Cody Webb stays perfect while fellow American Colton Haaker lands first SuperEnduro podium in Riesa, Germany.
Red Bull KTM’s Cody Webb is off to a rocking start in the 2015-16 Maxxis FIM SuperEnduro World Championship after scoring his second win in the first two rounds of the series at the SachsenArena in Riesa, Germany, Saturday night to remain undefeated so far.
Webb once again battled with fellow KTM factory rider Jonny Walker of Great Britain and fellow American Colton Haaker of the Monster Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team. Walker ended up second overall and Haaker third overall the latter scoring his first career FIM SuperEnduro podium.
Webb started off the night with a third-place performance in the Akrapovic SuperPole competition, behind Haaker and reigning FIM SuperEnduro World Champion Taddy Blazusiak, but Webb came on strong in the first of the three main events to post a win. In Race Two, which forces the riders to start in reverse order from their Race One finish, Webb stayed out of trouble and negotiated traffic to land second place, behind Spain’s Alfredo Gomez. Race Three marked Webb’s worst finish of the night—fifth place—but his consistency was good enough to land the overall win ahead of Walker by just one point.
“I’m super happy to come away with the win tonight,” Webb said. “Two overall victories from two starts is a perfect start to the championship for me. The track was tough tonight. There was no real room for error and it was a fine line between staying up and crashing. In race one I just sort of rode steady and the win came to me. I got up to second in race two and almost got Alfredo for the win but had to settle for second. Then race three I finally had some bad luck, and ended fifth I think. But thankfully it was enough for the top step of the podium.”
But for a shunt with a lapped rider while battling Webb for the lead in Race One, Walker might well have stopped Webb from winning a second consecutive SuperEnduro round. Walker fell to fourth place in Race One, improved to third in Race Two and scored a win in Race Three.
“The racing was so close, everyone was on the limit out there,” Walker said. “I had a good first race going but tangled with a lapped rider in the log pit. and he ended up standing on my bike. It was a freak thing but cost me a chance of winning there. I was riding good in race two and then gave it everything in race three. It felt great to get the win in that one and to end the night one point behind Cody is a bonus really. After two rounds we’re separated by two points, so it’s still very close.”
Despite numerous crashes, Haaker clearly showed the speed to win and is likely to be a real factor as the Maxxis FIM SuperEnduro World Championship chase carries onward. After winning SuperPole, he scored two brilliant runner-up finishes in Race One and Race Three. His only real downfall came in Race Two where two crashes dropped him to seventh, which was still good enough for third place overall.
“It was the little things that kept me away from the overall victory,” Haaker said. “I only lost by three points again. But I’m always happy when I’m riding that well. A podium finish isn’t bad. I was fast in both practices and won the SuperPole. The key in the races was to avoid mistakes and keep it on two wheels. I think I should have won Race One if I didn’t fall three times. Then the next race I fell twice and the last race I fell again at the first turn. Some sections of the track, like the sand pit, were tricky. Everybody has stepped up their game this year. I just have to minimize these bad races. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series and especially the South American rounds of the championship. They’re back to back and I’m better when I have races in a row.”
2016 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship
Results: January 2, 2016 (Round 2 of 6)
1. Cody Webb-KTM/6 minutes, 53.759 seconds
2. Colton Haaker-Hus
3. Taddy Blazusiak-KTM
4. Jonny Walker-KTM
5. Mario Roman-Hus
1. Alfredo Gomez-KTM/6 minutes, 53.779 seconds
2. Cody Webb-KTM
3. Jonny Walker-KTM
4. Mario Roman-Hus
5. Dani Gibert-She
1. Jonny Walker-KTM/6 minutes, 54.449 seconds
2. Colton Haaker-Hus
3. Taylor Robert-KTM
4. Taddy Blazusiak-KTM
5. Cody Webb-KTM
1. Cody Webb-KTM/49 points
2. Jonny Walker-KTM/48
3. Colton Haaker-Hus/46
4. Taddy Blazusiak-KTM/40
5. Alfredo Gomez-KTM/37
2016 Maxxis FIM SuperEnduro World Championship Standings (after 2 of 6 rounds)
1. Cody Webb-102 points/2 wins
2. Jonny Walker-100
3. Colton Haaker-84
4. Taddy Blazusiak-79
5. Alfredo Gomez-70