A lot of things happened at this historic first SuperEnduro Grand Prix in Malaga! So let’s have a look back at Round 3’s rich emotions and outstanding racing with our regular "Arena Buzz"...
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It is with these words that Manuel LETTENBICHLER (D - KTM) and several other stars of the Prestige category reacted on social media after the third round of the season. And it’s difficult to disagree with them if you saw the intensity with which the three Prestige races took place...
Frequent changes of the lead, countless crashes, unpredictable finishes, and strong fights! All of this combined, left riders and fans feeling exhilarated! When the chequered flag dropped at the end of the last race, nobody could say who had won the GP overall, before the official timekeepers of the "ITS Chronos" Championship announced that it was Cody WEBB (USA - KTM) - thanks to a hard-fought 9th place in the last race. WEBB won the class by just two points over Jonny WALKER (GB - KTM) and 5 points on Billy BOLT (GB - Husqvarna)! After an uncertain night of racing, we’re sure of one thing… we want more like this!
Taddy - “Crash King”!
While every rider, whether in Prestige or Junior, had their fair share of falls in Malaga’s Palacio de Deportes, there was one who took the attention of the crowd more than others: Taddy BLAZUSIAK (PL - KTM)! Indeed, the six-time World Champion decided to take some risks and push hard, which resulted in some falls. But the most impressive was that of the second race where after a poorly executed “double”, he and his bike were catapulted into the scaffolding of the sound system. Winded and out of breath, Taddy could not resume the race... but he returned in the third race to brilliantly win the last final! BLAZUSIAK; ultra spectacular and capable of everything!
Junior World Champion 2017, South African Blake GUTZEIT (Yamaha) had a hard time at his debut in the Prestige category during the first round in Krakow in Poland where he was 11th. Since then, the Yamaha Neubert rider has continued to progress. 9th in Germany, he went for 8th place in Malaga and now ranks 9th in the provisional standings tied with Cristobal GUERRERO (E - Yamaha)... The South African could well get a Top 5 before the end of the season in view of his rise through the ranks.
Sponsors Come to Visit
Two of the most dynamic SuperEnduro sponsors wanted to attend a GP, and chose visit Malaga. Martin WABNEGGER of Motorex and Ashkan AGHILI of 24MX made the trip to Southern Spain and were able to discover the intensity as well as the difficulty of the discipline! The SEWC was also able to welcome FIM Vice President Jorge VIEGAS who presented the winner trophies to Kevin GALLAS and Cody WEBB.
Surprise of the 2017 season in Junior category, David CYPRIAN (CZ - KTM) could have been one of the favourites for the Under 23 title this year. Unfortunately, the Czech rider was unable to participate in the first two Grand Prix of the season which took place in Poland and Germany. Back to the SEWC in Malaga, CYPRIAN was able to take a Top 5 overall (10/3/5). After the race, he told us: “I'm happy to have been able to ride here. I will also go to Bilbao. I really like this sport and I'm already working hard to find the budget to do all of next season!”
It had been two years since we last saw quadruple World Champion David KNIGHT (GB - Gas Gas) at a SuperEnduro. For this Grand Prix of Spain, the giant from the Isle of Man replaced, at short notice, the injured Danny MCCANNEY (GB - Gas Gas) who now prefers to focus on his EnduroGP season. With only two days of testing on his 300 EC before the GP, "KNIGHTER" was unable to work miracles on Saturday evening in Malaga with 13th position, but he now has two weeks to train before coming to play in Bilbao!
Emil JUSZCZAK (PL - KTM) has already shone this season in front of his home crowd at the Tauron Arena in Krakow (Poland), taking his first World Championship podium. After a more subdued performance at the German GP, the young Pole made a name for himself once again in Malaga (2/2/2). Finishing second only to the most consistent rider in the category, Kevin GALLAS (D - Husqvarna). With this strong result the KTM rider also climbed into third place in the provisional standings, just four points behind Kyle FLANAGAN (RSA - Yamaha), who holds second. JUSZCZAK seems to have a bright future in the discipline... the next BLAZUSIAK?
It is not unfair the say that Jonny WALKER (GB - KTM)’s season has so far been disappointing. 8th in Poland and 5th in Germany, the Brit was only in 7th place in the standings after two GPs; he wasn’t looking like a favourite for the title…
But in Malaga, the factory KTM rider has finally raised the bar by taking his first race win after two perfectly executed "blockpasses" on Taddy BLAZUSIAK and Cody WEBB. He could have even won the GP overall if he had not finished 10th in the last race. Nevertheless, "JW22" is back up to 5th place in the provisional classification and we hope that he continue this form and end the season battling at the front.