After experiencing almost-victory races for so many times, Spain’s Alfredo Gomez finally made his mark to the history of the SuperEnduro World Championship as he battled in Bilbao, Spain to make it to the top podium at the 3rd round of the series. At the end of the night he was joined on the podium by KTM’s Jonny Walker (2nd) and Husqvarna’s Colton Haaker (3rd).
In the Junior class, Yamaha’s Blake Gutzeit of South Africa made it two wins in a row with the overall victory in Bilbao.
“Incredible,” told Gomez after the podium celebrations. “I’ve worked so hard for so long to get this victory and to finally do it on home turf is amazing. It’s been a great night. Thank you to KTM, Red Bull, my family and everyone who’s made it possible.”
As the organizers had set a very tough and demanding course for the second to last series of the world championship they have face a very challenging hurdles out of it. Quick to set his marker, Walker laid down the fastest time in the Akrapovic SuperPole.
With the gate dropping on the opening Prestige race, the action quickly heated up. Walker, Gomez and Haaker were all in close contention with each rider sharing the lead at least once. Mistakes dropped Haaker back to an eventual third as Walker and Gomez went at it for the win.
Gomez attacked at every opportunity but Walker — yet to win a heat race this season — was not going to let this one slip away. Hanging it out just that little bit more, he hung on to claim his first win of the 2017 series with Gomez second.
With the starting order reversed for race two it was Husqvarna’s Pascal Rauchenecker who led the opening lap, but Gomez had carved his way to the front and quickly took over. It was a lead he wouldn’t relinquish. This time around Haaker rode it home for a steady second. The fight for third went down to the final corner between Walker and Mario Roman (Sherco) with Roman snatching it in the final metres, pushing Walker back to fourth.
With everything to play for in the final race, victory for either Walker or Gomez would mean the overall victory too. Both riders shot out to the front immediately as mistakes dropped Haaker out of play with the duo in third. Neck-and-neck the KTM riders fought for victory only for Gomez to finally come good in the end.
“I think that’s the best I’ve rode this season so far,” told Walker. “I feel like I’m starting to find my form again. It was great to get a race win and almost take the overall victory.”
Ending his night without a race win, Haaker still finished on the podium in third and maintains the overall point’s lead heading to the season finale in Albi, France on March 18th.