2022 EnduroCross: Blazusiak bangs round 1 win in Salt Lake City
Taddy Blazusiak takes the overall win at round one 2022 GEICO AMA EnduroCross Championship Series in Salt Lake City, Utah with two moto wins to place him ahead of Trystan Hart as some big names fall.
There are only two people on this planet holding five AMA EnduroCross championship crowns, Taddy Blazusiak and Colton Haaker. One of them made the best possible start to the 2022 season on a mission to make it six, while the other had a bit of a nightmare.
With two wins and second place across the three motos in Salt Lake City GASGAS Factory Racing’s Blazusiak that near perfect start to the series ahead of KTM USA’s Trystan Hart who took the fight to the last moto while consistency paid off for South African Blake Gutzeit with P3 on the night ahead of some big name riders falling foul of crashes and a tight, difficult to overtake on track.
Blazusiak kicked off his day by setting the fastest hot-lap time to set the starting order for the first of three motos with a time of 35.61. FactoryOne Sherco’s Cody Webb was second-fastest with 35.64 ahead of teammate Cooper Abbott, Blake Gutzeit, Jonny Walker fifth with Rockstar Husqvarna’s defending champion Colton Haaker setting the slowest time after going down in the firewood section.
Blazusiak took the Moose Holeshot and an early lead in moto one, ahead of Hart to set a pattern for the night. Webb and Walker were in tow but moto one was where the evening fell apart for Cody as his Sherco hit some “technical problems” taking him out on lap two. Blazusiak was in determined mood though and held the lead for the whole the race. A hiccup in the rock garden (another trend for the night) meant Hart’s ambitions to pass Taddy went no further and he had to settle for second ahead of Jonny Walker who started well.
’21 champ Haaker was suffering on the narrow track and with passing difficult, starting on the second row due to his crash in his hot lap made it tough night. A mid-race fall off the rock garden was yet another trend for the night and he took his first of three sixth place finishes.
The second moto inverts the sixteen riders’ finish positions from race one for gate picks, so the top eight start on the second row. Nick Thompson shot out of the gate for the holeshot with Abbott and Hart getting great jumps off row two right behind him.
Thompson had trouble climbing the tyres allowing Walker to take the lead with Hart behind him. Walker led for a few laps before the tyres caught him out as well allowing Hart to take moto two ahead of Blazusiak and Abbott.
In the final moto, Hart very narrowly edged out Blazusiak for the holeshot but Blazusiak quickly gained the lead in the rock garden with Walker and Hart in tow.
The overall result on the line in this moto between Taddy and Trystan, it was an epic fight for treh pair with no quarter given. In the end it came down to line choice late in the race in the rock garden which allowed Blazusiak to secure the win and the first overall podium of the season ahead of Hart with Graffunder in third.
Moto 3 results:
With a 4-5-5 scorecard, Blake Gutzeit took the surprise podium third place on the KTM two-stroker. The overall results behind the podium boys saw Abbott finished fourth with 8-3-4 moto finishes, Cory Graffunder fifth with 5-8-3, Haaker sixth ahead of Tim Apolle and Jonny Walker on the Betas ahead of Ryder Leblond in ninth, with Ty Cullins and Will Riordan tied for 10th overall.
2022 AMA Super EnduroCross round 1 overall results (top 10):
- Taddy Blazusiak, 1-2-1, GASGAS
- Trystan Hart, 2-1-2, KTM
- Blake Gutzeit, 4-5-5, KTM
- Cooper Abbott, 8-3-4, Sherco
- Cory Graffunder, 5-8-3, Husqvarna
- Colton Haaker, 6-6-6, Husqvarna
- Tim Apolle, 7-4-9, Beta
- Jonny Walker, 3-10-8, Beta
- Ryder LeBlond, 12-7-10, Husqvarna
- Ty Cullins, 10-11-11, TM
- Will Riordan, 11-9-12, KTM
Just a four-rider Women’s Pro class race saw Sherco USA’s Louise Forsley take the win ahead of Rachel Gutish fresh from the ISDE in second. Four-time Women’s EnduroCross champion Shelby Turner, also fresh back from France and ISDE duties for Canada, had an early crash in the race and had to settle for third spot ahead of newcomer Hallie Marks in fourth.
Spenser Wilton won the Expert class main event ahead of Justin Soule in second and Dustin McCarthy in third.
The intermediate class main event was won buy Agus Pascal. Coleman Johnson came in second and Gavin McCarthy in third.
David Kamo won the Veterans class with Evan Ask behind him in second and Ryan Gouevia in third.
The Novice class was won by Mitch Jonson. Ray Amos came in second and Brandon Byrd in third.
The next round of the 2022 GEICO AMA EnduroCross Championship takes place next Saturday, September 24, in Redmond, Oregon.
Photo Credit: Jack Jaxson