Two weeks after an action-filled South American tour that saw a new leader in the Prestige class, the Maxxis FIM SuperEnduro World Championship heads to the Tipsport Arena in Prague, the Czech Republic, with the fifth and penultimate round of the 2016 series taking place on Saturday, March 12th.
Winning the GP of Brazil two weeks ago, Cody WEBB (USA - KTM) is currently nine points behind Prestige class leader Jonny WALKER (GB - KTM). With only two rounds to go the American is forced to win again in Prague to keep his hopes of clinching the title alive.
But WALKER has made enormous progress this year and is a serious threat every time out. Add to that the fact that 'showman' Colton HAAKER (USA – Husqvarna) is getting closer than ever to a maiden GP win and an exhilarating night of racing is ensured.
Continuing their head-to-head battle to secure fourth place in the points standings Alfredo GOMEZ (ESP - KTM) and Taylor ROBERT (USA - KTM) are expected to fight for podium finishes in Prague. And we can't forget the 2015 Junior World Champion Ty TREMAINE (USA - KTM) who is improving quickly and could easily join the fight for the podium.
With up and down performances since the beginning of the season, Mario ROMAN (ESP - Husqvarna) will try to end the series on a high note.
After an encouraging Brazilian GP (8th), Kevin ROOKSTOOL (USA - Sherco) will continue his battle for the top ten, while Andreas LINUSSON (S - KTM), who was absent from South America, will be back to prove he is much better than his 10th place in the standings.
Fighting for a spot in the top 10 will be Aurelien ADDESSO (F - Beta), Kornel NEMETH (H - TM), Eloi SALSENCH (E - Beta) and Joan Pau SEGURA (ESP - KTM).
The GP of Prague will also mark the return of crowd favourite Taddy BLAZUSIAK (PL - KTM). Indeed, the six-time World Champion will attempt to come back to the series after suffering a thumb injury he picked up two weeks before the South American tour. The Polish rider will be joined by local star Petr BARTOS.
The stakes are high in the Junior class. The duel betweenf Luis OLIVEIRA (P - Yamaha) and Blake GUTZEIT (RSA - Husqvarna) is expected to continue, with both riders hoping to series leader Manuel LETTENBICHLER (D - KTM).
The German was in dominant form in Brazil, but his rivals proved they could cause him difficulties in Argentina. A highly expected addition to the Junior class in Prague might be Chile's Benjamin HERRERA (TM), winner of round three in Pinamar.
HERRERA is doing anything possible to contest the last two rounds of the series with his appearance possibly shaking things up in the class. Tim APOLLE (D - Husqvarna) and Mathias MARTINSEN (NOR - KTM) will also contest the GP of the Czech Republic.
We are also looking forward to the return of Gethin HUMPHREYS (GB - Husqvarna), Lee SEALEY (GB - Yamaha), Emil JUSZCZAK (PL - Sherco) and William HOARE (GB - Sherco) in the Junior class.
Prague will see a third category in action this weekend. Indeed, Emma BRISTOW (GB – Sherco), Sandra GOMEZ (E – Husqvarna) and the others will be present this Saturday in the TipSport Arena in Prague for the Women World Cup.
If BRISTOW will look for a third crown in a row, she will have to face a GOMEZ full of confidence after her Endurocross Women title. Add to this the German Maria FRANKE (KTM), the South African Kirsten LANDMAN (KTM), the Portuguese Rita VIEIRA (Beta) and also the Slovaks Katarina JURICKOVA (Husqvarna) and Karin HOSTINSKA (Husaberg) and the Women category will surely offer some nice show to the Czech public.
With four exhilarating GPs already in the books, round five of the Maxxis FIM SuperEnduro World Championship is expected to produce a similar amount of drama and action and the highly anticipated return of Taddy BLAZUSIAK is promising to make the atmosphere even more electric.