There’s little denying that Taddy Blazusiak has taken the ’09 US Endurocross championship by storm. At the half way stage of the six-round series the KTM factory rider is almost 30 points ahead of his nearest rival. Coming back from the horrific facial injury he sustained at the second round of the ’08 series, Taddy is now performing at his best and looking forward to the second half of the US Endurocross championship…Last year was particularly difficult following your serious facial injury, do you feel that’s 100 per cent behind you now?
Taddy: ‘At the start of ’08 I was looking to have a great season. I thought I was 100 per cent ready, and hungry to win. But my injury took a lot out of me. I really suffered a lot. I kept telling myself that I was ok, that I was getting stronger and that I was fit enough to race, but I was a long way from being where I needed to be. Now things are really good. I can feel that I am stronger and fitter than I’ve ever been. It’s taken me one-year to get over my injury and it’s only now that I feel really good on a bike again. I think that’s showing in my results. The big difference is that because my fitness is good now I’m fresh all the way through my races. You make mistakes when you get tired, so being able to stay relaxed in the last laps of a race makes a big difference. I put in a lot of work before the season started, which is really paying off now.’So far things have gone perfectly for you as far as the US Endurocross series is concerned, you must be thrilled with winning each of the opening three races?
Taddy: ‘It’s been great. My goal at the start of the season was to win the championship. To do that I need podiums at every event. Winning the first three races is a real bonus. The level of racing is extremely high so I never expected to be as successful as I’ve been. The first race was great. It was my mistake that made that final as close as it was at the finish. The second round went perfectly, and the third round was exactly what I hoped for as well. Things have really come together – my fitness, my bike, my confidence, everything.’A lot of people were expecting yourself and Ricky Dietrich to battle it out for the ’09 title. Are you disappointed your expected number one rival has been out injured?
Taddy: ‘Injuries are a part of our sport, I guess I know that better than most. To win a championship you have to be fast, fit and healthy, which means trying to avoid injuries. I’d love to have been racing with Ricky at the second and third rounds of the series. He’ll be back for the next round, so I’m looking forward to that. My focus is winning the championship so I’m not going to take any crazy risks to win races. I have a solid championship lead, which I want to look after.’Late October sees the start of the Indoor Enduro World Cup, have you started preparing for that yet?
Taddy: ‘Yes, I’ve been getting my bike set up in Europe for a while now. I’m really looking forward to the start of that championship. Last year I was coming back from injury and finished second. I’m looking forward to racing against the best riders in Europe, hopefully fully fit. The tracks and racing is different to in the States. I’m really looking forward to the first race in the UK.’Finally, you have three rounds of the US Endurocross series remaining, and the chance to win $50’000 if you top the Triple Crown, what is your plan for the second half of the series?
Taddy: ‘$50’000 is a lot of money, a great bonus if I’m able to win it, but the championship is what’s really important to me. My goal is to secure the number one plate. Now I have such a good championship lead winning races gets harder because I have to think about the title. I’m going to be pushing hard at the final races, I want to win for KTM, Red Bull, and all my sponsors and fans, but the championship is the biggest prize. That’s what I’m really after.’Round four of the US Endurocross series takes place in Columbus, Ohio on October 4.