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Taddy wins as Bolt podiums in SuperEnduro opener

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.”

Taddy's back and took the win
Taddy’s back and took the win

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.

 Despite having never previously raced indoors, Bolt immediately showed he had what it takes to challenge the world’s best by ending the 2018 SuperEnduro World Championship opener on the third step of the podium.
On an unpredictable and challenging track, Bolt gelled well with the conditions to go on to finish fifth in the opening final. In race two Bolt put in his best performance of the night, riding to victory. Picking up fourth place in race three, he finished third overall.
Bolt said: “I’m really happy with how it’s gone today. On the whole, a race win and finishing on the overall podium is really encouraging. In the first race I was suffering from arm pump a little and wasn’t able to push like I wanted to. The second race was good but in the third I was tiring a little, but it wasn’t too bad. You can never really prepare for the intensity of SuperEnduro, no matter how hard you try to push yourself in training. I’m looking forward to round two, I just want to keep doing what I’m doing, enjoy the racing and enjoy the experience. It’s amazing to race in front of the fans like this, their cheering really motivates you to give that little bit extra.”
For Jonny Walker, the series opener in Poland did not get off to the best of starts. Third in race one, Walker then found himself victim of a first corner pile-up in races two and three. He ended his night seventh overall. Walker said: “I didn’t feel comfortable at all tonight. My thumb was giving me some discomfort, but overall, the track didn’t suit me so well and I couldn’t get into a good rhythm. I’ll put it down to experience and move on.”
Jonny Walker didn't have the best of nights
Jonny Walker didn’t have the best of nights
 Returning to competition having sat out much of the AMA EnduroCross Championship in the USA due to an elbow injury, reigning two-time SuperEnduro World Champion Haaker didn’t enjoy the best of nights in Poland.
Although starting strongly by topping the SuperPole hot-lap, multiple crashes through each of the three races saw Haaker end his night sixth overall. He said: It’s not been the perfect start to the series for me. That first turn had a pretty gnarly obstacle and I got caught up in the first two races. I had to fight my way back from nearly last in both races and although I was riding well there wasn’t enough time. I won the Superpole, so I know my pace is there. I’ve not raced since September, so I am a little race-rusty, too. I’ve got some things I can build from so hopefully I can come back stronger.”

The FIM SuperEnduro World Championship continues with round two in Riesa, Germany on January 6 2018.

Results – FIM SuperEnduro World Championship, Round 1, Poland  

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

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