Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Taddy Blazusiak has got his 2020 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship off to a strong start with second overall at round one in Krakow, Poland. Teammate Jonny Walker finished fourth overall on his return to indoor competition.
In front of a sold-out stadium of 14,000 Polish fans, Blazusiak looked to add to his multi-year win streak inside the Tauron Arena. The KTM rider has made the venue his own since 2016 and was hungry to add to that win tally.
Third quickest in SuperPole, Blazusiak shot into the lead on lap one of the opening race – beginning what would be a titanic battle with closest rival Billy Bolt. Swapping position numerous times during the first half of the race, Taddy again challenged for the lead on lap four, but was unable to make it stick. Although narrowing the gap to four seconds, he had to settle for second.
A strong start in race two saw him work through traffic to take control of the lead on lap four. Executing his line choices, he continued to hold his own out front despite attacks from Bolt. Breaking clear with three laps to go, Blazusiak rode on for a memorable win.
With the outcome of the night coming down to the third and final race, Taddy grabbed the holeshot, but an aggressive pass from Bolt dropped him to second. Traffic on lap five saw Blazusiak lose touch with the leader and ultimately forced him to settle for second and the overall runner-up result.
Taddy Blazusiak: “Of course I’d love to have won but finishing second overall with a race win is a very strong start to the championship. The track tonight was really demanding and very tough to get right. Putting a clean run of laps together was nearly impossible. All night my pace was fast and I was able to fight for the race lead. In race one I led a bunch of times, but just wasn’t able to make it stick. In race two I got out front early and that helped massively. I could pick the lines I wanted to use and was able to pull away enough to be comfortable. The final race was good but I crossed that fine line too many times and lost touch with Billy. I’ll take second tonight and aim to get more wins on the board next time in Germany.”
For Walker, Krakow marked his return to competitive SuperEnduro action having sat out the 2019 season due to a wrist injury. Eager to show he’d lost none of his speed that made him a regular title contender, Jonny topped the results sheets in timed training.
Always favouring SuperPole, Walker laid down the second-quickest time of the evening. Determined to carry that form into the night’s three finals, the KTM rider was consistently at the sharp end of the results, but mistakes on the unpredictable dirt prevented him from properly challenging for a podium result. In claiming a run of fourth place results, Jonny would have to settle for fourth overall, missing the top three by just four points.
Jonny Walker: “Fourth is a strong start to the championship, but I felt like I had the pace for a podium result tonight if there were less mistakes. I knew coming into this round, after a year away from SuperEnduro, that it was going to take a bit of time to settle back into things. With fastest in timed training and second quickest in SuperPole I showed my speed is definitely there. I also managed to get a wheel in front on a few occasions too, but too often hit the dirt on what was an unpredictable track. Next week I have another operation on my wrist, but following that I should be back to form for round two and ready to improve on tonight.”
The five-round 2020 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship continues with round two in Riesa, Germany on January 4, 2020.
Results – 2020 SuperEnduro World Championship, Round 1
Overall Event Classification
1. Billy Bolt (GBR) Husqvarna, 60pts
2. Taddy Blazusiak (POL) KTM, 55pts
3. Alfredo Gomez (ESP) Husqvarna, 45pts
4. Jonny Walker (GBR) KTM, 41pts
5. Blake Gutzeit (RSA) Husqvarna 29pts
12. Will Hoare (GBR), KTM, 8pts
Prestige Race 1
1. Billy Bolt (GBR) Husqvarna, 10 laps, 6:43.265
2. Taddy Blazusiak (POL) KTM, 6:47.228 +3.963
3. Alfredo Gomez (ESP) Husqvarna, 7:00.373 +17.108
4. Jonny Walker (GBR) KTM, 7:23.063 +39.796
5. Pol Tarres (ESP) Husqvarna, 9 laps 6:46.710
13. Will Hoare (GBR), KTM, 8 laps 7:26.550
Prestige Race 2
1. Taddy Blazusiak (POL) KTM, 11 laps, 7:24.713
2. Billy Bolt (GBR) Husqvarna, 7:32.218 +7.505
3. Alfredo Gomez (ESP) Husqvarna 7:41.081 +16.368
4. Jonny Walker (GBR) KTM 7:59.702 +34.989
5. Blake Gutzeit (RSA) Husqvarna 10 laps 7:34.237
12. Will Hoare (GBR), KTM, 10 laps 7:27.531
Prestige Race 3
1. Billy Bolt (GBR) Husqvarna, 12 laps, 7:18.023
2. Taddy Blazusiak (POL) KTM, 7:39.521 +21.498
3. Alfredo Gomez (ESP) Husqvarna, 11 laps 7:32.948
4. Jonny Walker (GBR) KTM, 11 laps 7:52.738
5. Kevin Gallas (GER) Husqvarna, 7:54.862
12. Will Hoare (GBR), KTM, 9 laps 7:25.458
Photo: Future7Media – KTM Sportmotorcycle