The 2019 FIM Maxxis SuperEnduro World Championship kicked off last weekend at the Tauron Arena in Krakow (Poland). Let’s take a look behind the scenes of this super successful opening round...
13,000 spectators, this was the record previously held by the 2017 Polish Grand Prix at the Tauron Arena. Two years later, Sport Up Agency has just broken its own record, having attracted 13,500 spectators to witness SuperEnduro first hand! The GP of Poland 2019 therefore becomes the record breaker, followed by Poland 2017, Brazil in 2014 (12,300) and Barcelona 2015 (12,000)... With the added bonus of the local star Taddy BLAZUSIAK (PL - KTM), this year has been a great one for Tomasz GAGAT and his team!
At the same time as the Maxxis FIM SuperEnduro World Championship, the first round of the European Cup was held. This was won by Robert SCHARL (D - Husqvarna) in front of the Frenchman Paul BURY (Beta). While Slovakia's Thomas HOSTINSKY (Husqvarna) snatched the last step of the podium at the expense of Tom KNIGHT (GB - Gas Gas). Sweden’s John NYSTRÖM (Husqvarna) and Poland's Mariusz STEFANIAK (KTM) shared fifth place. This European Cup was a success with no less fewer than 36 riders attending this first round...
Unsurprisingly, the stars we expected to be fighting at the front like BLAZUSIAK, WEBB, HAAKER and GOMEZ did not disappoint. Added to that was rookie Kevin GALLAS placing Top 5 (D - Husqvarna) on his Prestige class debut…
But we didn’t expect such a stand out performance from Portugal’s Diogo VIEIRA (Yamaha) who secured a brilliant 6th place. 11th last season, the Yamaha rider put in a lot of work during the offseason which paid off in Poland. It was a similar story for Russia’s David LEONOV (Husqvarna); last year he struggled to qualify, but an encouraging 9th place in Poland could be an indication of his form for the rest of the Championship!
Record Beaters - Again!
Another record was broken during this first round, this time with the number of entries. No less than 84 riders took the start of the morning Free Practice: 36 riders in the European Cup, 30 in Junior, and 18 in Prestige. Among all these riders, 24 nations were represented, including Chile, South Africa, Russia, Lithuania, Estonia and Belarus! Proof that SuperEnduro is attracting more and more attention across the globe!
Alfredo GOMEZ (E - Husqvarna) was forced to leave the Championship in Malaga last February, the Spaniard having seriously injured his right knee while training. Ten months later, we were pleased to see him back on his Husqvarna 300TE! Fourth in the first two races, the Madrileño took full advantage of the fall of BLAZUSIAK and the mistakes of WEBB (USA - KTM) and HAAKER (USA - Husqvarna) to take a strong win in the third race! A nice comeback for GOMEZ who is now in 4th place in the standings, only 3 points from 3rd and 8 from the leader.
Scott Best Lap
A new addition to this season, the "Scott Best Lap" awards the Prestige and Junior rider who sets the fastest laps over the three races of the evening. For this first round, it is therefore Taddy BLAZUSIAK who leaves with the Scott Best Lap plate thanks to a time of 0’50’'447. While the leader of the Junior class, William HOARE (GB - KTM), leaves with the plate thanks to a time of 0'57''843
The Scott Best Lap race continues in less than a month at the SachsenArena Riesa!
While Taddy BLAZUSIAK is still at the top of his game, at 35, he already has a long and successful career behind him. And it seems Poland is already looking for his potential successor. Dominik OLZSOWY (KTM) is part of this new wave, and we saw the spectators in the Tauron Arena really get behind the youngster. For his first participation in a SuperEnduro event, the KTM rider secured an encouraging 5th place overall in Junior and could have finished even higher if he had not stopped a lap early during the second race, thinking that the race was over whilst he was in 2nd place. A concentration error that cost him the podium, but the 19-year-old rider showed interesting potential during this first round!