Open Mic: Taddy Blazusiak

Open Mic: Taddy Blazusiak

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KTM’s Taddy Blazusiak came out of top of a crazy battle for the GEICO Endurocross Championship on Saturday night at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Tied in points with fellow KTM rider Mike Brown going into it, the two rivals ended up falling on top of each other several times during a heart-stopping, drama-filled main event. Blazusiak edged Brown with a fifth-place finish in the main, taking his fifth-straight (!) EnduroCross title. But it wasn’t easy!

Racer X: We knew there would be some pressure, and it seemed like earlier in the day you were doing a good job ignoring that, but did it get pretty gnarly when the race started?
Taddy Blazusiak: No, I kept my cool. Going to the gate, everything was going great. Me and Brown, at the hot lap you could that we were on fire [they finished first and second in lap times]. Then I got the best start you could possibly ask for, super good jump. Then I cut the guys off in the first corner but I went a little bit too wide. I lost it a little bit so I knew that Brown was going to be coming to the inside. So I tried to get back inside. We got together. We got together again going to the first log! We got together again going to the second corner, and this is when we went from racing mode to crazy mode. This is when it went all wrong… well, I don’t want to say wrong, just from this point on it was all about me and Brownie. And it really happened in the fire wood corner. I was trying to play it safe and roll it into the fire wood corner, which was a big mistake. I should have been going as hard as I can, because that’s how we get around the track the best. I was trying to play it safe and this is never working. So I went down. I thought I was done. I picked myself up and Brownie was there! That was the place where we went from trying to win the race to trying to win the championship.

Dudes were just riding by you guys while you were trying to pick up your bikes and get unstuck!
I didn’t care. It was me and Brownie. We were just looking around and trying to see where the other guy was.

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Taddy Blazusiak outlasted Mike Brown in a wild race at the season finale to claim the championship.
Drew Ruiz photo

Did you say David Knight fell on top of you and then helped you pick your bike up?
It was incredible. David, what he did today was crazy. He was trying not to get in the way of the championship. He really wanted to stay away and then he crashed right on top of me, in Vegas, five years later [Note: Blazusiak beat Knight at this race five years ago and cost Knight a big cash bonus for sweeping the series]. So you know what people would say. I’m telling you, I thought it was done. I lifted my arms up and I said, all right, it’s done. But he picks his bike up, he helped me to pick my bike and helped me to get going, which was incredible and a big gesture for sure from David. It was pretty crazy. And from here me and Brownie…

Every other lap was it just nuts at that point?
It was crazy. We were riding in slow motion. It was all about trying to just get around the track. Crazy. I want to watch that race, or maybe I don’t!

You've ridden a lot better, is what you’re saying?
Oh yeah. I don’t remember riding that bad ever. The pressure was there.

Did you know for a while he was close? Mike was still right behind you, and Colton Haaker was right behind you guys, kind of following. Did you even know what was going on?
Yeah, I knew Haaker was there and I knew that I was just going to take it easy. I had like a 10-second gap on Brownie when he went down in the waterhole. So I knew that Haaker was there and actually was trying to race me. I just went to the outside and let the guy go. It was all about winning the championship. It wasn’t about ending up 5th, 6th, 7th, or whatever. It was all about winning that championship.

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Blazusiak is now a five-time EnduroCross champion.
Drew Ruiz photo

So you knew eventually that you had a little lead?
Yes. I still was going pretty slow, trying to make sure everything was going good. I had my mechanic with a pit board so I knew what was going on. Just trying to make it to the finish.

You do not want this to be this close next year.
It was the craziest race ever racing. And I’ve raced quite a few ones.

And you still have a little more racing to do in other series in Europe, but is it going to be weird? You’ve got to have a sense of relief right now to get this thing behind you.
Oh yeah, it was huge. EnduroCross is our main focus. It’s been a year of hard work and I’m telling you this championship was probably the hardest one to win. I wasn’t up to speed at first. I was coming off from surgery in my shoulder during the pre-season and everything. It’s been a crazy championship. At one point we were ten points down so to end up winning it, it’s crazy. We’ve done so much hard work, me and the team. So happy to win it.

And they just keep coming because Cody Webb has won three of four now. So now he’s all fired up I’m sure for next year too. They just keep coming after you.
For sure. But it’s a new season, new championship…

You get to enjoy this one for now.
It was a crazy season. I’m happy it’s done. I want to go home and celebrate a little bit.

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