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BILLY BOLT INTERVIEW – WESS ROUND 1 WINNER

Charging to victory at Extreme XL Lagares, Britain’s Billy Bolt became the first ever winner of a round of the World Enduro Super Series. Beautifully mastering the rugged Portuguese terrain, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider led home a field of world class Enduro talent to secure the top step of the podium and maximum points from round one.


Fresh off his podium celebrations, it was time to catch up with Bolt who, after round one of WESS, now leads the race to become this year’s ULTIMATE ENDURO CHAMPION.

Congratulations Billy you are a first-time winner of both the World Enduro Super Series and Extreme XL Lagares. How do you feel?

Billy Bolt: “I’m absolutely delighted to win. It’s my first major international Enduro victory. I’ve been close a couple of times before but never quite made it over the finish line, so I’m really happy to get the job done. To do it at the first ever round of the World Enduro Super Series is extra special.”

You faced a nervous wait at the end to see if Taddy Blazusiak could beat you on corrected time, were you worried he might pull off something special?

“It was a tense time waiting on Taddy to finish his race. Everyone was going crazy with excitement saying I’d won, but I knew Taddy was charging and on corrected time he could still win it. He’s such a class act that anything is possible with him. So I tried to remain calm, patient and wait to see if he finished inside that 14-minute window I’d started the race ahead of him on. It was only when the time elapsed I knew I’d done enough.”

You started Sunday’s two-lap main race third behind Jonny Walker and Cody Webb, was that an advantage or disadvantage for you?

“If anything, it was a disadvantage but I took it how it was. On lap one I made a mistake trying too hard to catch them and lost a few minutes, but luckily nothing major. On lap two I felt more comfortable and wanted to push on. I had a few good lines on the most technical obstacles and was able to make my way around the back markers. But to be fair to the later starting riders, a lot of them moved aside and let the Pro riders battle for the victory — some even helped out on the hardest sections, so I’ve huge respect for them for that. I saw Jonny a few times but I didn’t quite know the gap we had. Once I passed him I knew I was provisionally leading, however I also knew of the situation regarding the fast riders still coming behind, so I kept pushing on.”

As a first-time visitor to Extreme XL Lagares what were your thoughts on Sunday’s Main Race?

“Extreme XL Lagares has a fierce reputation and it’s certainly lived up to its name. After the opening lap, I thought the river crossings might improve once riders had passed through them but that wasn’t the case. It was so slippery out there and in some rivers, there was no grip at all. You had to constantly search for tiny patches of grass or dirt to gain some extra traction. It was hard work for sure and a very technical start to the championship.”

Round two of WESS will mark your third visit to the Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble. Do you believe you can make it third time lucky and win?

“I’ve been to the Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble twice and I’ve experienced the best and worst of it. In 2016 it was my first Hard Enduro race and I finished fifth, then last year I rode with a broken toe and wasn’t able to deliver my best. But it’s an amazing place for round two of WESS. It’s my favourite race of the season because of the history which surrounds the event — it’s a hugely important race for Enduro. All the greats of our sport have won there and I’d love nothing more than to put my name on the winner’s list, too. Claiming victory would ensure an incredible start to the WESS championship.”

Finally, with victory at round one how do you now feel about the rest of the championship?

“I couldn’t ask for anything better than winning round one. Although I’m one of the youngest riders in the championship I feel like I’ve prepared as best I can to fight with the top Enduro riders in the world. Knowing that rounds one and two will favour the Hard Enduro riders I was focused on starting well. But I believe this win will give me confidence for the rest of the year ahead, to keep pushing for the overall series and that title of ULTIMATE ENDURO CHAMPION.”

The World Enduro Super Series continues with round two at Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble on June 1-3.

World Enduro Super Series Standings (after round 1)
1. Billy Bolt (GBR), Husqvarna, 1000 points
2. Jonny Walker (GBR), KTM, 850 pts
3. Manni Lettenbichler (GER), KTM, 770 pts
4. Taddy Blazusiak (POL), KTM, 690 pts
5. Graham Jarvis (GBR), Husqvarna, 610 pts…

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2018 NEW ZEALAND ENDURO CHAMPS

ALL THE DATES AND ALL THE DETAILS

New Zealand Enduro is having a bit of a shake up for 2018 with Justin Stevenson at the helm as NZ Enduro Commissioner. The five-round series will cover the middle of the North Island, as well as visiting a new venue in the South Island, just out of Murchison, near the tiny ‘town’ of Maruia. Originally a six-round series, one South Island round had to be dropped due to land access, meaning the best four-out-of-five rounds will count towards the class titles. However, as per normal, ALL-Rounds will count towards the outright title, which is more about bragging rights than an official NZ title.

 

 

As an added bonus to the National Series, there are three off-shoots this year in the form of the North Island, Central and the Southern Series. It can get confusing as some events will count towards more than one individual series but have a look at the dates on the flyers to see which events or even series suits you best. There are plenty of Enduro events this year to choose from so don’t be shy to get out and try them for yourself.

 

 

Check out the latest DRD magazine for an Enduro 101 article about how Enduro works and how easy it is to enter and compete. If you love long trail rides and like riding fast too, then you should try an Enduro on for size.

 

 

More information about each event can be found at www.motoevents.nz – just click the link and book them in.

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WEBB WINS SUPERENDURO 2018

 

CODY WEBB CROWNED 2018 SUPERENDURO WORLD CHAMPION

With some exciting racing over the five-round series, it was Webb and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Taddy Blazusiak who were separated by 17-points going into the closing event of the championship. Blazusiak set a blistering pace for the Akrapovič SuperPole lap in qualifying and won the opening race of the night in impressive style, closing down on the points gap to fellow KTM-rider Webb and certainly turning up the heat on the championship battle.

Unfortunately, after an initial battle between the two contenders, a technical issue ruled Polish-star Blazusiak out of the second moto, and Webb took third position, which was enough to award the KTM-star the World Championship title with a race to spare aboard his KTM 350 EXC-F. On the night Jonny Walker finished runner-up on the podium and fourth in the standings, with six-time SuperEnduro World Champion Blazusiak, who only recently returned to racing following a short retirement, taking a podium third for third overall in the championship.

Adding the FIM SuperEnduro World Championship to his 2017 AMA EnduroCross title, American-ace Cody Webb is undisputedly the man to beat in indoor enduro. Despite a tough final round, the 29-year-old from Watsonville, California was overjoyed with his first ever world title.

“I am so happy, I can’t tell you what this means to me, Webb said. Of course, I feel bad for Taddy, he was riding really well tonight. The championship has been great and for it to come down to the wire shows how high the quality really is – I have so much respect for every single rider in this series. I was riding really tight tonight – I think because of my nerves – and Taddy was pushing so hard. He had some bad luck tonight, but I’ve had a couple of bad rounds too. After having a year out of racing in Europe, to come back and be World Champion is amazing – this is definitely the most important title I have won so far. After my riding tonight, I know there are still some things I have to work on so I’ll go away now, regroup and prepare for the WESS this summer.”

“It is great for KTM to take another SuperEnduro World Championship, KTM’s Enduro Team Manager Fabio Farioli commented. It was a good championship for us and Cody (Webb) was consistently strong. In the first half of the series he certainly put the hammer down, and in the second half of the championship we saw a more conservative rider; he of course was then the target for all and it was not an easy position to be in. I’d like to congratulate Cody on his win, as this is certainly a special victory to add to his impressive achievements and it represents a lot of hard work from the team, from KTM and the success story of our KTM 350 EXC-F. It was unfortunate for Taddy (Blazusiak) in some respects; he also had some bad luck, and was very competitive this year, despite having some time out from competition. But this is racing, and it was great for us to see a real battle and the duo fighting for the title right until the last race of the season – of course, although I know he is disappointed, it was good for Taddy to take third in the championship in the end. Now we are looking forward to the forthcoming World Enduro Super Series, in which we expect some really exciting racing.”

For the KTM Factory Enduro riders all attention is now focused on the outdoor World Enduro Super Series championship (WESS), which combines a variety of enduro disciplines throughout the seven-event series, and kicks off with its opening round at the Extreme XL Lagares in Portugal on May 11.

 

Final Standings SuperEnduro 2018 after 5 of 5 rounds

1. Cody Webb (USA), KTM, 240 points
2. Billy Bolt (GBR), Husqvarna, 226 points
3. Taddy Blazusiak (POL), KTM, 225 points
4. Jonny Walker (GBR), KTM, 194 points
5. Colton Haaker (USA), Husqvarna, 180 points

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TONI BOU – WORLD TITLE #12

If he hasn’t spent enough time at the top of the trials world, Toni Bou went ahead an won again, wrapping up the FIM X-Trial indoor crown for the 12th consecutive time. Bou, who was coming back from a serious injury, that put him out of action for over a month, could only manage fifth on the night at the Paris X-Trial but it was enough to clinch the world title.

This takes his grand total of World Titles to a massive 23 – really proving he is the GOAT of indoor trials. This short clip from Paris shows the skill it takes to win a World Title.

 

 

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WORLD ENDURO GP BEGINS

The 2018 World Enduro GP kicked off with a bang a few weeks back in Finland through icy and snow-covered conditions. This video wraps up all the action from a very chilly Helsinki. Hope they had hand warmers!