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KTM’s Alfredo GOMEZ claimed his debut SuperEnduro victory at his home round of the FIM Maxxis SuperEnduro

KTM’s Alfredo GOMEZ claimed his debut SuperEnduro victory at his home round of the FIM Maxxis SuperEnduro

KTM’s Alfredo GOMEZ (E) claimed his debut SuperEnduro victory at his home round of the FIM Maxxis SuperEnduro World Championship in Bilbao, Spain. Having come agonisingly close to winning numerous times, the Spaniard finally made it count to secure the top step of the podium at the penultimate round of the series. After a hectic night of racing Gomez was joined on the podium by teammate Jonny WALKER (GB) in second and Husqvarna’s Colton HAAKER (USA) third. In the Junior class, Yamaha’s Blake GUTZEIT of South Africa made it two wins in a row with the overall victory in Bilbao.

“Incredible,” told GOMEZ after the podium celebrations. “I’ve worked so hard for so long to get this victory and to finally do it on home turf is amazing. It’s been a great night. Thank you to KTM, Red Bull, my family and everyone who’s made it possible.” Faced with a tough and challenging course for round three of the series, the penultimate stop of the championship proved a demanding one for all. Quick to set his marker, WALKER laid down the fastest time in the Akrapovic SuperPole.

With the gate dropping on the opening Prestige race, the action quickly heated up. WALKER, GOMEZ and HAAKER were all in close contention with each rider sharing the lead at least once. Mistakes dropped HAAKER back to an eventual third as WALKER and GOMEZ went at it for the win. GOMEZ attacked at every opportunity but WALKER — yet to win a heat race this season — was not going to let this one slip away. Hanging it out just that little bit more, he hung on to claim his first win of the 2017 series with GOMEZ second.

Gomez
With the starting order reversed for race two it was Husqvarna’s Pascal RAUCHENECKER (A) who led the opening lap, but GOMEZ had carved his way to the front and quickly took over. It was a lead he wouldn’t relinquish. This time around HAAKER rode it home for a steady second. The fight for third went down to the final corner between WALKER and Mario ROMAN (S-Sherco) with Roman snatching it in the final metres, pushing WALKER back to fourth.

With everything to play for in the final race, victory for either WALKER or GOMEZ would mean the overall victory too. Both riders shot out to the front immediately as mistakes dropped HAAKER out of play with the duo in third. Neck-and-neck the KTM riders fought for victory only for GOMEZ to finally come good in the end. “It’s been an amazing night,” told GOMEZ. “The racing has been so close. Both Jonny and myself really wanted this victory, thankfully it came my way.” Second in heat three ended the night as runner-up for WALKER… “I think that’s the best I’ve rode this season so far,” told WALKER. “I feel like I’m starting to find my form again. It was great to get a race win and almost take the overall victory.” Ending his night without a race win, HAAKER still finished on the podium in third and maintains the overall point’s lead heading to the season finale in Albi, France on March 18th. Putting in another solid performance, ROMAN brought his Sherco home in fourth overall. Returning to SuperEnduro action having missed Germany due to illness, KTM’s Manuel LETTENBICHLER (D) completed the top five.

Podium
In the Junior class it was another overall win for GUTZEIT. Ending his night with a 2-1-2 scorecard, the young South African moves ever closer to claiming the world title. Returning to top form following a tough night at round two, TM Racing’s Ben HERRERA of Chile claimed a much deserved race win in heat three to end his night third overall. Making a startling debut in SuperEnduro, South African Travis TEASDALE (KTM) claimed a stunning win in heat one before going on to end his night on the podium in third. Spain’s Ignacio FERNANDEZ (Sherco) was fourth with Kevin GALLAS (KTM) fifth.

The FIM Maxxis SuperEnduro World Championship concludes with the fourth and final round of the season in Albi, France on March 18.

Action
Results

Prestige
Heat 1 : 1. WALKER ; 2. GOMEZ ; 3. HAAKER ; 4. ROMAN ; 5. LETTENBICHLER ; 6. LEON; 7. RAUCHENECKER; 8. JUAN BERNABEU; 9. ADDESSO; 10. SALSENCH…

Heat 2: 1. GOMEZ; 2. HAAKER; 3. ROMAN; 4. WALKER; 5. LETTENBICHLER; 6. LEON; 7. RAUCHENECKER; 8. JUAN BERNABEU; 9. ADDESSO; 10. SALSENCH…

Heat 3: 1. GOMEZ; 2. WALKER; 3. HAAKER; 4. LETTENBICHLER; 5. ROMAN; 6. LEON; 7. RAUCHENECKER; 8. ADDESSO; 9. BERNABEU, 10. SALSENCH…

SuperPole powered by Akrapovic: 1.WALKER; 2. GOMEZ; 3. HAAKER…
Standing: 1. HAAKER 165pts; 2. GOMEZ 154pts; 3. WALKER 146pts; 4. ROMAN 98pts; 5. RAUCHENECKER 77pts; 6. LETTENBICHLER 62pts; 7. BLAZUSIAK 58pts; 8. BROWN 56pts; 9. SALSENCH 48pts; 10. UUSNA 47pts…

Junior
Heat 1: 1. TEASDALE; 2. GUTZEIT ; 3. FERNANDEZ; 4. GALLAS; 5. B.HERRERA; 6. APOLLE; 7. CYPRIAN; 8. BURY; 9. HUMPHREYS; 10. FLACK…

Heat 2: 1. GUTZEIT; 2. B.HERRERA; 3. GUTZEIT; 4. HOARE; 5. APOLLE; 6. TEASDALE; 7. HUMPHREYS; 8. FLACK; 9. GALLAS; 10. CYPRIAN …

Heat 3: 1. B.HERRERA; 2. GUTZEIT; 3. TEASDALE; 4. GALLAS; 5. CYPRIAN; 6. FERNANADEZ; 7. HOARE; 8. HUMPHREYS; 9. D.HERRERA; 10. APOLLE…

Standing: 1. GUTZEIT 157pts; 2. B.HERRERA 127pts; 3. CYPRIAN 81pts; 4. HUMPHREYS 80pts; 5. APOLLE 80pts; 6. FERNANDEZ 73pts; 7. GALLAS 70pts; 8. HOARE 63pts; 9. VIAL 60pts; 10. SEALEY 51pts…

Gutzeit

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