The Tauron Arena, was the setting for round 2 of the MotoZ FIM SuperEnduro World Championship and it had the riders on edge from the very beginning as a challenging and technical layout awaited them. A track that forced the competitors to be on top form both physically and mentally.
However, it made for one of the most tense rounds of recent years, despite the fact that the ever-strong BILLY BOLT (GBR-Husqvarna) once again took home an overall win, the 24MX Leader Plate and the best time in SuperPole. The factory Husqvarna rider had to keep an eye on Jonny WALKER (GBR-Beta) from the very start of the first race, and it was neck and neck for the Airoh Holeshot, with BOLT just edging in front of WALKER. Behind the two Brits, local hero Dominik OLSZOWY (POL-Rieju) placed himself in contention despite having far less experience than the two powerhouses in front of him. He managed to stay ahead of the likes of Will HOARE (GBR-Beta) and Manuel LETTENBICHLER (GER-KTM). Back in the lead, WALKER was still hanging on to BOLT’s rear wheel, the two men delivering a thrilling race and making no mistakes. It was only when they caught the ‘tailenders’ that BOLT managed to take a little advantage over the Beta rider. In the closing laps HOARE managed to grab the advantage over LETTENBICHLER and OLSZOWY.
WALKER Strides to Victory
There was uproar in the Tauron Arena at the end of race two, when Jonny WALKER did the unthinkable and crossed the line in first place, proving that Billy BOLT can indeed be beaten. His opponents had been waiting a while for the opportunity to shake things up for the three-time World Champion. Jonny WALKER‘s victory quickly took shape, despite the reverse grid start, as he managed to pass early-leader Mitch BRIGHTMORE (GBR-GASGAS) smoothly and slot into his own rhythm out front. BOLT, who often has a steady approach to the reverse grid races, found himself down the field for longer than he’d hoped, and stuck in traffic. All onlookers still expected the Husqvarna rider to make his usual charge to the front, but as more laps passed it seemed WALKER had everything under control. A small fall for the Beta rider on the final lap had the crowd on their feet, but he still rejoined faster than BOLT could catch him and claimed an excellent race victory. Behind them, Will HOARE once again ranked third, just ahead of Dominik OLSZOWY who managed to control LETTENBICHLER this time.
With one win a piece for the two Brits, it was all to play for in the final race of the night. BOLT, spurred on by the fact that he had to put in one final fight, made a lightning start and dashed straight for the Airoh Holeshot. WALKER and OLSZOWY slotted into strong second and third positions, giving the crowd plenty to cheer about. Before long it was a battle of the Brits as BOLT and WALKER pulled away out front. The gap between the pair remained very small, with less than two seconds separating them at the halfway point of the race. The battle remained intense until the chequered flag, but WALKER couldn’t quite gain the advantage over his friend. BOLT won the last race in style and once again took overall victory on the night. Third place overall was fought out between LETTENBICHLER and HOARE after OLSZOWY suffered some late falls in the third race and dropped down the order. The Englishman placed 4th in the last race of the night, just one spot behind his German rival, allowing him to claim the overall podium once again.
BOLT therefore won the Polish GP ahead of WALKER and HOARE. This British hat-trick was identical to that of the first round in France, and all three are hoping to repeat the feat when the Championship heads to Germany in the new year. Billy BOLT consolidates his leadership in the world rankings, and he leaves 2023 14 points ahead of Jonny WALKER. Naturally, HOARE is third in the standings, 27 points behind WALKER and 41 behind BOLT.
Junior: Ashton Brightmore Takes Control
The class for the youngest riders on track provided brilliant action and close racing all night. Ashton BRIGHTMORE (GBR-GASGAS), Roland LISZKA (HUN-KTM) and Suff SELLA (ISR-KTM) all rode superbly and proved that there’s at least a three-way title fight brewing in the Junior class. The three youngsters kept swapping positions during the three races, but it was BRIGHTMORE who won the first and last races of the night, while LISZKA won the second race. Less comfortable than during the French GP, SELLA nevertheless fought to try to stay close to his two adversaries. He led on several occasions, but a few falls and unlucky moments spoiled the evening for the Israeli who lost the lead in the Junior championship to the ever-impressive BRIGHTMORE. Just three points separate BRIGHTMORE and SELLA as we head towards round three, while LISZKA sits 16 points from the top.
The next round of the MotoZ FIM SuperEnduro World Championship will take place just after the Christmas break in the Sachsen Arena in Riesa, Germany on January 6th 2024.
Billy Bolt: “To be honest, after the second race I think everyone was expecting me to be pretty angry but I was happy with my riding. I held back a bit for the reverse grid start but then I took too long to get to the front – suddenly I realised Jonny was four bikes in front and it was too late really. But overall, it went really well, I changed my line in the rocks and that helped me in the final race. I can go and enjoy Christmas with another overall win, big love to everyone!”
Jonny Walker: “It was good tonight, I felt like I had strong pace, I didn’t make too many mistakes either. Second overall again but I’m looking forward to Germany, especially after beating Billy in one of the races tonight! We had some nice battles and it’s always fair racing between us two, plus it was a nice show for the fans. The track was difficult but it was really good fun. I can go for the Christmas break feeling good.”
Will Hoare: “I’m happy tonight, especially as I didn’t even get into the Superpole. To be honest I think that setback gee’d me up for the races. The three races went really well and I got third overall, so I’m happy with that result after also doing the same in France a couple of weeks ago. It’s good for me to be running with these top guys and I’m hoping for the same again in Germany.”
Ashton Brightmore: “I felt good all night, I kept it safe and when I had a big lead I just tried to stay mistake free. It was a reverse grid for the second race as usual, and we all bunched together and it was a close one! Roland (Liszka) got the win which was nice for him and good for me. It was a technical track with lots of different lines, so I really had to stay calm. Suff (Sella) and Roland were riding really well and I’m so stoked to get the overall win and the red plate.”
Report and Images by FIM SuperEnduro