Racing with an injury to his ‘good’ shoulder, GASGAS Factory Racing’s Taddy Blazusiak was unable to make it into the Final Knockout race at round five of the 2021 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship, Red Bull TKO. Giving all he had, and impressively charging to second in the event’s Endurocross Straight Rhythm, Taddy was disappointingly forced to call it a day following the event’s second Knockout Race. Gaining more valuable international hard enduro experience, our GASGAS Factory Racing junior rider Michael Walkner placed 12th in the Knockout Final.
Travelling to the USA hoping that the shoulder injury he picked up at Romaniacs wouldn’t stop him from challenging for the podium, Taddy Blazusiak was ultimately forced to call it a day a race and a half earlier than he wanted to at Red Bull TKO. Showing strong pace to finish as runner-up to Billy Bolt during the event’s Endurocross Straight Rhythm, Taddy made a highly positive start to Sunday’s racing, posting the sixth fastest time during the Hot Laps session.
At the end of the first of three Knockout Races, Taddy brought his EC 300 home in eighth. With the extremely physically demanding terrain taking its toll on his shoulder, in Knockout Race two Taddy could do no better than 21st and as a result was unable to line-up for the Final Knockout. Despite missing out on valuable championship points, Taddy still sits sixth in the provisional FIM Hard Enduro World Championship standings. Competing alongside Taddy at TKO, GASGAS Factory Racing junior rider Michael Walkner made it into the event-ending Final Knockout race, completing five laps to place 12th in a time of just under 40 minutes!
Taddy Blazusiak: “TKO certainly hasn’t finished how I hoped it would, but it’s been great to be back racing in the US. Coming into the event with an injured shoulder, I knew things were going to be difficult, I just didn’t know how hard I would find it. Everything started great with the Endurocross Straight Rhythm. But the deeper I got into the event the tougher it got for me, and it got to the point where I couldn’t hold on. The Hot Laps went good, I got a good time there. The first Knockout Race was ok, but already I knew my shoulder wasn’t as strong as I needed it to be. And halfway through the second Knockout Race I had to stop.”
Results – Red Bull TKO, 2021
1. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 6 laps 37:30.546
2. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 6 laps 37:32.895
3. Trystan Hart (KTM) 6 laps 38:30.120
12. Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 5 laps 38:13.194
Provisional standings - FIM Hard Enduro World Championship (after 5 of 8 rounds)
1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 54pts
2. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 53pts
3. Wade Young (Sherco) 40pts
4. Mario Roman (Sherco) 37pts
5. Jonny Walker (Beta) 34pts
6. Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS) 26pts
7. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) 24pts
8. Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 21pts
9. Teodor Kabakchiev (Husqvarna) 19pts
10. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 15pts