Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Colton Haaker made a highly positive start to the defence of his FIM SuperEnduro World Championship title by claiming the runner-up spot at the opening round of the 2016/17 series held inside the Tauron Arena in Krakow, Poland. Showing impressive speed his teammate Pascal Rauchenecker wrapped up his first SuperEnduro World Championship outing with eight overall.
Securing a moto victory and two top three results, Colton Haaker earned a close second overall to Taddy Blazusiak at the first round of the series in Poland. Setting the fastest lap during Time Practise and claiming the runner-up spot in Superpole, the FE 350 mounted rider entered the night’s final motos confident he could challenge for the overall win.
Crossing the finish line first in the opening final, Haaker was hit with a 10sec time penalty that dropped him to second in the final results. Battling through the pack following his reversed order start in the second final, the US rider made a number of passes to eventually come home in third place.
The highlight of the night for the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider came in the third and last final. Involved in a fierce battle with Blazusiak, Haaker got the lead just before the midway point and never looked back. Wrapping up the night with victory in the third final, Colton finds himself second in the provisional championship standings.
Competing alongside Haaker, Pascal Rauchenecker endured an eventful debut SuperEnduro outing in Poland. Claiming eighth in the first final, the FE 250 mounted rider went on to secure his best result for the night in the second final with sixth. Suffering crashes Pascal wrapped up the night with 13th in the third final.
Contesting the 2016/17 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship aboard Husqvarna machinery, Mike Brown collected 6/5/5 results for fifth overall in Poland.
Round two of the 2016/17 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship will take place in Riesa, Germany, on January 7.
Colton Haaker: “It was a solid night for me. My riding was good and I felt I was the fastest guy throughout the night. I believe I showed the overall victory was well within my reach. In the first race I trailed Taddy for three laps before deciding to make my move for the lead. It just happened that I made my pass under yellow flags, so I ended up getting a 10-second penalty to finish second. In the second final the reverse start kind of got me. I came from way back to finish third. Then in the last race Taddy got me in the start so I followed him for a couple of laps before making my move for the lead. After that I kept checking out and despite a small fall I managed to get the win. The track in Poland was one of the hardest we’ve ever raced. For me it’s super important that I started the series on the right foot and I’m looking forward to the next round in Germany.”
Pascal Rauchenecker: “It was an eventful night for me. My speed was very good, but I lost a lot of time following mistakes during the finals. I started the night posting the third fastest time in practise and that was pretty good. To be honest I struggled with the matrix all-night-long. That was surely a part of the track where the most experienced riders could make a difference. In the last race for example I was battling for third place but crashed in the matrix and damaged my front wheel. I learned a lot in Poland and now I know exactly what I need to improve. I feel there’s still so much to learn in SuperEnduro and I will continue working hard to get back stronger in round two next January.”
Results – FIM SuperEnduro World Championship, Round 1, Poland
1. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 58pts; 2. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 54pts; 3. Alfredo Gomez (KTM) 45pts; 4. Jonny Walker (KTM) 44pts; 5. Mike Brown (Husqvarna) 31pts… 8. Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna) 16pts
1. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 9 lap, 07:09.948; 2. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 07:13.001; 3. Jonny Walker (KTM) 07:25.067; 4. Alfredo Gomez (KTM) 07:25.391; 5. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 07:45.794; 6. Mike Brown (Husqvarna) 07:48.237… 8. Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna) 8 laps, 07:36.362
1. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 9 laps 07:23.898; 2. Alfredo Gomez (KTM) 07:33.305; 3. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 07:35.341; 4. Jonny Walker (KTM) 07:53.062; 5. Mike Brown (Husqvarna) 08:07.967; 6. Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna) 08:13.458
1. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 9 laps, 07:13.544; 2. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) 07:15.712; 3. Alfredo Gomez (KTM) 07:39.894; 4. Jonny Walker (KTM) 07:42.191; 5. Mike Brown (Husqvarna) 07:57.231… 13. Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna) 7 laps, 07:39.517