Rnd 7, World Enduro Super Series – BR2 Enduro Solsona, Spain
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Josep Garcia has won the seventh round of the 2019 World Enduro Super Series, topping both full days of competition to ultimately claim victory by close to one minute from second-placed Nathan Watson. Completing a Red Bull KTM podium sweep, Jonny Walker placed an excellent third at the tough classic enduro event.
New to the WESS calendar for 2019, BR2 Enduro Solsona comprised three days of classic enduro racing. Held in the north east of Spain, the event challenged riders with a short Supertest on the Friday evening, followed by a looped course on Saturday and Sunday with timed enduro, cross and extreme tests.
Following a tough round six at Hawkstone Park, where a hand injury slowed his progress, Josep Garcia came into BR2 Enduro Solsona with a point to prove. Living just 20 minutes from the track, the event was a true home race for the young Spaniard who made good use of his local knowledge and fan support. Throwing down the gauntlet to his rivals, Josep won Saturday’s opening test and then went on to top the overall timesheets on both full days of racing. Earning himself the maximum 1,000 points, Garcia jumps from sixth to third in the provisional WESS standings.
Josep Garcia: “It felt really good to take the win here at home in front of all my friends and family. I couldn’t have asked for more really. Yesterday I had a couple of crashes but today went perfectly. I had to take a lot of care in the final Supertest, I knew I had some seconds to spare, but Nathan has been so close all weekend and also the extreme guys have been really quick here too. I felt a little extra pressure coming here for my home event, but that only motivated me even more to win. Overall it’s been the perfect weekend.”
In what has been a busy few weeks for Nathan Watson, having won WESS round six and competing at the Motocross of Nations, he maintained his podium run with a closely-fought runner-up finish in Spain. Pressuring teammate Garcia for the whole event, Nathan couldn’t quite top the Spaniard on his home soil. Finishing second however, earns Watson enough points to move up to sixth in the WESS standings with one final round remaining.
Nathan Watson: “I’m happy with second – Josep was on fire here in Spain and really pushed hard, especially on that first lap yesterday. It’s been a really hectic few weeks for me and I didn’t really come into this race at 100 percent, so to pick up second and more WESS points is a good weekend. With all the travel and non-stop races, things have been tough. The Motocross of Nations was really tiring both mentally and physically, I also hurt my shoulder there a little. Overall, it’s been an amazing couple of weeks, and I couldn’t have hoped for better results to be honest. I definitely need a week’s rest now, that’s for certain.”
Jonny Walker put in an absolutely superb performance to claim the final podium position. Despite generally being regarded as an extreme and superenduro specialist, the experienced Brit put many of the wildcard classic enduro riders to shame. Winning Friday’s Supertest, Jonny went on to regularly post the fastest times on the event’s extreme test during Saturday and Sunday to ultimately secure his third-place finish from KTM rider Manuel Lettenbichler. Moving up to second overall in the provisional WESS standings, Walker now has his eyes on a strong result at the final round of the series in Germany.
Jonny Walker: “It’s been a good race here in Spain, I’m really happy to get on the podium again. I had quite a steady start to the year, partly from coming back after my fall and not being quite at 100 percent. I’m starting to feel like I am getting back into a groove again but I’m still nowhere near where I want to be. The race started well with a win in the Supertest and then I’m really pleased with how I rode on both Saturday and Sunday – I was on top of the extreme test and not too far away on the others considering the opposition. The plan now is to get a good result at GetzenRodeo and hopefully come away with second in the championship.”
Riding a wide variety of disciplines at this point in the season, Taddy Blazusiak came into BR2 Enduro Solsona having had little time to prepare. Never one to give up and take it easy, the Polish star got his head down and fought for a top-five position all weekend. A tough start in the final Supertest ended up losing Blazusiak valuable seconds and the multiple world champion had to settle for sixth. Considering the competition and the nature of the event, Taddy was more than happy with his performance.
Taddy Blazusiak: “It’s been a tough weekend, and a shame not to get fifth, but considering the preparation I’ve been able to do for this race I should be happy. You can’t prepare for everything, there just isn’t enough time and here I was getting faster each lap as I settled into the type of riding, which shouldn’t be the case. The good thing is, things started to click towards the end, but it was just too little, too late to challenge for the podium. I’m feeling good which is the main thing, so it’s off to America for the next two Endurocross rounds soon, then back to Europe for GetzenRodeo.”
KTM supported Manuel Lettenbichler claimed fourth at the event to successfully increase his lead at the top of the provisional World Enduro Super Series standings.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing will be back in action at the eighth and final round of the World Enduro Super Series, GetzenRodeo, which takes place in Germany on November 2.
Provisional Results – 2019 BR2 Enduro Solsona
1. Josep Garcia (ESP), KTM, 1:26:16.00
2. Nathan Watson (GBR), KTM, 1:27:06.70 +50.70
3. Jonny Walker (GBR), KTM, 1:28:42.87 +2:26.87
4. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER), KTM, 1:29:11.10 +2:55.10
5. Cristobal Guerrero (ESP), Yamaha, 1:30:08.76 +3:52.76
6. Taddy Blazusiak (POL), KTM, 1:30:17.12 +4:01.12
8. Jaume Betriu (ESP), KTM, 1:30:52.04 +4:36.04
Provisional World Enduro Super Series Standings (after 7 of 8 rounds)
1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 5110 points
2. Jonny Walker (KTM) 4240 pts
3. Josep Garcia (KTM) 4165 pts
4. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) 4034 pts
5. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 3920 pts
6. Nathan Watson (GBR), KTM, 3881 pts
7. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 3850 pts
Photo: Future7Media – KTM Sportmotorcycle