- 2018 WESS CHAMPIONSHIP
2018 WESS CHAMPIONSHIP
2018 WESS CHAMPIONSHIP
The 2018 WESS Championship headed to Sweden over the weekend for Round 7 of the 8 round series at the epic Gotland Grand National. The event has run consecutively since it's establishment in 1984, and welcomed over 3,000 riders this year to battle in the cold and wet conditions. Manuel Lettenbichler came into the weekend sitting 2nd in the season points standings, with just a small gap between him and the series leader. Taddy Blazusiak appears to have his season back on track after a tough start to the year, and entered the weekend 5th in the standings after a positive 4th Place performance at the previous round at Hawkstone Park in the UK. With heavy rains and cold weather in the forecast for the weekend, surely anything could happen at Gotland!
The weather conditions took a turn for the worst on Friday evening, with heavy rainfall drenching the track and creating quite a challenge for even the most skilled riders. The Elite class took off at 12:30pm on Saturday, with 3,000 riders and pure carnage behind them. Blazusiak avoided much of the opening mayhem and ran towards the front of the pack to start the race. Lettenbichler was not so lucky and would have to fight from behind to put in a solid result.
By the final lap, Taddy Blazusiak had moved up to 4th place despite two small crashes. He finished up in 4th and was the top scoring WESS contender, just off the Swedish dominated podium. Manuel Lettenbichler unfortunately did not fare so well despite moving as far forward as 25th on the final lap. Another big crash for the German on the last lap pushed him back to 43rd Overall, but he did manage to maintain 2nd in the Championship standings regardless.
“To finish fourth for my first time riding this race and in these conditions is a result I’m pleased with. The Gotland Grand National is a unique race and one the Swedish riders clearly excel at. With the weather turning bad, it was always going to be difficult to match their experience in this type of mud. But I feel we did a good job – we worked well as a team to adapt to the changes and challenges we faced, as they happened. In total I only had two small crashes, but I did struggle with keeping clear vision especially in traffic and that cost me some time. But like I said, fourth is a good day and I’m happy with that.” - Taddy Blazusiak
WESS Championship Standings (After 5 of 8 Rounds)
- Billy Bolt (Husqvarna - GB) 4420
- Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM - GER) 4145
- Josep Garcia (KTM - ESP) 3700
- Taddy Blazusiak (KTM - POL) 3675
- Wade Young (Sherco - RSA) 3220
- Nathan Watson (KTM - GB) 3103
- Paul Bolton (KTM - GB) 3092
- Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna - GB) 3010
- Jonny Walker (KTM - GB) 2900
- Lars Enockl (Gas Gas - AUT) 2272