KTM Enduro Factory Team rider Taddy Blazusiak has further extended his lead in the 2011 US Endurocross championship claiming his third straight main event win at round three of the series held in Indianapolis, IN. Once again taking charge of the 10-lap main event Blazusiak claimed a comfortable win to extend his championship advantage to 22 points. With the opening three rounds of the ’11 Endurocross championship taking place within a five week period, Taddy now heads back to Europe where he will race a 350 EXC-F machine in the Enduro 2 class at the penultimate round of the Enduro World Championship in Andorra. We caught up with the Polish indoor enduro star shortly before he jetted off back to Europe to find out more about his hugely successful start to the US Endurocross campaign and his return to the EWC…
Q: Congratulations on a third consecutive Endurocross win, how was the event in Indy?
TB: ‘The event went really well, I got a third straight win and I extended my championship lead so it was pretty much perfect. The track was much easier than the first two rounds, so I knew good starts would be important. Unfortunately, I made a small problem during the hot laps session and lost four seconds when I got stuck on the tyres. I finished seventh, which wasn’t ideal, but still managed to have a good heat race. By winning that and having the fastest heat race time I got the first gate pick for the final. I started in second but kept out of trouble during the first lap and dropped to third for a while. But I was soon battling with Mike Brown and after a few laps moved into the lead. It was 10 laps of 100 per cent effort with no mistakes and a winning result, which I was really pleased with.’
Q: With three wins from three events you must be pleased with the way your championship campaign’s started?
TB: ‘Definitely, it couldn’t have gone any better. Like every rider I wanted to start the series by winning, which I’ve been able to do at the first three races now. I feel really good on the 350, and feel like my fitness is better than ever. And I’m really enjoying the races. Everything’s come together perfectly and I hope I can continue winning.’
Q: Switching to KTM’s 350 four-stroke seems to be working well, what is it that you like about the bike so much?
TB: ‘I switched because I was looking for a new challenge after a lot of years on a two-stroke. When I first tested the bike I liked it. The bike’s great off the start, which is really important for Endurocross. It’s also incredibly fast out of the corners. And it’s light enough that it doesn’t feel too different to my old two strokes. I was sure I’d be faster on the 350 and so far things are working out really well.’
Q: You’ve had some mixed fortunes during the Hot Laps sessions at Endurocross, how important are they to you?
TB: The Hot Lap sessions are really important. That determines you gate pick for the heat race and that result determines your gate pick for the final. It’s hard getting one lap perfect, especially for me. You have to push hard but not too hard. Maybe sometimes I try a little too hard, or other riders have a little more luck than me. But so far this year I’ve finished with the first, second and seventh fastest times. I’m happy with that.’
Q: With three events in five weeks it’s certainly been a busy start to the ’11 Endurocross series, have you enjoyed the week-on, week-off schedule?
TB: ‘I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been cool having a race every second weekend. I knew I was ready for the first round of the series, so having three in a row hasn’t been a problem for me. I like it because you stay in race mode. You stay focused on the next race and don’t feel like you have to wait weeks before you’re back racing again.’
Q: You head back to Europe now but going straight back into competition at the penultimate EWC event of the year. What are your expectations for that race?
TB: ‘I’m just looking forward to racing the 350 outdoors for the first time. I’ve done plenty of outdoor training on the bike but not raced it yet. The Enduro World Championship events are very different to indoor races, but I’ll be giving it everything. It’ll be the first time I’ve raced in the Enduro 2 class but with all my training being focused towards Endurocross I’m not expecting too much of myself. I just want to have fun and enjoy the event.’
Q: You’ve managed to open up a good lead in the Endurocross championship, are you thinking about the title yet?
TB: ‘I’m always thinking about the title because that’s the thing I work so hard to try and win each year. I have a 22-point lead now so I can’t just keep going all out for race wins now, I have to think about the championship. My goal for the next four races is to get on the podium each time. If I feel I can win then I’ll push to win but maintaining my championship lead is the most important thing now.’
Round four of the 2011 Endurocross series takes place at the Citizens bank Arena, Ontario, CA, on September 17.