What a Finale!
The curtain has just fallen on an intense 2018 season, where the suspense
and drama were as high as ever. This final round took place at the Sparbanken
Arena in Lidköping, Sweden. Let's take a look back at the madness that was
the 5th and final Grand Prix...
« Rookie of the Year »
This season, the honorary "Rookie of the Year” trophy was disputed
between Billy BOLT (GB - Husqvarna) and Cristobal GUERRERO (E - Yamaha)... And
in the end it was without doubt that it was attributed to the young Brit. BOLT
impressed all SuperEnduro fans and onlookers from the very first Grand Prix,
and finished the season by taking his first overall victory, allowing him to
snatch the Vice World Champion position by one point ahead of an unfortunate
Taddy BLAZUSIAK (PL - KTM)! This augurs well for the rest of BOLT's career in
the discipline, and already makes him a favourite for the title in 2019!
While we may have hoped to see Joakim LJUNGGREN (S) on the track and fighting
with the riders in the Prestige category, the Swede caught us all by surprise
in the Sparbanken Arena. Indeed, the 2006 & 2007 Junior World Enduro
Champion took the role of an expert commentator for the fans present at this
final round. "Jocke" was able to share his knowledge and experience
with the spectators and provide valuable insight.
On the occasion of this Grand Prix of Sweden, the organiser "Bergman
Trading AB" wanted to create an autograph session like no other. So all
the riders in the Prestige, Junior, and European categories were lined up
along the track with their bikes at the end of the qualifying sessions. This
allowed every fan to enjoy meeting the rider of their choice, ask questions,
take a look at the motorcycles close up, and have special access to the track.
This "Pit Party" lasted about an hour and was very popular with the
Tough Break for Taddy
This season was not easy for Taddy BLAZUSIAK. After winning his home Grand
Prix in Krakow, the "Polish Nightmare" watched Cody WEBB (USA - KTM)
take control of the Prestige category in the second GP of the season in Riesa
(Germany). Then, the SuperEnduro legend lost a lot of points in Malaga after a
big crash in the second race. But in Bilbao he took advantage of WEBB's woes
to bring the gap back to 17 points. Starting the final round with his usual
grit and determination BLAZUSIAK had already taken 9 points out of the
American at the end of the first race, and we wondered how a shaken WEBB could
contain the tenacity of the Pole in the following two races! But in the second
race, a mechanical issue (broken rear shock) ended the hopes of the six-time
World Champion. Disillusioned and disappointed, Taddy announced that he would
aim to take revenge in 2019…
In the Juniors, behind the dominance of title winner Kevin GALLAS (D -
Husqvarna), two other young riders proved themselves to be promising
While we were aware from the start of the season of the skills of Emil
JUSZCZAK (PL - KTM), Diego HERRERA (CL - TM) and Ignacio FERNANDEZ (E - KTM).
In the end it was Norbert Levente JOSZA (ROU - KTM) and Paul BURY (F - Beta)
who took us by surprise and got on the podium at the last GP of the season!
Consistent throughout the evening, these two riders have confirmed their place
among the 10 best youngsters in the discipline, and JOSZA has brought Romania
their first World Enduro podium.
We all expected Eddie KARLSSON (S - Sherco) to be the top local rider, but in
the end it was Magnus THOR (Beta) who put in the best performance on the
night. The ex-Junior Championship rider (he left the series in 2014) had a
solid night, finishing 11th, just one point behind the Top 10. He was even
looking for 8th place in the second race … will this make him want to return
for the full season in 2019?
Alongside the Junior and Prestige season finale, Sweden also saw the final
races for the European Cup. And at the end of the two races, the German Tim
APOLLE (KTM) succeeded one of his compatriots, Mike HARTMANN (Husqvarna)!
APOLLE left no chance for his main title rival, Andris GRINFELDS (LET - KTM).
Absent due to injury, the Frenchman Adrien JACON (KTM) still finished third in
the category, just ahead of the Poland's Mariusz STEFANIAK (KTM). A special
mention also goes to the young Frenchman Isaac DEVOULX (Husqvarna) who took
his first podium in the discipline and snuck into the Top 5 of the