The wait is over, it’s time for the SuperEnduro World Championship to begin. Colton Haaker starts as the defending champion while home hero Taddy Blazusiak looks to make it a winning end to his illustrious career.
As the reigning champion, Haaker carries the #1 plate into Krakow. Firing on all cylinders having recently won the AMA Endurocross Championship, the Californian will want to start the 2016/17 series in the same manner he ended the 2016 by winning.
But he will have to face a wealth of opposition determined to make him fall. Among them is the most successful SuperEnduro rider of all time - Taddy BLAZUSIAK.
The native of Krakow is determined deliver a winning result in his backyard having just announced that he will retire after this Grand Prix. With a stadium full of home support cheering him on BLAZUSIAK will settle for nothing less than a win.
Jonny WALKER (GB - KTM) is ready for the event. Coming agonisingly close to clinching the 2016 title, it was a broken bone in his leg that ultimately ruined his title hopes. Now back to 100 per cent, he seeks redemption this time around.
HAAKER will also need to be aware of his countryman and former team-mate: Mike BROWN (USA - Husqvarna). Brown makes an eagerly awaited SuperEnduro debut in Poland. Already remarking that the European styled tracks suit his style, he will be in the mix if he can adapt to the three six-minute heat format.
Spaniards Alfredo GOMEZ (KTM) and newly-signed Sherco rider Mario ROMAN - fifth and sixth in 2016 - are eyeing up the podium and are keen to show their might. 2016 World Junior Champion Manuel LETTENBICHLER (D - KTM) steps up to the Prestige class and is ready to strike at the highest level.
Eloi SALSENCH (E - Beta), Dani GIBERT (E - Sherco), Joan Pau SEGURA (E - Gas Gas) and EnduroGP’s Pascal RAUCHENECKER (AUT - Husqvarna) are ready to challenge the established elite.
Finally, Frenchman Aurelien ADDESSO (Beta), Russian David LEONOV (Husqvarna), Estonian Rannar UUSNA (KTM), Swedish John NYSTROM (KTM) and Portuguese Diogo VIEIRA (Beta) and Joao LOURENCO (Sherco) are all in action.
In the Junior class, the world title race has never been so competitive. With contenders like Benjamin HERRERA (CL - TM), Blake GUTZEIT (RSA - Yamaha), Tim APOLLE (D - Husqvarna), Lee SEALEY (GB - Yamaha), Mathias MARTINSEN (N - KTM), Gethin HUMPHREYS (GB - Husqvarna) and Oskar KACZMARCZYK (PL - KTM), there are no less than seven riders who can claim victory.
In addition, there’s also anticipation of the emergence of young talent like Luke FLACK (GB - Sherco), Diego HERRERA (CL - TM), William HOARE (GB - KTM), Kyle FLANAGAN (RSA - Sherco), Teodor KABAKCHIEV (BUL - KTM) and Paul BURY (F - Sherco).
EnduroGP specialists Max VIAL (F - Husqvarna), Jean-Baptiste NICOLOT (F - Yamaha), Matteo BRESOLIN (I - Husqvarna) and Bastien MECHIN (F - Yamaha) could also get involved in the title fight if they’re fast adapters to SuperEnduro.
Finally, in the European Cup, Mike HARTMANN (D - Husqvarna) starts as favourite to defend his title. But he will have to keep an eye on his fellow countrymen Marcel TEUCHER (KTM), Eddie FINDLING (Sherco) and Felix BRAUER (KTM) along with the Polish armada led by brothers ZYCH and NASTULA. A proud Slovak team will be there to do deliver the goods as will Hungarian Bence HOLLO (Sherco) and the Estonians Ragnar VALDSTEIN (KTM) and Rene JERBACH (Husqvarna).
After a 2015-2016 season that saw Taddy BLAZUSIAK give up his crown to Colton HAAKER following an epic battle with Jonny WALKER and Cody WEBB, the 2016-2017 Maxxis FIM SuperEnduro World Championship is very open.
HAAKER will have a lot of competition and BLAZUSIAK intends to secure a result his home crowd will remember.
With a talented entry list in both major categories, along with the European Cup, the Tauron Arena is revving up for an explosive and action packed start to the SuperEnduro World Championship.
Action begins from 16:00 on Saturday 10th December at the Tauron Arena in Krakow, Poland where the stars of the SEWC will battle for victory is a show to remember.