TADDY STORMS ENDUROCROSS OPENER

Taddy Blazusiak Takes Opening Round Win

Trystan Hart and Blake Gutzeit round out the podium

Taddy Blazusiak took the top spot at the Salt Lake City EnduroCross opener. Photo Diahann Tanke

 

The 2022 GEICO AMA EnduroCross Championship Series hosted the first round Salt Lake City, Utah at the Maverik Center. Taddy Blazusiak took the overall win to kick off round one. The GasGas Factory rider had a score of 1-2-1 across the three motos. Red Bull KTM’s Trystan Hart finished second overall with 2-1-2 moto finishes. Rounding out the overall podium was KTM Rider, Blake Gutzeit, with 4-5-5 finishes in the motos.

Round one moto three gate drop of the EX Pro class. Photo: Jack Jaxson

Blazusiak kicked off his day by setting the fastest hot-lap time to set the starting order for the first of three motos with a time of 35.61. FactoryOne Sherco rider, Cody Webb, had the second-fastest time of 35.64. Webb’s FactoryOne Sherco teammate, Cooper Abbott, had the third fastest hot lap with a 36.34 lap time. Blake Gutzeit set the fourth fastest hot lap with a time of 36.54 and Jonny Walker rounded out the top five with time of 36.62. Rockstar Husqvarna’s Colton Haaker had the slowest hot lap time of 43.34 after going down during the firewood section.

Red Bull KTM’s Trystan Hart finished second overall in Round One. Photo: Jack Jaxson

 

Blazusiak took the Moose Holeshot and an early lead in moto one, ahead of Hart, Webb and Walker. Blazusiak would hold onto the lead for the duration of the race, though Hart was closing the gap lap after lap until a hiccup in the rock garden slowed him down right before the white flag went out. Haaker would also run into some issues himself after starting on the second row due to his crash in his hot lap. A mid-race fall off the rock garden would keep him out of the top five as he finished in sixth place. Hart would stay the course and finish P2 behind Blazusiak and Walker behind Hart in P3.

The second moto inverts the sixteen riders’ finish positions from race one for gate picks, so the top eight riders start on the second row. Nick Thompson shot out of the gate to the holeshot with Abbott and Hart right behind him. A few laps in, Thompson had some trouble climbing the tires and Walker took over the lead with Hart right behind him. Walker led for a few laps before falling victim to the tires as well going down after exiting them. From there Hart took over the lead with Blazusiak not too far behind. Hart would go on to win moto two ahead of Blazusiak in second and Abbott in third.

South Africa’s Blake Gutzeit was fast and consistent throughout the night. He finished with third overall. Photo Jack Jaxon

 

In the final moto, Hart very narrowly edged out Blazusiak for the holeshot, but Blazusiak quickly gained the lead in the rock garden with Walker and Hart following in tow. Though Hart would make a late push to pass Blazusiak and win the overall, he would fall short as he picked a difficult line in the rock garden that allowed Blazusiak to secure his win. Hart would come in second and Graffunder in third.

 

Colton Haaker: “It was a tough night for me, I had a crash in the Hot Lap that set me in last gate pick for the first race and I kind of dug myself a hole that I couldn’t really get out of too easily. Definitely a tough pill to swallow, I was feeling pretty good coming into this and I’ve been putting in the work but EnduroCross is its own beast and sometimes it’s just not your day.”  Photo Jack Jaxon

 

For the overall results, Abbott finished fourth with 8-3-4 moto finishes. Cory Graffunder came in fifth overall with 5-8-3 moto finishes. Haaker finished sixth overall ahead of German Rider Tim Apolle who took seventh on a beta. Walker came in eighth overall ahead of Ryder Leblond in ninth. Ty Cullins and Will Riordan tied for tenth overall.

 

Left to Right: Trystan Hart (P2) Taddy Blazusiak (P1) Blake Gutzeit (P3) in the EX Pro Class. Photo: Jack Jaxson

 

2022 AMA Super EnduroCross- Round 1: Overall Results (Top 10)

  1. Taddy Blazusiak, 1-2-1, GasGas
  2. Trystan Hart, 2-1-2, KTM
  3. Blake Gutzeit, 4-5-5, KTM
  4. Cooper Abbott, 8-3-4, Sherco
  5. Cory Graffunder, 5-8-3, Husqvarna
  6. Colton Haaker, 6-6-6, Husqvarana
  7. Tim Apolle, 7-4-9, Beta
  8. Jonny Walker, 3-10-8, Beta
  9. Ryder LeBlond, 12-7-10, Husqvarna
  10. Ty Cullins, 10-11-11, TM

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