The Orange Army was in full battledress at the fifth and penultimate round of the FIM SuperEnduro championship in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on Saturday night with KTM riders sealing the first four places in the Prestige Class of the competition.
The win went to KTM USA’s Cody Webb followed by Britain’s David Knight, championship point leader Taddy Blazusiak of Poland and Jonny Walker, the two Red Bull KTM factory riders.
The evening started well with Walker, Knight and Webb at 1-2-3 in the Superpole but Blazusiak finished fifth after going down in the fire pit obstacle.
Then Walker looked in hot form when he grabbed the holeshot in the first race only to be nudged out by Knight to open the way for Webb to slip through. While Walker and Knight had their bikes on the ground, Webb went on to take a commanding 20 second lead on the track that was tight and technical and left no room to breathe. Walker recovered to finish second and Blazusiak finished in fourth place behind Knight.
Riders started in reverse order for the second of three races and again Walker was in charge and finished ahead of Webb and Blazusiak in the one time out on the track that was relatively incident free.
Then it was 100 percent action in the final race when Walker high-sided in the first turn and crashed into Webb, only to see Knight grab the advantage and go on to lead every lap. Blazusiak recovered well from a fifth place start and quickly moved into second around the incident with Walker and Webb. He carried second place to the flag. Meanwhile Webb charged his way from last place into third but Walker’s problems only compounded when his rear wheel skidded into one of the stands and snagging a banner. He was unable to get it free unaided but was then disqualified for outside assistance, spoiling a potentially good night out.
Webb was happy with his win, saying: “After getting so close numerous times for the overall victory it feels great to have finally got my first win in SuperEnduro. Coming into the final race I was tied on points with Walker for the overall but then we crashed in the first corner. I got going again but crashed a second time. Somehow I managed to claw my way back to the third and it was enough for the overall.”
Blazusiak, who is on the cusp of taking the title, said his main focus for the night was to stay safe. “I knew the other guys were hungry to win and I didn´t want to get dragged into the fight and so I set a pace for myself that I was comfortable with. I rode three good races and managed to still get on the podium. But most importantly I’ve got a 42-point lead entering the final round in France.”
Understandably Walker was bitterly disappointed after being close to his first overall victory: I’m gutted to have lost out on winning my first overall victory. I’ve been really ill in the build up to tonight and wasn’t at my best but still managed to get a good result in race one and then win race two. It was all on the line for the overall in the final race and unfortunately I crashed with Cody in the first turn. I then got a trackside banner stuck in my wheel – locking it up. I couldn’t get it out alone and outside assistance resulted in being disqualified. It’s been a bad end to what should have been a great night.”
In the Junior category the competition has narrowed to a two-way battle for the title with America ty Tremaine and Andreas Linusson (both KTM) separated by only one 1 point going into the final round.
The series wraps up in France at Cahors/Parc des Expositions on March 14, 2015.