Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Colton Haaker has successfully defended his FIM SuperEnduro World Championship title, winning the 2017 series with a third-place overall result at the fourth and final event held in Albi, France.
Entering the championship decider with an 11-point advantage over his closest challenger Alfredo Gomez, Haaker did exactly what he needed to do to secure his second SuperEnduro title in two years. Riding notably better than he did at round three in Spain two weeks earlier, Colton rounded out his night with 2/2/3/ results to join Gomez and Jonny Walker on the podium.
Competing in his first ever SuperEnduro championship last year, Haaker won the title with a last-lap pass for the win in the final moto of the last race of the series. Coming into the 2017 series as defending champion and having recently also secured the AMA EnduroCross title, Haaker placed a strong second overall at round one in Poland before enjoying a perfect night at round two in Germany with three final wins. At round three in Spain he finished third overall before wrapping up the title with a close third place result in France.
Racing alongside Haaker, Pascal Rauchenecker rounded out his rookie season of SuperEnduro competition in Albi, France in seventh overall. The third fastest rider on track during the one-lap SuperPole session, Pascal placed a strong fifth in the opening final. Going on to finish 11th in the reversed start order second final he ended his night seventh in the third and closing final for seventh overall and fifth in the series’ standings.
Colton Haaker: “It’s great to win the SuperEnduro title again. It’s been a very different championship to last year, as I felt like I started this series as favourite to win. I came out strong at the first two rounds, and managed to open up a little gap at the top of the points. I think Jonny and Alfredo worked really hard during the break after the first two rounds, but tonight I felt like things were pretty even between us all. Defending the SuperEnduro title was definitely something different, and quite possibly harder to do, but I’m just stoked to win the championship. I felt like I rode well tonight, but at the same time I knew the title was on the line. I’m stoked to have get two SuperEnduro titles in a row.”
Pascal Rauchenecker: “Firstly, congratulations to Colton. He’s been so strong and consistent all season, it’s been great being his team-mate. Competing in the SuperEnduro championship has been a great experience for me. Before the start of the series I’d not raced any kind of indoor enduro, so I knew I would have to learn as I raced. I’ve really enjoyed it and learned so much. Tonight was similar to other rounds of the championship – some very good moments, and also some mistakes. Fifth in the first final was great but generally I’m just pleased to have completed the full series. Now I’m looking forward to returning to the Enduro World Championship.”
Results – FIM SuperEnduro World Championship 2017, Round 4
Prestige class – Overall Event Classification
1. Alfredo Gomez (KTM) 55 points; 2. Jonny Walker (KTM) 55; 3. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 51… 6. Mike Brown (Husqvarna) 25; 7. Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna) 24
Prestige class – Final 1
1. Jonny Walker (KTM) 7:11:346; 2. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 7:26:672; 3. Alfredo Gomez (KTM) 7:29:556… 5. Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna) 7:50:111; 7. Mike Brown (Husqvarna) 7:26:477
Prestige class – Final 2
1. Alfredo Gomez (KTM) 6:53:328; 2. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 6:56:064; 3. Jonny Walker (KTM) 7:04:116… 5. Mike Brown (Husqvarna) 7:44:367; 11. Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna) 7:16:699
Prestige class – Final 3
1. Alfredo Gomez (KTM) 7:21:032; 2. Jonny Walker (KTM) 7:33:915; 3. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 7:42:032… 7. Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna) 8:23:521; 9. Mike Brown (Husqvarna) 7:27:888
Final Standings – 2017 SuperEnduro World Championship
1. Colton Haaker (Husqvarna) 216 points; 2. Alfredo Gomez (KTM) 209; 3. Jonny Walker (KTM) 201… 5. Pascal Rauchenecker (Husqvarna) 101