SuperEnduro

Opinion: Stark contrast between Gajser vs Cairoli and the ridiculous Bilbao SuperEnduro finale

Opinion: Stark contrast between Gajser vs Cairoli and the ridiculous Bilbao SuperEnduro finale

Podium-SuperEnduro Bilbao

I’m no conspiracy theorist or owt but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the final round of the SuperEnduro world championship was held in a rocky Bilbao arena and the whole shebang turned into some kind of ridiculous drawn-out brawl that came complete with a huge surprise twist at the very end…

In the red, well, orange corner was KTM’s Cody Webb while fellow American Colton Haaker came out swinging from the blue corner on his Rockstar Husqvarna. The battle between the two was more or less even-stevens throughout the earlier rounds and it all boiled down to the very final Final of the series.

And just when it looked like Webb had delivered a killer blow, was already celebrating and figuring out how he was gonna spend that championship win bonus, Haaker somehow made up two whole places in the very final corner that ensured the title went his way.

But before the credits roll at the end of this particular movie let’s rewind things a little bit and try and figure out why Webb was so uncomplimentary of his buddy’s last-lap efforts…

It turns out that Haaker’s team-mate Alfredo Gomez purposefully parked Pol Torres in the final turn which allowed Colton to come by them both and secure the title by a meagre four points. Why he felt the need to lunge across the line and flop off the side of the track before rolling around on the floor for an age remains unknown but it made for exciting viewing none the less.

Something else that made exciting viewing at the weekend was the MXGP of Trentino (aka Italy) that was held at Pietramurata (aka Arco di Trento). Why Youthstream feel the need to anglicise the Motocross des Nations to ‘MX of’ and then hit us with this kind of overcomplicated type stuff is beyond me but I digress…

The reason why the Italian race was so good was the insane battle between Tim Gajser and Tony Cairoli that saw them riding the wheels off their race bikes – not literally – in order to eke out an advantage over the other. There was no need for team members to involve themselves and the racing was both clean and good natured – almost the total opposite of what had happened in Spain.

In the end Gajser won both motos fairly and squarely and Cairoli was man enough to shake his hand and congratulate the victor which is exactly how things should be…

Much less comfortable to watch was the moment that may stop Austin Forkner from competing for the rest of the season. After getting just the slightest bit out of control, the East Coast streaker – he won five out of six 250 East rounds ahead of Nashville – put his foot down atop a whoop and trashed the contents of his knee.

The reason it made me wince so badly is that it’s totally similar to how I first damaged my leg joint back in 1997. Fortunately for Forkner he’s now being looked after by some of the top medical specialists in the world whereas I had to rely on the NHS which in itself turned out to be a fairly traumatic experience.

For some reason my A&E doc couldn’t comprehend why I was in so much pain and actually took the p*ss out of me for being so. “What are you going to do if you go out and slip on a banana skin tomorrow, Mr Sutton?” he asked as I screamed in agony while he twisted my affected joint and totally failed to see how anyone could hurt themselves by doing something as innocuous as stamping a foot down.

I don’t really believe in litigation for such things but knowing what I know now I would have loved to make this quack accountable for his negligence at the time. Still, knowing what I know now I’d probably have eaten less pies through the years n’ all – ain’t hindsight grand?

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