Courtesy of KTM Racing
The four-man Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team of Josep Garcia, Nathan Watson, Taddy Blazusiak and Jonny Walker are ready to race round six of the 2019 World Enduro Super Series – the Hawkstone Park Cross-Country. The challenging two-and-a-half-hour event takes place on the famous track in north Shropshire, Great Britain.
The Hawkstone Park circuit is synonymous with world-class racing, having played host to motocross events for over 60 years. This weekend – September 21-22 – the iconic track will come alive to the sound of enduro bikes as the sixth stop of the World Enduro Super Series takes place on the hallowed, sandy Hawkstone soil. Held over two days, Saturday’s sprint enduro will decide the start positions for Sunday’s two-and-a-half-hour cross-country race where riders will face a 15-minute loop covering the motocross track and surrounding woodland.
The 2018 event saw a one-two finish for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing with Josep Garcia taking the win. The former Enduro2 World Champion put in a stunning ride, mastering the demanding British terrain to claim victory by over one-and-a-half minutes. Lying eighth in the standings and with victory at Trefle Lozerien AMV back in May already to his name, Garcia will be keen to once again show his speed on the fast, cross-country event.
Josep Garcia:“I’m really excited but still a little bit nervous for Hawkstone Park. I managed to twist my index finger in training about two weeks ago and ended up having to have some surgery to correct a damaged ligament. Last year was a brilliant race for me – I enjoyed it a lot. I know it will be impossible to be 100 percent for this weekend, but my plan is still to give it my best and go for the win.”
Runner-up to Garcia in 2018, Nathan Watson will undoubtedly be aiming to go one better this year in front of his home fans. The British motocross-turned-enduro rider currently sits ninth in the WESS championship standings and hopes to make the most of rounds six and seven – Hawkstone Park and BR2 Enduro Solsona – as the two races suit his fast style and present the best opportunity to earn valuable WESS points. Deciding to move up to the KTM 450 EXC-F for the 2019 Hawkstone Park event, Watson is fully-fit and ready to take on the challenge.
Nathan Watson:“Hawkstone is one of the races I have been looking forward to the most all season. I had a great race last year but was a little disappointed not to have taken the win. Knowing the race a little better now, I think there are a couple of areas I can improve on. It’s a great feeling to be able to perform in front of the home fans and the event is always great fun. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t focused on winning. That’s the goal for sure. It’s my home round and one of my best chances this year to shine, so I’ll be giving it all I’ve got to do exactly that.”
Despite being regarded as an extreme enduro specialist, Taddy Blazusiak showed incredible pace at the 2018 Hawkstone Park event. Mastering the tight, technical woods section of the track, Blazusiak brought his KTM home in an impressive fourth place, narrowly missing out on the podium. Seventh in the standings coming into round six, the Polish star will be looking to finish ahead of his closest competitors and move up the order ahead of the final two rounds of the season.
Taddy Blazusiak:“I was really happy with how I rode last year. I made a few mistakes but was able to fight back and move through the field. This year is going to be tough as we haven’t had many fast races like Hawkstone this season and I haven’t had so much time to work on my speed. I’ll do my best as always and hopefully we can come away with a positive result.”
Jonny Walker missed the inaugural Hawkstone Park WESS event in 2018 due to the injury he suffered at Red Bull 111 Megawatt that year. Keen to make amends and show his local fans what he’s capable of, the Brit will be looking to pick up maximum points at his home race this weekend.
Jonny Walker:“I’m really looking forward to Hawkstone Park. It was tough missing out on my home event last year and so the plan for this weekend is to make the most of it and hopefully earn some good points for the championship. I’m feeling really good and we made some positive changes to the bike at Romaniacs so if everything goes well, I should be in the running for a really strong result.”
Round six of the World Enduro Super Series takes place at the Hawkstone Park circuit in Shropshire England from September 21-22.