The third round of the FIM Maxxis SuperEnduro World Championship had a crazy and intense atmosphere both in Prestige and Junior... we look back on the AMV Seguros Grand Prix of Euskadi!
Strong and Credible Organisation
Organisers of the Gordexola Xtreme (Hard Enduro Race) for more than 10 years, the Moto Club Aiala had already achieved a World Championship race in July 2016 for the EnduroGP Basque round. It was here that Imanol TARAMONA (President of the Moto Club) and Alain BLANCHARD (ABC Communication) met. A few months later, the promoter of EnduroGP and SuperEnduro suggested to TARAMONA and all his team that they could put on a SuperEnduro. It paid off, and in spectacular fashion! Whilst they had hoped for a few more spectators (they had 5000 through the doors), the evening was nevertheless well presented, with a good level of extra entertainment around the races, and a very technical layout which was representative of the Basque spirit of Enduro! And most importantly, this track offered the most interesting heats since the beginning of the season.
Alfredo GOMEZ (E - KTM) has been competing in the FIM Maxxis SuperEnduro World Championship since 2010. And for seven seasons the rider from Madrid has pushed hard for his first Grand Prix victory. On Saturday evening he finally did it! He pulled it off with finesse and style. Whilst teammate Jonny WALKER (GB - KTM) dominated the early part of the evening, the latter half saw GOMEZ string together two victories and the overall Grand Prix. He had previously managed a best of 4th place. This puts him in the race for the title, given that he is now only 11 points behind the leader HAAKER! Bring on the Final!
Haaker the Vlogger
For the last month and a half, our 2016 World Champion has also become a trendy Vlogger on Youtube! Colton HAAKER (USA - Husqvarna) with a camera, a Go Pro and a drone, lets you in on his daily life alongside the running of his clothing company “Plaeco”. On Sunday he posted his journey to Spain and his life during the SuperEnduro races, all with his usual happy-go-lucky personality! We strongly recommend that you check out his videos!
LEON & BERNABEU, the surprises in Spain!
Xavi LEON (E - Husqvarna) and Jose Maria JUAN BERNABEU (E - Beta) both made a comeback to SuperEnduro as Wild Cards and both enjoyed very strong performances. BERNABEU, finishing 8th earned himself also the right to fight for the Super Pole powered by Akrapovic. While the friendly Catalan LEON finished 6th (6/6/6 in the races!). Will it give them the desire to come back and fight again in France on March 18 for the last round of the season?
British Hard Enduro rising young star, and potential successor of Graham JARVIS in the discipline, Billy BOLT (Husqvarna) was present as a spectator during this GP AMV Seguros of Euskadi. We know the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory rider enjoys competiting on tricky terrains. Perhaps he has come to the Bizkaia Arena to have a closer look at the Championship for future participation? This would certainly be good news for the SuperEnduro and one more great talent on the starting grid...
Not Two Without Three?
This season we had already seen two South Africans on the podium with Blake GUTZEIT (Yamaha) and Kyle FLANAGAN (Yamaha) in Krakow in Poland in early December. GUTZEIT is also the leader of the provisional Junior. Last weekend, the two Yamaha Neubert riders were joined by another South African: Travis TEASDALE (KTM). The youngster sprang a surprise at Hell’s Gate where he took second place just behind Graham JARVIS (GB - Husqvarna) and ahead of a renowned fellow countryman Wade YOUNG (RSA - Sherco). The KTM rider continued his run of form in Bilbao. Indeed, TEASDALE was victorious in the first heat before bringing home a 7th and a 3rd place in the other two finals. This allowed him to take third step on the podium. We will have another opportunity to see this promising young talent at the Parc des Expositions in Albi on March 18 for the 2017 final!
A Visit from the 6-times Champ
The newly retired SuperEnduro legend Taddy BLAZUSIAK (PL - KTM) was at the Bilbao Exhibition Center in Barakaldo on Saturday night. Unfortunately he did not return to racing action, but instead followed the progress of WALKER and LETTENBICHLER and gave them some advice during the event. He was also present at the autograph session, delighting the fans, who are already missing the Polish superstar. He confessed that it was very hard not to ride, and he has continued to train despite his retirement. It seems that the competitive spirit hasn’t left him yet! He will also come to the GP in Albi as Guest Star in the Final!