Rnd 8, World Enduro Super Series – GetzenRodeo, Germany
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Taddy Blazusiak has earned a hard-fought third place result at the 2019 GetzenRodeo in Germany, narrowly missing out on the overall championship podium. Jonny Walker placed sixth to secure an excellent third place in the final 2019 World Enduro Super Series standings. The race was won by newly-crowned WESS Champion, KTM-supported Manuel Lettenbichler.
In what turned out to be a thrilling final round of the 2019 World Enduro Super Series, Germany’s GetzenRodeo tested all riders with one of the toughest courses seen in this year’s championship. Beginning with a two-hour qualifier, which decided the 20 riders who would go through to the afternoon’s final, it ended with a brutal 80 minutes plus one lap extreme main race.
Qualifying second in the morning race, Taddy Blazusiak immediately showed he was up for the fight. Following a tricky start to the GetzenChamp main event, the experienced Polish star began making his way through the field, chasing down Manuel Lettenbichler ahead of him. With the track becoming more and more technical as time went on, Taddy made use of his strengths, ultimately catching Lettenbichler with just a few laps remaining. Unfortunately, falling foul of a small technical issue, Taddy was unable to complete the final Red Bull X-Loop and was forced to settle for third.
Taddy Blazusiak: “I’ve enjoyed the race and rode my heart out, only to lose out just at the end. It’s racing I know, but it seems I get a little more bad luck than others. I’m pleased with how I rode – the race was a little up and down but to catch Mani near the end and take the lead was fantastic. I was really pushing as hard as I could because I knew what I had to do to get second in the championship, unfortunately it just wasn’t to be. I have to be proud – I’ve not given up all year and that is the main thing. It’s time to concentrate on Superenduro now, and I’m really looking forward to getting started.”
Jonny Walker also enjoyed a solid qualifying race, finishing third, just behind Blazusiak. A strong start in the main event saw Walker fourth at the end of the first lap. Although still not 100 percent fit, the Brit continued to make good progress on the ultra-technical course. Despite losing a couple of places to ultimately finish sixth, Jonny earned enough points to secure third overall in the championship – an excellent achievement considering the injury he sustained during the 2018 season. Happy with his ride, Walker now looks ahead to the Superenduro season and 2020.
Jonny Walker: “It was a really tough race today, I enjoyed it, but I’m a little disappointed not to get second in the championship. I had a good ride this morning, I just stayed consistent and tried to conserve some energy. This afternoon I really tried my best and it wasn’t quite good enough. Nevertheless, if you’d offered me third overall at the start of the year I would have taken it. I have struggled all year in the extreme stuff but I know what I need to work on, and with a good winter to get back to 100 percent the plan is to come back next year and attack right from the start of the season.”
GetzenRodeo presented a huge challenge to all riders, and despite the event being outside of his comfort zone Nathan Watson gave his all. Securing 21st place in the morning’s race was not quite enough for the motocross-turned-enduro rider to qualify for the main event, but the British rider still impressed with his performance on the demanding three-kilometre loop. In what has been an extremely successful WESS season, including a race win and a podium finish, Watson wrapped up his championship in seventh place overall.
Nathan Watson: “It’s been a tough weekend for me, it’s definitely been one of the toughest extreme races on the calendar, so I’m happy to get through it in one piece. With the beach race season already underway I didn’t want to take any big risks and so my plan was to just try to get around safely. Overall, I am happy to finish the WESS season in seventh, it’s not quite the result I got last year, but despite that I’m happy with how I have ridden and I’ve definitely improved in a few areas. The fans here in Germany have been amazing, so thanks to them for their support. It almost feels like you are in the middle of nowhere here, and yet thousands of fans come to watch the event and cheer on every single rider. It’s really made for a great end to the WESS season.”
Bringing his 2019 World Enduro Super Series campaign to winning close, KTM-supported Manuel Lettenbichler produced a stand-out performance at the eighth and final round of the series, topping both the morning qualifying race and the main event. To the delight of his home crowd, Lettenbichler also put the finishing touches to a memorable season to officially be crowned the WESS Ultimate Enduro World Champion.
Manuel Lettenbichler: “I’m over the moon, I can’t describe it. To be honest I nearly cried on the podium. It was such a long, tough race today and it’s been such a long season. To finish the year with a first place in front of my home fans would have been amazing, but to win the championship as well is unbelievable. I’m on top of the world right now. My plan for today in both races was to get away well and try to control the race from the front. I was a little nervous in this morning’s race but thankfully it all went to plan. I was honestly exhausted in this afternoon’s race – I couldn’t have given any more. When Taddy passed me, I knew I had to dig deep and carry on and thankfully I managed to get past him again and make it to the finish. The fans have been amazing too– I hope they enjoyed the race as much as I did.”
Provisional Results – 2019 GetzenRodeo
1. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER), KTM, 10 laps 1:52:29.720
2. Alfredo Gomez (ESP), Husqvarna, 10 laps 2:01:32.662
3. Taddy Blazusiak (POL), KTM, 9 laps 1:35:24.393
4. Billy Bolt (GBR), Husqvarna 8 laps 1:40:49.789
5. Pol Tarres (ESP), Husqvarna, 7 laps 1:36:36.490
6. Jonny Walker (GBR), KTM, 7 laps 1:38:07.331
22. Nathan Watson (GBR), KTM, (morning race)
Provisional World Enduro Super Series Standings (after 8 of 8 rounds)
1. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER), KTM, 6110pts
2. Alfredo Gomez (ESP), Husqvarna, 4884pts
3. Jonny Walker (GBR), KTM, 4810pts
4. Taddy Blazusiak (POL), KTM, 4620pt
5. Graham Jarvis (GBR), Husqvarna 4450pts
6. Josep Garcia (ESP), KTM, 4165pts
7. Nathan Watson (GBR), KTM, 4136pts
8. Mario Roman (ESP), Sherco, 3560pts
9. Billy Bolt (GBR), Husqvarna, 3415pts
10. Pol Tarres (ESP), Husqvarna, 3130pts
Photo: Future7Media – KTM Sportmotorcycle