Taddy Blazusiak marked his comeback from retirement by hammered home a 2-2-2 scorecard in front of his home crowd to end the night as the overall winner in the opener of the World SuperEnduro championship in Poland. And Briton Billy Bolt ended up on the podium in his first crack at the series.
With near-perfect starts, Blazusiak initially took the lead in each of the night’s three races. Due to a lack of competitive time on the bike, Taddy slowed towards the end of the motos. But by holding on for second, his trio of runner-up positions were enough to secure the top step of the overall podium.
Blazusiak said: “It’s an amazing feeling to come back and win, especially in my home town of Krakow. To be honest, I played it smart tonight. After being away from racing for a whole year I knew the intensity of SuperEnduro was going to be tough – it’s so difficult to prepare for, no matter how hard you train. I was suffering with arm-pump today but I think the secret is being comfortable with being uncomfortable. Before my retirement, I won everything that I wanted to win, so to be able to come back for another go gives me the chance to enjoy my racing. The next round in Riesa is the only other round I have ridden already, the rest will all be new so that makes a nice challenge. I came back to enjoy my racing and now I’m going into the next round with the red plate — I couldn’t be happier.”
Offering Blazusiak the closest challenge in Poland, KTM’s Cooper Webb joined him on the podium as runner-up. Claiming two race wins, Webb showed he was more than a match for Blazusiak. However, a bad race two put paid to him wrestling the overall victory away from the Polish rider.
Webb said: “It’s awesome to be back racing in Europe again. I had some amazing battles out there tonight. The second race didn’t go so well, the reversed start caught a lot of us out. I managed to claw my way back to fifth, but it wasn’t quite enough. I rode great in the other two races, even after making a couple of mistakes. I had some great battles with Taddy, it’s good to see him riding so well. I had the speed to reel him in, so that’s nice to know. I’m happy to be back and looking forward to fighting for the rest of the series.”
Husqvarna’s Billy Bolt, riding as the SuperEnduro rookie, claimed a race win before going on to secure third overall as his team-mate, defending champ Colton Haaker, endured a tough night to place sixth overall.
The FIM SuperEnduro World Championship continues with round two in Riesa, Germany on January 6 2018.
Prestige class overall
1. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 53 points; 2. Cody Webb (KTM) 51pts; 3. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 44 pts; 4. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 37 pts; 5. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) 32 pts; 6. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 32 pts
Prestige class race 1
1. Cody Webb (KTM) 7:42.778; 2. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM), 7:45.849; 3. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) 7:46.170; 4. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 7:56.016; 5. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 8:10.299… 8. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 8:29.929
Prestige class race 2
1. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 7:38.759; 2. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 7:43.946; 3. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 7:55.536; 4. Daniel McCanney (Gas Gas) 7:59.777; 5. Cody Webb (KTM) 8:07.041; 6. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) 8:15.840… 8. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 8:38.492
Prestige class race 3
1. Cody Webb (KTM) 7:36.626; 2. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 7:38.085; 3. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 7:51.655; 4. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna 7:53.614; 5. Jonny Walker (KTM) 7:53.692… 7. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) 7:55.535