All content © Bob MuIIins
Blazusiak wins at Bilboa
The 4th and penultimate round of the 2018 SuperEnduro series moved to Bilboa in northern Spain. The Superpole was led off by Joan Pau Segura followed by Manuel Letterbichler who beat Segura before Jonny Walker took 4 seconds out of Lettenbichler time with a smooth and controlled lap. Colton Haaker and Billy Bolt were foot loose in the rocks, Taddy Blasuziak also had an untidy lap with a 4th best time while series leader Cody Webb made a mistake and finished down in 5th. Jonny Walker picked up 3 points and opted to take the 3rd gate. Billy Bolt was 2nd and Colton Haaker was 3rd.
In the first Prestige heat the soil and chipping mix didn't help the riders in their run up to the first ramp. Jonny Walker was unable to capitalise on his pole position and Taddy Blazusiak took the early lead from Colton Haaker with Cody Webb in 3rd. Colton Haaker moved up to first ahead of Webb, Walker and Blazusiak until he made a mistake and dropped back to 5th. Series leader Cody Webb stretched a commanding lead despite a collision with another rider that bent his clutch lever. Walker and Blazusiak swapped positions with Blazusiak taking 2nd and Walker 3rd. Billy Bolt was 4th. Cody Webb crossed the finish line to take his 6th win of the season. David Knight was a non starter after dislocating his thumb.
The start of the 2nd Prestige heat was reversed with the fastest riders starting at the back with the added disadvantage of no mesh on the grid. Gutzeit Blake had his moment in the spotlight before Blazusiak and Walker swept passed him. 2 times SuperEnduro champion Colton Haaker was struggling in 10th while Cody Webb passed Walker and Blazusiak to lead. Webb won, Blazusiak was 2nd and Jonny Walker 3rd. Bolt fought off a late challenge from Manual Letterbichler to take 4th,
In the 3rd heat Taddy Blazusiak launched himself off the first ramp with a top step of the podium in sight. Manuel Lettenbichler found a good line throw the bottleneck in second while Walker and Webb sought themselves out, Cody Webb had a nightmare that included an ugly collision with a marshal that buckled his bars. Colton Haaker recovered from a bad start. Walker and Webb went well and then went down, By lap 3 Billy Bolt was running in 2nd. Taddy Blazusiak won the 3rd heat ahead of Billy Bolt and Jonny Walker. With 54 points Taddy Blazusiak mounted the top step on the podium. Jonny Walker was runner up and Cody Webb was 3rd.
Going into the final round in Sweden Cody Webb 202pts, Taddy Blazusiak 185pts, Billy Bolt 169pts, Jonny Walker 153pts and Colton Haaker 146pts.
Taddy Blazusiak: "I'm really happy with my last race and I find it crazy to think that I won the GP on the strength of that!”
Cody Webb: “It was great tonight, I'm happy with the first 2 races but Taddy did a great performance in the last race, and his win is deserved.”
In the first of the Junior finals Germany's Kevin Gallas took to the line with a 47 point lead in the Championship ahead of South African Kyle Flanagan. Gallas took the first heat ahead of Emil Juszczak with Flanagan was 3rd. Will Hoare was 6th.
The reversed second heat stalled as the slower riders bottle-necked on the first ramp. At the end of the lap the leader was Teodor Kabakchiev. Kevin Gallas was 22 second back in the pack. William Hoare was 4th. On lap 7 a good run by Leon Hentschel came to an end in the rocks. Chilean Diego Herrera moved up into second on the last lap and challenged Kabakchiev for the lead. Once again the rock section proved to be crucial and Herrera took the win. Kabakchiev was 2nd and Kevin Gallas made a great recovery to take 3rd and leave himself with 9 points shy of the Championship.
In the 3rd Junior heat Kevin Gallas took a flyer with a double off the first ramp. Kabakchiev and Tossa Scharein gave chase and Flanagan emerged in 4th. To keep his Championship hopes alive Flanagan pushed hard until misfortune took a hand and his chain came off. He dropped back to 11th. All of a sudden Emil Yuszczak became Gallas' last challenger in the Championship. Herrera moved up into 2nd on the last lap but Gallas had lapped to whole field to win. Unfortunately Gallas' 211pts was 4pts short of the margin required to clinch the Championship.
Kévin Gallas: “The track was particularly difficult and technically challenging for the body. I had a bad start and found myself stuck with the other riders, but that’s racing and we learn through these situations! I am very happy with this GP and cannot wait to be in Sweden to try to win the Junior World Champion title!”
In the Europe class Adrien Jacon was 1st, Tim Apolle 2nd and Andris Grinfelds 3rd. Tom Knight showed his potential on the international stage, After a poor first final, he regrouped in the second heat and took the hole shot. For 2 laps he led the race before he crashed on the rocks and dropped to 8th.