Colton HAAKER (USA-Husqvarna) is crowned the 2016 Maxxis FIM SuperEnduro World Champion in a dramatic showdown in Madrid, Spain. Capping off what has certainly been the most exciting and dramatic SuperEnduro series to date, Husqvarna’s Haaker delivered the goods to be crowned the champion. With it all to play for between HAAKER and closest rival Cody WEBB (USA-KTM), it was a last lap, final corner pass by HAAKER that secured him the title. “Incredible, absolutely incredible to be the new world champion,” told HAAKER. “It was all or nothing on that final lap and I’m just lost for words right now.”
In the Junior class it was Manuel LETTENBICHLER (D-KTM) who played to form and claimed the title with two races to spare. “It’s an amazing feeling to be world champion,” said LETTENBICHLER. “I can’t believe it.”
With HAAKER, WEBB and championship leader Jonny WALKER (GB-KTM) separated by just seven points entering the sixth and final round of the season, the stage was set for a dramatic ending. Up for the challenge, WEBB set the fastest time in the Akrapovic SuperPole. But for race one it was outgoing champion Taddy BLAZUSIAK (PL-KTM) who recorded a near perfect victory with home favourite Alfredo GOMEZ (S-KTM) in second. Behind the duo, HAAKER was the first of the championship contenders across the finish line in third with WEBB fourth, as WALKER – who was riding injured from the previous round in Czech Republic – limped to seventh.
In the second race, WEBB was back on the attack and after getting into the lead in the early stages, controlled the pace from the front, fending off a late charge by HAAKER, who was second. Another seventh place result from WALKER saw his title hopes slip further away. With just two points separating HAAKER and WEBB – in HAAKER’s favour – entering race three, it would be a winner-takes-all bid for championship glory. Initially, WEBB looked the champion elect as he led out front, while HAAKER faced a recovery bid from ninth on lap one.
On a mission, HAAKER drew level with WEBB and with one lap remaining, the duo gave it everything they had. With four overtakes, it was HAAKER’s final corner pass that saw him win the race and with it become the new SuperEnduro world champion. “I just went into overdrive in that final race, I had nothing left to give,” told HAAKER. “I can’t believe it. It’s been an amazing season of racing, both Jonny and Cody raced so hard all year, respect to those guys. Thanks to the team and Husqvarna for their faith in me.” With WEBB forced to settle for second overall in the final championship standings, WALKER completed the top three.
In the Junior class, favourite LETTENBICHLER claimed his first world title. The rider to beat all season, LETTENBICHLER barley put a foot wrong in Madrid, winning all three races to end his season as the Junior world champion. “This season has been amazing,” said LETTENBICHLER. “I knew I had a good lead in the series coming into Madrid but the nerves were still there. Winning the first race to win the title was fantastic. I couldn’t do this without the support from KTM and of course my father.” Making a rare appearance in SuperEnduro, Sherco’s Wade YOUNG (SA) placed as runner-up in Madrid with three second place results. TM’s Ben HERRERA (CHI) completed the top three.
In the final championship standings, Yamaha mounted Luis OLIVIERA (P) finished as runner-up to Lettenbichler with Tim APOLLE (D-Husqvarna) completing the top three.
Prestige Heat 1 : 1. BLAZUSIAK ; 2. GOMEZ 3. HAAKER ; 4. WEBB ; 5. ROMAN ; 6. ROBERT; 7. WALKER; 8. TREMAINE; 9. LEON… Heat 2: 1. WEBB; 2. HAAKER; 3. BLAZUSIAK; 4. ROMAN; 5. ROBERT; 6. GOMEZ; 7. WALKER; 8. LEON; 9. SALSENCH… Heat 3: 1. HAAKER; 2. WEBB; 3. ROBERT; 4. ROMAN; 5. GOMEZ; 6. WALKER; 7. TREMAINE; 8. LEON; 9. SALSENCH… SuperPole powered by Akrapovic: 1.WEBB; 2. ROBERT. 3. WALKER… Standing: 1. HAAKER 292pts; 2. WEBB 287pts; 3. WALKER 270pts; 4. ROBERT 231pts; 5. GOMEZ 221pts; 6. ROMAN 176pts; 7. TREMAINE 162pts; 8. BLAZUSIAK 157pts; 9.LINUSSON 77pts; 10. TREMAINE 71pts…
Junior Heat 1: 1. LETTENBICHLER; 2. YOUNG ; 3. APOLLE; 4. HERRERA; 5. OLIVEIRA; 6. FLACK; 7. HOARE; 8. MARTINSEN; 9. KARGUL… Heat 2: 1. LETTENBICHLER; 2. YOUNG; 3. FLACK; 4. APOLLE; 5. HERRERA; 6. HOARE; 7. MARTINSEN; 8. OLIVEIRA; 9. PUEYO… Heat 3: 1. LETTENBICHLER; 2. YOUNG; 3. HERRERA; 4. FLACK; 5. APOLLE; 6. HOARE; 7. OLIVEIRA; 8. MARTINSENI; 9. PUEYO… Standing: 1. LETTENBICHLER 343pts; 2. OLIVEIRA 258pts; 3. APOLLE 228pts; 4. GUTZEIT 170pts; 5. MARTINSEN 122pts; 6. HERRERA 119pts; 7. HOARE 108pts; 8. SEALEY 95pts; 9. HUMPHREYS 71pts; 10. KACZMARCZYK 63pts…