PRESTIGE: BOLT Jumps Ahead
So it seems that Billy BOLT (GBR-Husqvarna) has kicked off this season with the same vigor as he ended the last one, despite not being 100% fit. The reigning champion’s dominance was obvious from the first race of the evening, however, it was actually Jonny WALKER (GBR-Beta) who took the first holeshot of the evening. BOLT, struggling a little in the first corners, managed to come back and take the lead over Cody WEBB (USA-Sherco) and WALKER before the end of the first lap, making effortless passes on tricky obstacles. After that the Brit and the American
had to battle it out for second place, because BOLT was long gone – even a crash and an error didn’t hamper him for long. WALKER, feeling more comfortable than WEBB, was the first one over the line after the Husqvarna rider. Taddy BLAZUSIAK (POL-GasGas) made a solid comeback after a crash in the opening corners. The tight track in the Tauron Arena is notoriously difficult for overtaking, but the Polish legend still managed to cross the finish line in fourth place. However, more than fifty seconds behind the winner Billy BOLT!
In the second Prestige race of the evening, with its reverse grid start, it was the new factory Rieju rider Alfredo GOMEZ (ESP) who got off to the best start and snatched the holeshot. The Spaniard was followed by a rampant Taddy BLAZUSIAK, carried by 12,000 spectators all committed to his cause. A few of the big favourites languished down the order, including Billy BOLT, who had a sluggish start. But while BLAZUSIAK seemed to have a decent lead out front after overtaking GOMEZ, it wasn’t long before BOLT flew through the pack. In less than three laps he had made it into the Top 5, and in two corners he took three places. With his spectacular display BOLT will make short work of the Pole and signed off on his second victory of the evening ahead of Jonny WALKER. The British Beta rider overtook Taddy as the local legend suffered physically. The Pole nevertheless managed to achieve third place in this second heat. At one point during the exciting second race we witnessed five different manufacturers in the Top 5 positions (Husqvarna, GasGas, Beta, Rieju, Sherco), proving that SuperEnduro success is possible on a range of bikes. Dominik OLZOWY (GasGas), 2022 Junior Champion, experienced a complicated baptism of fire among the elite of the discipline. Victim of a spectacular crash, the Pole finished the first race in twelfth place out of thirteen classified riders. In the second run, he finished in the same place.
However, the last race showed the true potential of the GasGas rider as he chalked off 8th with much more consistent lap times. Despite difficulties, OLSZOWY can look forward to the rest of the season with optimism. The final race night may have had a predictable winner on paper, but it certainly didn’t lack twists and turns. Jonny WALKER snatched the holeshot again, winning the Airoh Holeshot Award for this opening round of the year. The Brit left BLAZUSIAK in his wake as the Polish hero suffered another early fall. BOLT placed himself in position to attack his compatriot, and it took him just two laps and a thrilling overtake to grab the lead of the race and never let go. Cody
WEBB finished 3 rd in this final race of the night, and therefore took 3 rd overall too. A welcome return for the American Sherco rider who endured a very hard season last year, and hasn’t stood on a SuperEnduro podium since 2019. Jonny WALKER was also satisfied with his second place overall, especially as he knew the tough Tauron Arena track was going to make every rider suffer. At the moment, Jonny lurks close behind Husqvarna’s star, Billy BOLT, who – of course – took the overall win.
JUNIOR: The BRIGHTMORE Brothers Shine
The BRIGHTMORE family had a great evening in Poland, Mitch (19) and his younger brother Ashton (16) arrived in Krakow for their first ever taste of SuperEnduro, and they left having shown everyone exactly why they made the trip over from England. The siblings shone, astonishing onlookers in the Tauron Arena, demonstrating impressive skill but also endearing modesty. The spotlight had been on Junior class favourite Milan SCHMUESER (GER-Sherco), especially in the absence of Israel’s Suff SELLA, who endured a horrific leg break during training at the start of the week. But the attention soon turned to calm and diligent Mitch BRIGHTMORE, who managed to carve through with his ‘stand up style’ to win the first and second Junior races of the night, despite having to pass several established names. In the third race of the night, Mitch decided to make things easier for himself, taking the holeshot and winning emphatically even after a small off in the rock section. In the first race he beat SCHMUESER by an astonishing 50 seconds. His little brother Ashton was glad to join him in third place in race one, and second place in the third race, and this allowed the pair to stand on the overall podium together; Mitch first on the night and Ashton 3 rd . SCHMUESER had a solid and consistent showing, which allowed him to achieve 2 nd overall on the night. Raul GUIMERA (ESP-GasGas) also performed well with 3 rd in race two, and 5 th in race three, and will certainly be one to watch. It will be interesting to see how this class of youngsters evolves during the second round in Riesa in Germany at the beginning of January, but for now things are thrilling with the arrival of such inspiring talent.
In the Open category, Poland’s Grzegorz KARGUL won on his Husqvarna. He took victory ahead of Andris GRINFELDS (LAT-KTM) and another local rider, Maciej WIECKOWSKI (GasGas). The next round of the FIM SuperEnduro World Championship will take place in Germany at the Riesa Arena on January 7, 2023. The entire SuperEnduro team wishes you a very happy holiday season.
what they said:
Billy BOLT (GBR-Husqvarna): “I’m really happy with this victory because the GP was far from easy. Maybe from the stands or the TV I gave the impression that it wasn’t hard, but I can tell you that the layout and the track made me suffer. I’m not fully fit yet, I haven’t been able to train well in recent months because of my injuries. But it’s reassuring to see that I’m starting the season in a solid way with this win, so in that way I’m really satisfied.”
Jonny WALKER (GBR-Beta): “This second place for me is almost like a victory, I struggled with it tonight. The track, as often in Poland, was very demanding and I really had to fight to get a good result tonight. I’m pleased with my race pace, it was pretty solid. I had something left to give, but the track didn’t allow me to fully attack. It’s been a good start though.”
Cody WEBB (USA-Sherco): “It feels incredible to be back on a SuperEnduro podium, to be honest I’d almost forgotten the feeling of joy it brings. Last year I completely lost myself, I didn’t feel like myself and my riding wasn’t there. This year we have found good settings on the bike that allow me to ride better and regain confidence. Now my only hope is to continue doing this kind of performance this season…and why not aim higher. I’m relieved and happy.”