Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Taddy Blazusiak has made a triumphant return to racing, claiming victory at the opening round of the FIM SuperEnduro World Championship in Poland.
The six-time world champion showed he’s lost none of his speed despite a year’s absence to claim the overall win in Krakow. Making it a memorable night for KTM, with FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Cody Webb following him home for the runner-up overall result.
Announcing the SuperEnduro series opener as his return from retirement, Blazusiak hammered home a 2-2-2 scorecard in front of his home crowd to end the night as the overall winner.
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.
“It’s an amazing feeling to come back and win, especially in my home town of Krakow,” said Blazusiak. “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, 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.
“It’s awesome to be back racing in Europe again,” said Webb. “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.”
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.
“I didn’t feel comfortable at all tonight,” Walker explained. “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.”
The FIM SuperEnduro World Championship continues with round two in Riesa, Germany on January 6 2018.
Results: 2018 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship, Round 1
Prestige class overall
1. Taddy Blazusiak (POL), KTM, 53 points (2-2-2)
2. Cody Webb (USA), KTM, 51pts (1-5-1)
3. Billy Bolt (GBR), Husqvarna, 44 pts (5-1-4)
4. Manuel Lettenbichler (DEU), KTM, 37 pts (4-3-6)
5. Alfredo Gomez (ESP), Husqvarna, 32 pts (3-6-7)
8. Jonny Walker (GBR), KTM, 24 pts (6-12-5)
12. Juan Pau Segura (ESP), KTM, (12-9-13)
Prestige race 1
1. Cody Webb (USA), KTM, 7:42.778
2. Taddy Blazusiak (POL), KTM, 7:45.849 +3.071
3. Alfredo Gomez (ESP), Husqvarna, 7:46.170 +3.392
4. Manuel Lettenbichler (DEU), KTM, 7:56.016 +13.238
5. Billy Bolt (GBR), Husqvarna, 8:10.299 +27.521
6. Jonny Walker (GBR), KTM, 8:17.576 +34.798
12. Juan Pau Segura (ESP), KTM, 8:39.434 +1 lap
Prestige race 2
1. Billy Bolt (GBR), Husqvarna, 7:38.759
2. Taddy Blazusiak (POL), KTM, 7:43.946 +5.187
3. Manuel Lettenbichler (DEU), KTM, 7:55.536 +16.777
4. Daniel McCanney (GBR), Gas Gas, 7:59.777 +21.018
5. Cody Webb (USA), KTM, 8:07.041 +28.282
9. Juan Pau Segura (ESP), KTM, 7:47.134 +1 lap
12. Jonny Walker (GBR), KTM, 8:03.636 +1 lap
Prestige race 3
1. Cody Webb (USA), KTM, 7:36.626
2. Taddy Blazusiak (POL), KTM, 7:38.085 +1.459
3. Colton Haaker (USA), Husqvarna, 7:51.655 +15.029
4. Billy Bolt (GBR), Husqvarna, 7:53.614 +16.988
5. Jonny Walker (GBR), KTM, 7:53.692 +17.066
6. Manuel Lettenbichler (DEU), KTM, 7:54.860 +18.234
13. Juan Pau Segura (ESP), KTM, 8:19.883 +1 lap