GOOD SPEED BUT A TWEAKED KNEE FORCES TADDY TO WITHDRAW FROM FIM HARD ENDURO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP OPENER
Back racing after his lengthy winter lay-off following shoulder surgery, Taddy Blazusiak showed great form at round one of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship at Extreme XL Lagares. Qualifying third, and more than capable of taking on the horrendous conditions faced by all riders after heavy rain fell overnight ahead of today’s racing, our extreme enduro star showed he’s not lost any of his speed. Battling hard in the tough conditions he finished the first heat in second place before opting to withdraw from the second heat with a tweaked knee.
Taddy Blazusiak shows top form in Portugal
Covid restrictions cause big changes to Extreme XL Lagares race format
No world championship points awarded due to conditions
Right from the off, Taddy showed he meant business, posting the third-fastest time on Saturday’s short qualifying session. Frustratingly for all involved, near perfect qualifying track conditions were replaced by mud. Lots of mud! Not fazed by the extremely wet and tough conditions, the Polish hard enduro legend made a great start to the day by completing the first of three pro class finals in second place.
Pushing hard on his EC 300 in the second heat, Taddy twisted a knee on one of the many obstacles. Despite initially choosing to continue, he decided to withdraw from the event so as not to risk any further injury.
Originally scheduled to include an Endurocross, Prologue, and hard enduro Main Race, the 2021 edition of Extreme XL Lagares had to be cut down considerably at the 11th hour when a regional Covid hot spot forced Portugal’s General Health Directorate to restrict sporting events to run ‘behind closed doors’. As such, organizers were forced to put on a heavily restricted race using only the Endurocross track. Although full championship points were initially going to be awarded, horrendous conditions resulted in a unanimous decision by the FIM and championship promotors to run the event without points.
Taddy will now head home to continue his training ahead of the next round of the 2021 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship.
Taddy Blazusiak: “Overall, it’s been a strange weekend. With the cancellation of the main race it was always going to be tough to run a full event. Qualifying yesterday went really well, I was feeling good and got third fastest, so I was pleased with that. This morning, just before the start of the first moto, the organizers told us there wouldn’t be any points on offer due to the conditions. We still lined up though, to try and do what we could. The first race went really well for me – I got second and felt I was riding well. Just a couple of laps into the second race I tweaked my knee a little though. I carried on but was in some pain and so to avoid making it any worse I decided to pull in. With no points being awarded I didn’t want to risk an injury so I thought it would be best to call it a day. I feel for the organizers as they have worked hard to make the most of a tough situation. We’ll definitely be back next year to do what everyone wants to do – race the full schedule in front of the fans.”
Results: Extreme XL Lagares 2021
1. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 20 + 20 + 17 = 57 points
2. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 8 + 17 + 20 = 45 points
3. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 13 + 13 + 13 = 39 points
9. Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS) 17 + 0 + 0 = 17 points