Red Bull KTM Factory rider Taddy Blazusiak was crowned the AMA National EnduroCross Champion after an epic battle for the title with fellow KTM rider, Factory FMF/KTM’s Mike Brown.
The two KTM riders came into the final round tied for the points lead, with each having scored exactly the same finishes in the first six rounds. With 130 points apiece the stage was set for the great battle and brown and Blazusiak did not disappoint.
Brown earned the holeshot in the opening heat to lead every lap and secure the first transfer spot into the main event. Blazusiak then took the holeshot in the second heat. He battled with Cody Webb for the lead for the first half of the heat before settling into second place for an easy transfer spot to the main.
Prior to the main event the thirteen riders had to line up to ride a hot lap to determine gate pick for the main show. Blazusiak and Brown were the last two to go. Blazusiak went first and turned a 57.721 to snatch the top spot from Cody Webb. Brown was the last on the track and clocked a 57.750 to set up a massive battle in the main.
Blazusiak and Brown launched off the line of the main event in first and second position with Brown edging out Blazusiak for the holeshot. Brown led the first lap with Blazusiak in tow. As they neared the fire pit section, Brown made a mistake and Blazusiak ran into him and this sparked a huge rider pile-up. Brown and Blazusiak had to wait for the others to get their bikes clear before they could remount and once they recovered the roared off side by side at the back of the pack.
The next five laps saw both KTM riders make mistakes, recover and then once again hit the dirt. The level of excitement had the crowd on their feet as the two KTM riders fought it out for the championship. “I’ve never been so far back in a race battling for a championship,” Blazusiak commented. “I can’t believe how we kept finding each other throughout the race. I don’t think I breathed the entire twelve minutes.”
Then Brown crashed hard in the water section after the halfway point, while battling with Blazusiak and the 10 seconds he lost allowed the Polish rider to seize the advantage. From there Blazusiak picked up one more position and was able to finish the race in fifth place ahead of Brown’s ninth place finish and the title was once again safe in Taddy’s hands.
“That was one of the most exciting races I have ever had in my life,” stated Blazusiak. “It was so much fun to battle with Brown this year and I am excited we were both able to keep it clean while we battled for the championship.”
Blazusiak’s championship marks his fifth consecutive EnduroCross title. He continues to be the most dominant rider in the EnduroCross Series and will return to defend his title once more in 2014.
Results Final Round 2013 EnduroCross Championship
1, Cody Webb
2. Cory Graffunder
3. Kyle Redmond, KTM
4. Colton Haaker
5. Taddy Blazusiak, Poland, KTM (wins fifth championship title)
6. Geoff Aaron, KTM
7. Taylor Robert
8. Gary Sutherlin, KTM
9. Mike Brown, KTM (finishes second in title)
10. Destry Abbott
Final 2013 Championship Standings
1, Blazusiak, 146
2, Brown, 142
3, Webb, 135
4, Haaker, 126
5, Robert 119
6, Redmond, 106
7, Graffunder 105
8, Aaron, 85
Image courtesy KTM