year as the Junior World Champion was an unbelievable feeling. Itís beginning to sink in now, yeah!Ē
Going into the final round at 24MX GetzenRodeo you led by one point. How were the nerves and did you have any tactics for the weekend?
ďI think Iím lucky that I donít really suffer from nerves too much. I kind of go with the flow a lot. I knew coming into the event that I just had to get my head down and focus on getting a good result in each race. It was a Ďride fast and try to winí sort of thing!Ē
You were super strong in the prologue. Placing third overall, but also beating Billy Bolt in your heat. How did that feel?
ďIíve learned that the prologues are important to get a good start position for the main races. A good prologue result can make the difference in getting a top result. I think everything just sort of came together on the night at 24MX GetzenRodeo. Finishing third was a dream result. But yeah, to beat Billy in our heat race was wild, I definitely wasnít expecting that!Ē
We saw some great battles between you and Matt Green. Sharing two victories each, were you expecting the battle for the title to be so close?
ďComing into the season I didnít know what to expect or where I would fit in. Matt is a great rider and in 2022 his level was way above mine. He rode great in the first two rounds, but it motivated me to train harder and bridge the gap. I won the final two rounds, so it was a pretty cool way to end the season.Ē
At what point did you feel you could become the Junior World Champion?#ďI donít think I started out the season expecting to be world champion. You know, itís a long road ahead. All I wanted to do was get my head down, enjoy the races and just see where things went from there. Winning 24MX Hixpania was the turning point. I felt that my own level had improved a lot and thatís when I began to focus on trying to win the title.Ē
What race did you enjoy most during 2023 and why?
ďI think the 24MX GetzenRodeo. Not just because I won the world title there, but because it suits my style a lot. Itís tight and technical and I feel Iím quite good in those conditions. Itís also a crazy race. Itís mind-blowing how many fans show up to spectate. Itís definitely an awesome place.Ē
You went to Red Bull Romaniacs, but unfortunately had some issues. What happened and were you able to take anything from the event to help you progress?
ďYeah, although it wasnít part of the Junior championship I wanted to go there for the experience. But unfortunately, it didnít go to plan. I qualified fifth for the prologue, but ended up having a big crash in the final. It was really hot, I was fatigued and I mistimed a jump. Unfortunately, I wasnít able to continue after that.Ē
What is it that you enjoy about Hard Enduro?
ďThereís a good group of people involved in this sport. Itís hard not to enjoy that. Plus, the locations we get to race our motorbikes in are amazing. I like that one round could be in desert and the other on top of a mountain.Ē
Will it be a big challenge to step up and compete in the full championship?
ďIím still only 20 years old, so Iím not going to step up just yet to the full championship. My plan is to race the Junior category for at least another year and try to retain my title. Iíll try to do other races where I can too. But the good thing is that I can still ride for an overall result, which pushes you on.Ē
How would you like to see the Junior category develop?
ďItís difficult to say because I honestly think itís very good as it is. Itís what Hard Enduro needed. It needed a category for younger riders to learn in and gain experience. Itís the right stepping stone into the full championship. As a four-round championship we can commit to that and find the budget to race.Ē
You are surrounded by a good team like TTR Squadra Corse. How has their support made a difference to your season?
ďI owe a lot to the team at TTR Squadra Corse. Their support has been brilliant. As a privateer rider, they definitely make so much possible for me. I wouldnít have been able to win both the Junior Hard Enduro and SuperEnduro world titles without them. Along with my brother Iíll be racing for them again this year, so Iím excited for that.Ē
Outside of racing, how is life? Are you riding full time, working, or studying?
ďRight now, as we do this interview, Iíve just come back in from the building site. I work as a builder with my dad. Itís a full-time job and hard graft, but I do enjoy it. Juggling racing and full-time work isnít easy. I ride as much as I can where I can. Itís pretty wet and cold this time of year in the UK, but it is what it is, and we get on with it. I would love to turn professional someday, but for now Iíll keep asking my dad nicely for time off!Ē
Finally, itís great to see your younger brother Ashton coming through. Will the Brightmore brothers soon be taking Hard Enduro by storm?
[Laughs] ďItís nice to have my brother in Hard Enduro too. Heís a good rider and so driven too. We ride together and push each other on to get better. Heís got a similar style to mine. We both come from Trials, so we tend to try to outdo each other with some wild lines. It would be amazing if we could both make it to the top!Ē
WITH THE OPENING ROUND OF THE 2024 FIM HARD ENDURO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FAST APPROACHING AT VALLEYS HARD ENDURO IN THE UNITED KINGDOM ON MAY 10-12, REGISTRATION FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP IS NOW OPEN.