Husqvarna’s Colton Haaker put on a show inside Riesa’s SachsenArena for round two of the Maxxis SuperEnduro World Championship claiming three wins from three starts.
- 3 wins from 3 starts for Haaker
- He also won SuperPole
- KTM’s Gomez & Walker went 2-3
- Blake Gutzeit secured debut overall win in Juniors
- For the second round running SuperEnduro was sold out
There was no stopping the defending world champion as he got down to business for the second stop of the series in Germany. Having lost out to Taddy Blazusiak in Poland, Haaker led home a KTM 2-3 of Alfredo Gomez and Jonny Walker.
In the Junior class there was delight for South Africa’s Blake Gutzeit as he put his Yamaha on the top step of the podium for the very first time.
“I’m more than happy to come away with maximum points tonight in Germany,” told Haaker. “I felt good all night. I don’t think I crashed once in the races, which was probably key to getting the overall victory.”
For the third year in succession the Sachsenarena was sold out as the action hungry German supporters came to watch the SuperEnduro riders do battle. Kicking things off with the Akrapovic SuperPole, Haaker wasted no time in getting down to business. A near-flawless lap from the American saw him top the classification and collect those three important points over Walker and Gomez.
With the elevated starting gate dropping on heat 1 for the Prestige class, Haaker, Gomez, Walker, Mario Roman (Sherco) and Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna) all dived for position. With the battle raging, Haaker got his nose in front and laid down some solid laps to eventually come away with the win.
From there on momentum was in his favour as he worked his way to the front of the pack in heats two and three to remain unbeaten all night.
“After making some silly mistakes at round one in Poland I didn’t want to let that happen in Germany,” continued Haaker. “I tried to ride as smart as possible and make sure I didn’t crash. All-in-all it’s been a perfect night. I couldn’t want for better. I’m happy to come away with the points lead and looking forward to round three in Spain.”
Behind Haaker — albeit only slightly - the KTM duo of Gomez and Walker fought it out for the overall runner-up result. Continuing to impress despite only deciding to contest the series just days before Poland, Gomez improved one position to second overall.
Fast but more importantly consistent, the Spaniard is proving the match of Haaker and Walker ending the night with a 2-3 scorecard.
“I think I’m surprising myself with these results,” said Gomez. “I’m enjoying the racing and feel relaxed about it and it’s showing in my results. My speed could be a little better — Haaker is really flying now — but my riding is consistent. I’m not making mistakes and that’s key. I hope to keep this speed going at my home race in Spain.”
Although feeling more at home with the track than last month’s race in Poland, it was a couple of unfortunate mistakes that ultimately held Walker back from claiming second overall. Taking his best result of second in race two, Walker ended Germany on the podium in third overall.
“It’s good to be back on the podium but I know I’ve more to give,” confirmed Walker. “My speed was good, I was fastest in timed practice but I made some mistakes in the races. Some were my fault but others weren’t. I need to work on my starts so I can be better in Spain.”
Behind the leading trio the battle for fourth and fifth was electric between Sherco’s Mario Roman and Husqvarna’s Pascal Rauchenecker. Racing bar-to-bar all night, the duo had the crowd on their feet as the action unfolded.
Roman had the edge in the technical sections while Rauchenecker’s bravery by jumping the water pit kept things tight. With the fight going down to the final corner of the final lap in heat 3, Roman came away with fourth pushing Rauchenecker back to fifth.
Spain’s Eloi Salsench (Beta) was sixth with USA’s Mike Brown (Husqvarna) not having the best of nights in seventh. Estonia’s Rannar Ussna (KTM) was eighth, while Pittens Wesley (Yamaha) and David Leonov (Husqvarna) completed the top 10.
In the Junior ranks the night belonged to South Africa’s Blake Gutzeit. Having claimed a race win in Poland, the Yamaha rider arrived in Germany eager for more. Kicking things off with a strong victory in race one, he then worked his way from a long way back in heat two for second. Capping things off with a win in heat three ensured him the top step of the podium.
“This win feels like a long time coming but I’m so happy to get it now,” told Gutzeit. “It’s been a great night, I rode my own race and it all came together. Hopefully there is more to come.”
The fight for the runner-up result came down to the wire between Spain’s Ignacio Fernandez (KTM) and Czech’s David Cyprian (KTM). In the end the result went to Fernandez with a career best second.
Britain’s Gethin Humphreys (Husqvarna) was fourth. Collecting a win in heat two, Britain’s Lee Sealey (Yamaha) completed the top five.
The FIM Maxxis SuperEnduro World Championship continues with round three in Bilbao, Spain on March 18.