Enjoying his most successful SuperEnduro GP to date, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Colton Haaker claimed overall victory at round five of the 2016 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship, held in Prague.
With one round to go Haaker now sits second in the championship standings one-point behind leader Jonny Walker.
Demonstrating his ability to challenge for the win at the two previous rounds of the championship, Haaker entered the GP of the Czech Republic determined to hunt for the top step of the podium.
Posting the fastest lap in timed practise he then endured his fair share of misfortune in the opening final. Following a great battle with eventual race one winner Taylor Robert, Colton made a mistake in the closing laps and had to settle for third.
Coming back stronger in the reversed start order second final Haaker grabbed the early lead, going on to clinch a comfortable victory. Securing a hard-fought second place in the third and closing final the American celebrated the first overall SuperEnduro victory of his career.
Earning valuable championship points Haaker moved to second in the series standings and is now well placed to fight for the title at the final round of the series in Madrid.
Continuing to improve Mario Roman once again battled with the top riders in the Prestige class to place sixth overall. A mistake in the night’s first final placed the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team rider in 10th position. Mario kept fighting to end fifth in the second final and then fourth in the third and final race.
Sandra Gomez rode her TE 250 to the overall Women’s class victory, earning the 2016 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship title aboard her Husqvarna. Showing good speed throughout the night the Spaniard posted the fastest time in practise and went on to secure a second place in the first final. Fighting back from a first corner mistake in the second final Gomez managed to stay calm and focused. Battling her way to second she capitalised on a mistake by Emma Bristow to cross the finish line first and secure the title for Husqvarna.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team riders Colton Haaker and Mario Roman will now head to Madrid, Spain to contest the final round of the 2016 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship on March 19.
Colton Haaker said: “I’m pretty stoked with my first overall win. I thought I rode good in the previous two rounds and kind of felt I was getting closer and closer to the win. I knew it was coming my way since the last round in Brazil. It was tough here in Prague, the track was super tight so it didn’t take much to make mistakes. Having my fair share of unlucky moments in the previous races it felt like luck was on my side this time.
“I messed up in Superpole losing a lot of time but then fought hard in all three motos. I’ve been super consistent in the last few rounds and that’s a huge advantage going to the big final in Madrid. I’ll just give it all once again and hope for the best.”
Mario Roman commented: “Overall, it was a really good night for me and I’m happy we’re making progress. In the first race I got tangled up with Alfredo [Gomez] in the first corner so had to work my way from way back. I was in sixth position but a small crash dropped me to 10th. Then in race two I was fighting for the podium for the greatest part of the race but got passed by Taylor [Robert] and Alfredo to end fifth. My best race for the night was the last one, where I ended fourth. We’re now heading to my home race in Madrid and I’m pretty confident I’ll finally get a podium finish there.”
Sandra Gomez said: “I’m super happy with the result here in Prague. It’s been a difficult winter following my foot injury and I couldn’t practise as much as I wanted. We decided to switch to the 250 two-stroke Husqvarna for the new season but I had limited time to train on it.
“I had a good start in the first final. I was leading the race for the most part but I got really tired and let Emma [Bristow] pass me just before the end. In the second final my goal was to remain focused and avoid mistakes. I made a mistake in the first corner and had to start from last. Battling my way to second I saw Emma crashing and then I knew the title was mine. Backing up my AMA EnduroCross title with the SuperEnduro championship is an incredible feeling.”
Results – FIM SuperEnduro World Championship Round 5, Czech Republic
Prestige – Overall Classification 1. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 52pts; 2. Taylor Robert (KTM) 52pts; 3. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 43pts; 4. Alfredo Gomez (KTM) 41pts; 5. Cody Webb (KTM) 31pts; 6. Mario Roman (Husqvarna) 30pts
Prestige – Final 1 1. Taylor Robert (KTM) 10 laps, 06:39.804; 2. Alfredo Gomez (KTM) 06:49.815; 3. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 06:50.674; 4. Cody Webb (KTM) 07:00.481; 5. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 07:12.768… 10. Mario Roman (Husqvarna) 9 laps, 06:55.670
Prestige – Final 2 1. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 11 laps, 07:09.938; 2. Cody Webb (KTM) 07:15.749; 3. Taylor Robert (KTM) 07:16.504; 4. Alfredo Gomez (KTM) 07:19.824; 5. Mario Roman (Husqvarna) 07:29.565
Prestige – Final 3 1. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 11 laps, 07:17.175; 2. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 07:31.051; 3. Taylor Robert (KTM) 07:32.153; 4. Mario Roman (Husqvarna) 07:36.957; 5. Alfredo Gomez (KTM) 07:22.003
Women Cup – Final Classification 1. Sandra Gomez (Husqvarna) 37pts; 2. Emma Bristow (Sherco) 37pts; 3. Maria Franke (Yamaha) 28pts; 4. Kirsten Landman (KTM) 28pts; 5. Rita Vieira (Beta) 22pts
Women – Final 1 1. Emma Bristow (Sherco) 8 laps, 07:12.100; 2. Sandra Gomez (Husqvarna) 07:17.629; 3. Kirsten Landman (KTM) 7 laps, 07:26.323; 4. Maria Franke (Yamaha) 6 laps, 07:41.829; 5. Rita Vieira (Beta) 5 laps, 07:20.755
Women – Final 2 1. Sandra Gomez (Husqvarna) 8 laps, 07:29.168; 2. Emma Bristow (Sherco) 07:53.710; 3. Maria Franke (Yamaha) 07:53.950; 4. Kirsten Landman (KTM) 7 laps, 07:47.758; 5. Rita Vieira (Beta) 4 laps, 07:40.277
Championship Standings (After Round 5 of 6)
Prestige Class 1. Jonny Walker (KTM) 241pts; 2. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 240pts; 3. Cody Webb (KTM) 234pts; 4. Taylor Robert (KTM) 193pts; 5. Alfredo Gomez (KTM) 183pts… 7. Mario Roman (Husqvarna) 139pts