December 7 sees the start of the 2019/2020 SuperEnduro World Championship – here are the top 10 riders to watch out for this indoor enduro season.
The first gate drop of the 2020 SuperEnduro season is just over the horizon at the Tauron Arena in Poland, December 7. This week saw the major players confirmed as Factory KTM and Husqvarna teams confirmed Jonny Walker and Taddy Blazusiak, with Billy Bolt and Alfredo Gomez respectively forming two-rider teams this season.
Having been recently announced as the new official GasGas Factory enduro rider, we will have to wait until next year’s WESS World Championship season to see Taddy Blazusiak in the red and white colours. The indoor showman is always a star inside the boiling pot atmosphere at the Tauron Arena and begins this season chasing a record seventh indoor enduro title onboard the Farioli Factory KTM.
It’s good news to see Jonny Walker make his return to SuperEnduro after sitting out last year following his double wrist injuries. Walker has unfinished business indoors so expect the Brit to be a podium and title contender from the off.
Bolt back on it
Another fellow Brit rider making a comeback to SuperEnduro is Billy Bolt after his enforced sit out last year due to injury. His rookie season the year previous, proved to be a massive success which saw him finishing runner-up in the championship. Billy's aggressive style and raw talent on the bike lend itself to the indoor circuits and he starts as a bookmakers favourite.
Alfredo Gomez could be a dark horse this season too and will be eager to put his factory two-smoker in the mix against all the four bangers. Being one of the few riders choosing to ride a two-stroke, the former SuperEnduro runner-up is determined and dogged rider indoors – his fast starts are always worth a look out for.
Pol Tarres improved as the 2018/2019 championship progressed and ultimately saw the lanky Spaniard finishing fourth in the overall ranking, taking a maiden podium along the way. The TTR Officine Rigamonti rider will be back for more this season ready to battle with the factory boys.
Can former Junior champions break the factory bike lock-out?
2019 Junior champion Will Hoare, 2018 champion Kevin Gallas and Blake Gutzeit, the 2017 champion, will line up against the big boys in 2020. Gallas and Gutzeit have already been there and done it, so know how tough the full indoor season can be but Hoare will step up to the premier class full-time this year.
It’ll be interesting to see how Hoare’s first full season develops, the Brit absolutely smashed last year in the Juniors and raced the Prestige class in the last round where he managed to finish every race inside the top 10. Riding with the likes of Blazusiak, Walker and Bolt is a different game to play however.
No American riders?
As expected, the two riders who have taken the last four SuperEnduro World Championships, Colton Haaker and Cody Webb, will not contest this indoor season. They sure both brought drama to the series last year and it is a shame not to see them back.
There is one North American though and he’s one to watch, Ty Cullins. The former Junior EnduroCross champion is blazing a trail indoors for TM Racing and will bring his natural talent to spark up the Juniors in Europe this season. It is great to see Cullins making the commitment to the World Championship.
Privateers getting in the mix
Despite SuperEnduro not being a most discipline where privateers get much chance to shine in the lights – time out of daily work to train, the travel involved and the factory bike lock-out, Diogo Vieira and Xavi Leon are two dogged indoor riders to watch.
Diogo Vieira had a great season last year taking a close battle to the last race to eventually finish sixth, close on fifth place. His two fourth place finishes in Madrid and strong qualifying results in the Akrapovic Super Pole put him in the mix once more this season – watch out in the reverse grid format race two on the night.
Spaniard Xavi Leon found some spare time between fixing bikes at his shop, Sixlyon Bikes, to take the full SuperEnduro season. Finishing ninth overall last season, Xavi will aim higher in 2019/2020.
More information: SuperEnduro.orgPhoto Credit: Enduro21/Andrea Belluschi/Robert Lynn + SquareDPhotography Igor AguadoEnduro21 Junior Editorigor.firstname.lastname@example.org