Rnd 5, World Enduro Super Series – Red Bull 111 Megawatt, Poland
Jonny Walker, Taddy Blazusiak, Josep Garcia and Nathan Watson are Ready To Race round five of the World Enduro Super Series as the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing teammates head to Red Bull 111 Megawatt. The two-day event, which is Blazusiak’s signature race and in part named in honour of the Polish star, will be held on September 8 – 9 at the Belchatow coal mine in Poland.
Now in its fifth year, Red Bull 111 Megawatt is a cross-country race that’s injected with highly challenging man-made hard enduro obstacles. Saturday’s prologue will see 1,000 competitors race a sprint enduro over motocross and endurocross tests in the hope of qualifying for Sunday’s main event. The 500 fastest riders will go through to compete three laps of a 30 kilometre course, comprising a mixture of fast tracks, steep sandy hill-climbs and endurocross-style rock sections.
Winner of the last three Red Bull 111 Megawatt races, Jonny Walker is keen to add a fourth victory to his impressive list and increase his lead at the top of the WESS point standings. Following his podium result at round four of the series – Red Bull Romaniacs – Walker will be aiming to carry that momentum into Poland but knows the event will pose a serious challenge to all competitors.
Jonny Walker: “I’ve won Red Bull 111 Megawatt for the last three years, but getting a good result this year is more important than ever. Things are tight at the top of the championship and I know I can’t relax. I need a win at Megawatt to build a bigger points gap going into the final three rounds. I’m confident though, I have had a lot of time to train for the terrain in Poland and the style of the race. I know what can happen and I know how close things can be, I just need to keep focused and stay strong right to the finish.”
With the event named after him, Taddy Blazusiak will certainly feel at home at the Belchatow coal mine. Winner of the first ever Megawatt in 2014, Taddy certainly knows what to expect and how to succeed. With the support of the local fans, the multiple Endurocross and SuperEnduro champion will be looking to claim his first WESS championship victory in Poland.
Taddy Blazusiak: “Winning at home is an amazing feeling, I still remember my Red Bull 111 Megawatt victory vividly. The race is intense, you have some of the world’s top enduro riders racing so close and pushing each other to the limit. It’s going to be really competitive this year, it seems everyone has upped their game for the championship. But with the support of my fans I know I have got what it takes to finish on the top step of the podium.”
Competing at Red Bull 111 Megawatt for the first time, classic enduro specialists Josep Garcia and Nathan Watson will also be aiming to increase their points tally in the WESS championship standings. Having successfully completed the four previous rounds of the series, the two young Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders will be looking to impress, especially as the upcoming rounds will undoubtedly suit them more favourably.
Josep Garcia: “Megawatt is an event I have been looking forward to for a while now. I know my speed is good and I believe the technical sections in the race are not as extreme as others we have faced so far this season. Nevertheless, I know it’s going to be a long race, so fitness and strength will be important as well as conserving my bike. My plan is to get into a good rhythm and hopefully I’ll be in with a good chance at the end.”
Coming from a motocross background, Nathan Watson hopes his style and skills in the sandy conditions of the Polish coal mine will enable him to fight for a top result. Aware of his strengths, Watson hopes to make up time where possible and keep to a good solid pace on the technical parts of the course.
Nathan Watson: “I know Megawatt is going to be tricky. It’s a long race and anything can happen in enduro. The style of the event suits me a lot better though so I am going to try my best to maximise my advantages where I can while staying consistent on the tougher sections, and aim to get to the finish in one piece. If everything goes well I should be able to fight for the podium and take some good championship points.”
Red Bull 111 Megawatt, round five of the World Enduro Super Series, takes place in Poland on September 8-9.
World Enduro Super Series Standings (after 4 of 8 rounds)
1. Jonny Walker (GBR), KTM, 2900 points
2. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER), KTM, 2715 pts
3. Billy Bolt (GBR), Husqvarna, 2520 pts
4. Wade Young (RSA), Sherco, 2220 pts
5. Paul Bolton (GBR), KTM, 1832 pts
7. Josep Garcia (ESP), KTM, 1750 pts
8. Taddy Blazusiak (POL), KTM 1445 pts
11. Nathan Watson (GBR), KTM 1318 pts
World Enduro Super Series – 2018 Schedule
Rnd 1. Extreme XL Lagares (Portugal) May 11-13
Rnd 2. Erzbergrodeo (Austria) May 31-June 3
Rnd 3. Trèfle Lozérien AMV (France) June 8-10
Rnd 4. Red Bull Romaniacs (Romania) July 24-28
Rnd 5. Red Bull 111 Megawatt (Poland) September 8-9
Rnd 6. Hawkstone Park Cross-Country (England) September 22-23
Rnd 7. Gotland Grand National (Sweden) October 26-27
Rnd 8. Red Bull Knock Out (The Netherlands) November 10