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The Tremendous Triplet, HAAKER, WEBB & BLAZUSIAK fight it out until the last second !
William Hoare crowned in Budapest
For the first time in its history, the Maxxis FIM SuperEnduro World Championship headed to Budapest. The Papp Laszlo Budapest Arena offered up a wide and fast track for all the riders, and in Prestige the big focus was on trying to snatch the red 24MX Leader Plate from Colton HAAKER (USA-HVA). However, the big hero of the night was William HOARE (HVA-GB), who managed to take the Junior category title after signing off on an impressive 9th victory this season!
Prestige: 3 Races, 3 Different Winners.
Once again the Prestige category saw three absolutely superb races full of suspense and exciting action. To top it off, for the first time this season, each race was won by a different rider.
Colton HAAKER (USA-HVA) came into Budapest leading ahead of Cody WEBB (USA-KTM), and the Husqvarna rider was keen to keep his advantage in this very competitive class.
But things didn't get off to a great start for the Californian, who stalled his bike during the Akrapovic SuperPole at the start of the night. And as the gate dropped for the first race he lost some positions, seeing WEBB and Taddy BLAZUSIAK (POL-KTM) pull away into the distance. However, BLAZUSIAK, struggling with his injured knee, soon found HAAKER closing in on him. The pair had an exciting duel until the flag, but the Husqvarna could only manage third as he failed to pass a flagging BLAZUSIAK. However, the pair had no answer for Cody WEBB who put in a smooth performance to take a comfortable win.
But it was all change in Race 2, the reverse grid race. A clever grid selection on the second row saw HAAKER in prime position at the first corner. And although his team-mate Alfredo GOMEZ (ESP-HVA) took the 'holeshot', HAAKER was soon into the lead. Caught up in the first corner melee, WEBB tumbled to 9th place and was forced to work extremely hard to get himself back into a podium spot, he managed a vital 3rd. BLAZUSIAK, meanwhile, closed in on HAAKER but had to settle for 2nd place as physical struggles prevented him from catching the flying American.
The last race was just as spectacular as the previous two. But this time, the Polish legend, BLAZUSIAK, was the one to charge to emphatic victory. Taking the 'holeshot' after a great start, HAAKER and WEBB were hot on his heel. The three biggest stars in the Maxxis FIM SuperEnduro World Championship proceeded to have a spectacularly tense fight. As WEBB attempted to pass HAAKER, and HAAKER in turn tried to pass BLAZUSIAK there were several 'near misses'. It was a case of who would crack first, and that turned out to be Cody WEBB as he made a mistake in the rock section. The factory KTM rider dropped off the back of the BLAZUSIAK / HAAKER battle. Until the final seconds of the race, the Husqvarna rider fought tooth and nail to pass the KTM rider. But the 'comeback king' proved to be unfazed by the pressure being exerted on him, and BLAZUSIAK pulled off a race victory race and therefore the overall win on the night too! WEBB grabbed 2nd overall, and HAAKER 3rd. This means the final round in Bilbao will be incredibly exciting as Colton HAAKER will have to fiercely defend his championship lead, he leaves Hungary 12 points ahead of Cody WEBB in the standings.
Gomez, Tarres & Vieira Lurking
In an evening which was entirely dominated by the 3 big favourites, 3 other riders still managed to stand out thanks to their own great performances. Alfredo GOMEZ (SPA-HVA) still recovering after his spectacular crash in Riesa, showed he is almost back to his best, taking 4th overall on the night. The factory Husqvarna rider is still suffering with his badly injured elbow and tends to lose energy throughout the night, but with two months' rest before Bilbao, we're likely to see him get in the mix at the grand finale in the Basque country.
Pol TARRES and Diogo VIEIRA were also impressive during the night of racing in the Hungarian capital. Always fighting for the Top 5, their fast adaption to SuperEnduro has been good to see!
Junior: William HOARE 2019 Champion - One Round Before the End!
William HOARE (GB-HVA) has been superb throughout the 2019 season. The Brit has won 9 races out of 12, and has remained virtually unchallenged from the first gate drop back in Poland in early December. Arriving in Budapest, he had to score 18 points more than Tim APOLLE (DEU-KTM) to be Champion.
Despite stating that he would ride "carefully and steadily, without pushing for the title” he couldn't resist putting himself in a position to win all 3 races in Hungary. An absolutely flawless performance in Race 1 saw him disappear ahead of Norbert JOZSA (ROU-HVA) and Teodor KABAKCHIEV (BGR-KTM). In Race 2 the young Brit won by 16.8 seconds over Leon HENTSCHEL (DEU-HVA) and Adrien JACON (FRA-KTM). And in the final outing of the night, Dominik OLSZOWY (POL-KTM) and Tim APOLLE joined an unstoppable Will HOARE on the podium.
After his superb display, the 20 year old from Yorkshire in the UK topped the podium and took his much deserved title. Joining him on the overall podium were Tim APOLLE and an ever-improving Enrico RINALDI (ITA-HVA).
The last time a rider won the title a full round before the end of the season was in 2014, when Giacomo REDONDI took the Junior crown.
European Cup: Knight Takes Victory.
In the European Cup, Tom KNIGHT (GBR-Gas Gas) finished 3rd in the first race behind Robert SCHARL (DEU-HVA) and Thomas HOSTINSKY (SVK-HVA). But in the second race, KNIGHT went all out to take the overall win in front of Paul BURY (FRA-BETA) and Thomas HOSTINSKY. SCHARL is still leading the championship by 10 points over KNIGHT, and 12 ahead of HOSTINSKY.
What they said:
Taddy BLAZUSIAK: "I'm going to be honest, the evening was pretty hard for me. I did not touch the bike since Madrid. If I'm riding really tight on the bike i can deal with the pain, if i ride really smooth it is more complicated for my knee. I have deal with my knowledge to be able to ride. I'm very pleased with my result. I don't have much choice to push really hard until the last lap of the last final. The next to months of break are going to be a good thing, trust me i will be in good shape in Bilbao.”
Colton HAAKER: "It was a crazy night. I'm very pleased with my performance. In the 1st final, i was coming back from behind, I did a good recovery but I could not pass Taddy. The 2nd heat was perfect with this new victory. In the last one we all fought really well, I nearly passed Taddy 3 times but in the end I stayed behind him. The most important is that I'm still in the lead. 12 points it's good but I Know it is going to be difficult until the end.”
Cody WEBB: "It was another very intense event. I had so much pleasure during the 1st final. I knew I had to take a good start to win it. In the other heats, it was more difficult especially in the 2nd one when I got stuck and I had to restart nearly last, I still finished on the podium. In the last final, Taddy and Colton were really fast, I did my best to try and stay in touch with them. everything comes down to Bilbao, this will be a thrilling final event.”
Prestige Class :
Super Pole Akrapovic: 1. Cody WEBB; 2. Taddy BLAZUSIAK; 3.
Junior Class :
Provisonal Standing : 1. William HOARE 227pts ; 2. Tim APOLLE 163pts ; 3. David CYPRIAN 134pts ; 4. Leon HENTSCHEL 118pts ; 5. Norbert JOSZA LEVENTE 114pts ; 6. Diego HERRERA 109pts ; 7. Dominik OLSZOWY 94pts ; 8. Teodor KABAKCHIEV 93pts ; 9. Enrico RINALDI 76pts ; 10. Adrien JACON 62pts…