KTM EnduroCross Race Report - Final Round

Las Vegas, NV – Red Bull/KTM rider Taddy Blazusiak came to the Orleans Arena for the final round of the EnduroCross Series with the Championship wrapped up and the goal of winning the final round and a $50,000 Triple Crown prize.

Judging from the afternoon practice laps and first heat, it looked as if it might be his night. Blazusiak had the second fastest hot lap of the afternoon behind his teammate Shock Doctor/KTM rider Mike Brown.

Brown and Blazusiak were split up in the first two heat races. Brown started heat number one with a holeshot and an amazing battle with Christini/KTM rider Geoff Aaron. Brown and Aaron switched the lead position multiple times before Brown made the pass stick taking the win and the first qualifying position into the main.   

Blazusiak was up next in heat number two. Blazusiak had a great jump off the gate but hit a plant in the first corner and went down. Another rider fell on top of him and the two struggled to get back up. Luckily, Blazusiak kept the bike running and once he regained composure he put on an impressive charge through the pack. By the second lap Blazusiak had moved from last to 2nd position and was closing in on lead rider Gary Sutherlin. Another lap down and Blazusiak caught Sutherlin in the rocks and made the pass for the lead. He pulled on the field and finished the race approximately a ½ lap ahead of the next closest rider.  

The third member of the team, Shock Doctor/KTM WORCS rider Justin Soulè also made an appearance at the final round of EnduroCross. Unfortunately, Soulè crashed in his heat and semi and wasn’t able to qualify into the main event. As a consultation he was entered into the highly popular night race, an event where the stadium lights are turned off and the riders have to race only by headlights. Soulè started up front alongside Husaberg rider Joakim Ljunggred. The two rode side by side for the first half lap until Soulè got held up in the rock section. Soulè lost a few positions getting through the rocks and was able to charge back through and finish the race in 4th position.

In the main event, Blazusiak had a decent start rounding the first corner in 3rd place while Brown’s wheel spun on the gate and caused him to have a last place start. Blazusiak quickly moved into 2nd position at the tire jump and was soon side by side with Ricky Dietrich. As they came to the right hander after the tire straight Dietrich moved over and into Blazusiak. With no where to go Blazusiak hit the ground hard causing injury to his leg. “I knew something was wrong as soon as I crashed but I am a racer and I came to win, so I was not going to retire early,” commented Blazusiak. He soon recovered and was back on track in 7th place. Out front, Dietrich had taken the lead followed closely by Aaron.

As the race continued, Brown continued to put pressure on the field working as hard as he could to move up in position from his poor start. Brown spent a lot of time trying to get around stuck riders in the treacherous rock section. “The rock section was tough because so many riders got held up there and I would lose time each lap trying to get around them or waiting for them to pick themselves up so I could get by,” remarked Brown. At the end of the race, Brown eventually passed up to 9th position where he finished for the night. “I love racing EnduroCross because you never know what will happen. I had great lap times all night but if you don’t have luck to go with your speed in the main event you can find yourself in the back of the pack.”

Blazusiak passed a few riders after his first crash before he had a second encounter with the ground. After the second crash, Blazusiak put forth a remarkable effort to try and catch the top three but fell short of that goal in the eight lap race. Aaron maintained his 2nd place position to end the season with a podium finish while Blazusiak crossed the line in 5th. After the event Blazusiak had his leg examined for what looks like a possible ACL tear on his right knee. “I will go in for further examination when I return home. I am bummed with how the evening turned out but am still happy to have the championship and plan to return to defend my title in 2010.” Blazusiak will be joined once again by Mike Brown as the two KTM Factory riders contending the AMA EnduroCross series next season.