The evening’s stakes were clear, to win the 2023 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship Billy Bolt had to take the Akrapovic SuperPole and win the first race at the final round in Poland ahead of his season-long rival, Jonny Walker.
By clocking an impressive 43.782, Bolt ticked off the final SuperPole of the season and placed himself in the ideal spot for the “main event”. Once again, Jonny Walker was hot on his heels, with the hope of at least keeping his countryman on his toes. In the first race of the night, Bolt started perfectly with the Holeshot, and he then set about quickly widening the gap to all his other competitors. Back in the pack, one of the other focuses of the season finale was the fight for third in the championship standings between Cody Webb and Taddy Blazusiak. Three points separated the American from the Pole coming into Gliwice and the two men battled it out all evening, offering up some of the most thrilling head-to-head fights of the year.
In the first race, Blazusiak, supported by a fervent home crowd, snatched an all-important third ahead of Cody Webb – which left the pair level pegging in the points table. In the lead, Billy Bolt, no doubt feeling a little under pressure, made a mistake and went down in the large rock garden section. Jonny Walker was ready to take his chance, keen to pass his friend and rival. However, Bolt managed to refocus himself and quickly gap the privateer Beta rider once again. Billy secured his 13th victory of the season and won his third World Championship title while the evening had barely got underway. Jonny Walker took a strong second place.
Bolt champion 2023
With Billy Bolt having already wrapped up the crown, and Walker in a secure second in the standings, all attention turned to who else would be able to add ‘Top 3 in the FIM SuperEnduro World Championship’ to their CV. Blazusiak and Webb took this task seriously and engaged in the battle royal. At the start of the second race, the advantage was with the Pole who made an excellent start from the second row. The six-time World Champion was in the wake of Bolt when they attacked the tricky sand section of the demanding Polish track. Webb was running in fifth at this point but was starting a tremendous comeback. Leading the race, Billy Bolt had already taken control ahead of a valiant Will Hoare. Pushing his way through the pack, Cody Webb managed to take 3rd place from Blazusiak, but he fell in the sand leaving the Pole to regain the advantage. The fight between the two men was far from over.
Webb stalled at the exit of the rock garden when he had just passed the factory GASGAS rider. Fast forward to the last lap and a charging Webb was trying everything against Blazusiak, to the dismay of the home fans, he managed to block the Pole in the small stone section and flew into second place, leaving the fans and their hero feeling a little despondent. Naturally, Bolt won this second race ahead of Webb and Walker. Blazusiak crossed the line in fourth place, but his world podium hopes seemed to be dwindling.
The last race of the night would be decided between the factory Sherco and the factory GASGAS rider. The final race was unsurprisingly won by a flawless and effortless Bolt (4 hat-tricks in 5 GPs for #57!) but it was Blazusiak and Webb who set the place alight, Blazusiak was riding with a pace, precision, and passion not seen so far in this unlucky season for the Polish rider. He claimed a fantastic second place in the last race at the expense of Jonny Walker. The tens of thousands of fans in the crowd were clearly thrilled as chants of “Taddy, Taddy, Taddy!” rang out.
As Blazusiak was giving his all to keep his chances alive, Cody Webb was caught in an unfortunate collision with a tail-ender. The American lost his rhythm in the race and tumbled down the order, Webb finally crossed the finish line in a distant sixth place, offering the last step on the 2023 season podium to an overjoyed Taddy Blazusiak.
This fanfare finale topped off a spectacular and successful 2023 season. Billy Bolt took the world title ahead of Jonny Walker and Taddy Blazusiak.
“Since I was a little kid, all I’ve ever wanted was to be a World Champion, it was my biggest dream and now I can hardly believe that I have three world titles,” Billy Bolt said. “This one feels a bit more special because the first one I got almost by default and remotely in 2020 while the world was going through a crazy time with the pandemic. Tonight I had all my family and friends here and the crowd was wild, I could hear them all night and it feels incredible to take another title. I’m so happy, I feel good, and I’m so pleased for my team – good vibes all around!”
Jonny Walker was gracious in defeat. “It was a good year, Billy’s on fire and I gave it my best to try and battle with him, but he’s just too good. I’m happy with second in the championship because it means if Billy wasn’t here I would’ve won! My riding was pretty good this year, my time in America helped. I made good starts all year, quite a few holeshots, but in the end, it wasn’t enough to convert to wins. I need to keep training, need more bike time, and let’s see where it gets us – maybe we can have a go at beating Billy! Massive congratulations to him and his team for what they’ve done.”
Taddy Blazusiak was happy with his late-season form. “What a night! I really felt the fantastic Polish crowd behind me tonight, they were cheering so loudly in every race. I had a difficult start to the season with some bad luck and challenges, but tonight I was finally able to ride how I wanted. During all three races I had big battles with Cody, we were fighting for third in the title, and finally, I came out on top…but it was far from easy! I’m so stoked to be able to finish this season on a high and I want to thank everyone who made it happen for me.”
Results: FIM SuperEnduro World Championship, Round 5
Prestige Overall Classification
1 Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 63 Points
2 Jonny Walker (Beta) 49 Points
3 Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS) 45 Points
Prestige Race 1
1 Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 8 laps, 6:57.883
2 Jonny Walker (Beta) 8 laps, 7:03.129
3 Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS) 8 laps, 7:22.587
Prestige Race 2
1 Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 9 laps, 7:39.980
2 Cody Webb (Sherco) 9 laps, 8:15.719
3 Jonny Walker (Beta) 9 laps, 8:21.826
Prestige Race 3
1 Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 9 laps, 7:36.511
2 Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS) 9 laps, 7:42.209
3 Jonny Walker (Beta) 9 laps, 7:45.101
Final Championship Standings
1 Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 310 Points
2 Jonny Walker (Beta) 260 Points
3 Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS) 194 Points