The first round of the 2018/19 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship in Krakow, Poland has ended with teammates Colton Haaker and Alfredo Gomez claiming third and fourth respectively in the hotly contested Prestige class. Showing he’s now back to full fitness following his serious knee injury nine months ago, Gomez claimed a hard-fought victory in race three.
Fighting fit following his recent success in the AMA EnduroCross Championship, Haaker entered the opening round of the new SuperEnduro series eager to challenge for the top step of the podium. Proving his speed, the American set the second fastest lap time of the night in the SuperPole, aboard his FE 350.
With a strong gate pick for the opening race he was fast off the start, but a mistake on lap one forced him to play catch up. Working his way through traffic, he battled up to third at the chequered flag. With the start order reversed for race two, Haaker quickly picked off the slower riders to reach second place by mid-distance, a result he held until the finish line.
Knowing a place on the overall podium was up for grabs, he immediately positioned himself at the sharp end of the results for race three. Battling for the race win with teammate Gomez, a small mistake and crash in the rock garden proved costly. Quickly regrouping to finish a close third, Haaker ended his night third overall.
For TE 300i mounted Gomez, round one proved to be a confidence boosting start to the series. Showing good speed during practice, a couple of mistakes in race one held him back from the leaders and resulted in an eventual fourth place result. An improved race two saw him finish a competitive fourth.
Saving his best for last, Gomez started out front in race three. Determined to hold his position, he held off the attacks of rivals Cody Webb and Haaker lap-after-lap. Delivering his best ride of the night, the Spaniard claimed an emphatic win and in doing so put to rest a difficult nine months of recovery following his serious knee injury.
The FIM SuperEnduro World Championship continues with round two in Riesa, Germany on January 5, 2019.
Colton Haaker: “I’m pleased with what’s been a good night’s work. Ideally, I would have liked to win but I’m in a much better position than where I started the SuperEnduro series 12 months ago. After what was a tough year of injuries, it was good to come in here with the EnduroCross championship and know that my speed was good. However, these SuperEnduro races are much shorter and more intense and so take a little bit of adjusting to. We worked hard this past month to be ready and if not for a crash in that final race, when pushing for the win, then the overall victory was on the table. I’m happy to come out of round one strong, with a podium result, and look to build on things at round two.”
Alfredo Gomez: “I am absolutely delighted with how round one has gone and how tonight has ended. I’ve been waiting nine months for this victory and to get it feels amazing - it feels like I’ve finally put my knee injury behind me. I felt pretty good on the track but had a few little mistakes in the first two races that held me back. I knew if I could get a good start in the final race then I could do something special. I managed to do exactly that and led the whole way. Colton and Cody really put the pressure on at times, but I kept my cool and fended them off. It was an amazing feeling to cross the finish line first. It’s made all the difficult months of recovery, sometimes 12 hours each day, completely worth it and I’m looking forward to moving on to Germany now and seeing what I can do there.”
Results - 2019 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship, Round 1 - Poland
1. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 8 laps, 7:09.693; 2. Cody Webb (KTM) 7:24.642; 3. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 7:39.847; 4. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) 7:51.710; 5. Diogo Vieira (Yamaha) 8:10.120…
1. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 8 laps, 7:14.805; 2. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 7:19.913; 3. Cody Webb (KTM) 7:27.944; 4. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) 7:33.739; 5. Kevin Gallas (Husqvarna) 7:47.579…
1. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) 8 laps, 7:14.733; 2. Cody Webb (KTM) 7:18.551; 3. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 7:19.680; 4. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 7:29.168; 5. Kevin Gallas (Husqvarna) 7:51.985…
Championship Standings (After Round 1)
1. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 54pts; 2. Cody Webb (KTM) 52pts; 3. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 49pts; 4. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) 46pts; 5. Kevin Gallas (Husqvarna) 28pts…