If there is ever a way to bow out of an illustrious racing career, then it’s to take a clear overall win in front of your home crowd. And that’s exactly what KTM’s extreme enduro star Taddy Blazusiak did in December. Racing in the SuperEnduro world championship at Krakow in his home country of Poland, he won two of the night’s three finals and was second in the third to give the 13,000 fans the victory they’d come to see.
“No words can describe how happy I am,” said the six-time SuperEnduro champion. “It’s crazy how things have panned out for me these past few months. I worked really hard to get back after my injury in EnduroCross and then decided to skip the last round to get my thumb good again. It paid off and I was able to push 100% in Poland. It’s such an amazing feeling racing in front of my home fans so I gave it all I had on the track.”
Riding with total commitment that has always been the trademark of his aggressive style, Taddy was in amazing form his factory 350 KTM four-stroke. “I was hitting my lines and it’s amazing to get two race victories and the overall. I worked a lot during the past few months to be competitive but the way it all happened in Poland is just insane. To win the first two motos and cruise to second in the last one was just incredible. I couldn’t really ask for more. It was one hell of a ride and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end my career.”
- Husqvarna’s Colton Haaker started the defence of his FIM championship by claiming the runner-up spot thanks to a moto victory and two top three results. Crossing the line first in the opening final, Haaker was hit with a 10-second time penalty that dropped him to second in the final results. Battling through the pack following his reversed order start in the second final, the American eventually come home third. The last final was a fierce battle with Blazusiak and Haaker who got the lead just before the midway point and never looked back.
- Haaker said: “My riding was good and I felt I was the fastest guy throughout the night. I believe I showed the overall victory was well within my reach. In the first race I trailed Taddy for three laps before deciding to make my move for the lead. It just happened that I made my pass under yellow flags, so I ended up getting a 10-second penalty to finish second. In the second final the reverse start kind of got me. I came from way back to finish third. Then in the last race Taddy got me in the start so I followed him for a couple of laps before making my move for the lead. After that I kept checking out and despite a small fall I managed to get the win.”
- Joining KTM team-mate Blazusiak on the podium was Alfredo Gomez who had jetted back to Europe from The Roof of Africa rally. With virtually no real time spent preparing for SuperEnduro, the Spaniard placed third overall on his KTM 300 EXC two-stroke.
- As the rider who lead for much of last year’s SuperEnduro championship before seeing his title hopes dashed when he fractured his leg at the penultimate round, Briton Jonny Walker returned to indoor racing and ended the night fourth overall with third in the opening final his best result – one slot in front of former British motocross champion Mike Brown.
- “It’s great to be back racing in the series again, but things just didn't quite go how I hoped they would. After such a good championship last year, to end up getting hurt and not being able to fight for the title was tough,” said Walker.