Sherco Factory Racing’s Wade Young takes the win at Red Bull 111 Megawatt, round five of the World Enduro Super Series.
Wade Young claimed a memorable victory over Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Taddy Blazusiak and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt in the Red Bull 111 Megawatt. The victory follow’s the South African’s impressive victory at this year’s Romaniacs and makes it two wins on the bounce in the WESS championship.
Speaking after the race Young said, “It was so important to manage this race well. I felt good, and to win here after winning at Red Bull Romaniacs is awesome. I’m so happy right now. I got myself close to the front and then ahead of Jonny when he crashed. I think we would have had a great battle – it’s not nice to see a rider crash out.
“I feel like I almost had a perfect race. At the start I saw the flag drop but I was a little behind, so I kept it flat out around the outside. A few riders fell, which put me about fourth. I had a few little crashes myself but I managed to settle things down and use my speed to good effect. I put it together and felt strong. It’s awesome to get the win.”
Drama as Walker crashes out
It was a dramatic day as series leader, Jonny Walker, crashed out of the race on lap two of three while battling for the lead with Young. Germany’s Manuel Lettenbichler overcame a slow start to place fourth and take control of the WESS championship standings with three rounds remaining.
Faced with a demanding and physical 30-kilometre course, the 500 qualifiers weaved their way around Europe’s largest coal mine in hot and dusty conditions for three laps.
Pole sitter Nathan Watson claimed the holeshot and lead through the Motocross and Endurocross sections. Walker found a way past his teammate as they entered the quarry and spent the opening lap sizing each other and the terrain out before Walker controlled the race lead as Young, Blazusiak, and Bolt followed.
Close fight for the podium
However, drama quickly struck as they headed into the mine section for lap two when Walker crashed hard on a fast downhill section. Young duly inherited the lead and it was a position he would hold until the chequered flag with a winning margin of over two minutes.
Behind him the fight for podium places proved close between Blazusiak, Bolt, Watson and Lettenbichler. Fending off a late attack by Bolt, Blazusiak claimed the runner-up result in his home race: “I’m super happy to be on the podium,”said Taddy. “I broke a finger at Red Bull Romaniacs and I have more or less no strength or movement in it. It’s been a tough season for me, so I know I just have to tough it out and, well, things worked out great here.
“I had to take things carefully on the Motocross section because I was struggling to keep my hands on the handlebars where it was so rough. I was second during lap one and the guys ahead of me were really charging. I got arm pump but once that eased I started to push hard again. I had a bit of a mishap coming into the pits on lap two, but the rest of the race went well. I feel like I’m starting to turn things around and to be able to get second here in Poland is awesome.”
Bolt back on it
Just seven seconds behind, Billy Bolt was pleased with his podium: “I’m really pleased with finishing on the podium. This was the race that I was least pleased with my performance in during 2017, so to turn things around and finish third is great. I had a poor first lap – I crashed three times on the Motocross section. It seemed to me like that section of the track was different to what we rode on during the qualification.
“I felt good going into the last lap. I knew Nathan Watson and Manuel Lettenbichler were ahead of me but that if I could stay close to Watson coming into the extreme stuff it would be close. I managed to get ahead of both of them and just didn’t look back. We’ve got three tough races left, but this has definitely been good for me as far as the championship is concerned. I’ll keep working hard.”
Manuel Lettenbichler continues to shine in 2018 with a fourth place finish which, with Walker not scoring, puts him at the head of the WESS points standings. After setting the early pace, Watson completed the top five for his best results of the series.
Spain’s Josep Garcia was sixth, finishing one-minute clear of top placed ‘privateer’ South Africa’s Blake Gutzeit having a strong ride in seventh. ErzbergRodeo winner, Graham Jarvis claimed eighth ahead of his teammate Alfredo Gomez. Paul Bolton rounded out the top 10.
In total 178 competitors finished this year’s Red Bull 111 Megawatt. The World Enduro Super Series continues with round six at Great Britain’s Hawkstone Park Cross-Country on September 22/23.
Results: Red Bull 111 Megawatt, WESS Round 5
- Wade Young (Sherco - RSA) 3 laps, 2:10:52.04
- Taddy Blazusiak (KTM - POL) 2:13:01.82
- Billy Bolt (Husqvarna - GB) 2:13:08.63
- Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM - GER) 2:14:15.07
- Nathan Watson (KTM - GB) 2:15:34.21
- Josep Garcia (KTM - ESP) 2:17:54.59
- Blake Gutzeit (Yamaha - RSA) 2:19:07.06
- Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna - GB) 2:19.37.07
- Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna - ESP) 2:20:45.11
- Paul Bolton (KTM - GB) 2:22:24.86
World Enduro Super Series Standings (After round 5 of 8)
- Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM - GER) 3405
- Billy Bolt (Husqvarna - GB) 3290
- Wade Young (Sherco - RSA) 3220
- Jonny Walker (KTM - GB) 2900
- Josep Garcia (KTM - ESP) 2320
- Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna - GB) 2308
- Taddy Blazusiak (KTM - POL) 2295
- Paul Bolton (KTM - GB) 2262
- Nathan Watson (KTM - GB) 1928
- Travis Teasdale (Beta - RSA) 1790
Photo Credit: Future7Media/Robert Lynn/Andrea Belluschi