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Billy BOLT Leaps and Bounds Ahead of Rivals in Israel – 2023 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship Round 4 – Report & Highlights

Billy BOLT Leaps and Bounds Ahead of Rivals in Israel – 2023 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship Round 4 – Report & Highlights

Who can stop Billy BOLT (GBR-Husqvarna)? The Brit once again emerged victorious from Round 4 of the 2023 SuperEnduro World Championship in Israel, that he mastered from start to finish

Report and Images by SuperEnduro

In Superpole, even if he admits not having done the perfect lap, he set the reference time which put him in the right direction for the rest of the competition. In the first race, the factory Husky rider got off to a good start by snatching the holeshot and avoiding the pitfalls of the usual first lap clashes. Jonny WALKER (GBR-Beta) was hot on his heels and the Beta rider quickly managed to cling to BOLT’s back tyre. Contrary to his usual style, BOLT didn’t manage to instantly widen the gap and remained in WALKER’s sights. Behind them, Cody WEBB (USA-Sherco) was able to control an advancing Taddy BLAZUSIAK (POL-GASGAS) who was trying hard in Jerusalem’s Pais Arena. Dominik OLSZOWY (POL-GASGAS) had a good race even with a few minor mistakes, and the 2022 Junior Champion reached the finish in 5th place. Up at the front, Billy BOLT won the first race ahead of WALKER and WEBB.

The second final and its reverse grid allowed OLSZOWY to take the holeshot and show off his impressive style. But the Pole was quickly under threat from Billy BOLT who overtook him before the end of the first lap. Jonny WALKER also made an early charge to the front of the race, but made a mistake in the rocks later on. He quickly got back on his machine and set off again to attack BLAZUSIAK and WEBB who had managed to pass him. The Brit skilfully carved through the traffic to move up to second place. Behind him, BLAZUSIAK and WEBB battled it out after the latter suffered a crash. The American was able to overtake his experienced rival, pushing Taddy back to 4th. The Pole has been discontented with his riding this season, but he showed a lot of willpower, managing to pass the Sherco rider back again to take a crucial 3rd place finish in the race. Meanwhile, while stylishly attacking the track, Billy BOLT and Diogo VIEIRA (POR-GASGAS) suffered a scary crash when the Portuguese rider stood up after his own crash and was hit by a blindsided BOLT. Thankfully, both emerged unscathed and the Husqvarna rider still won the race ahead of WALKER and BLAZUSIAK.

A Dramatic Final Race

The last race in Jerusalem had a big impact on the 2023 season and Cody WEBB was the big loser on the night. Everything seemed to start off well with the factory Sherco rider taking the holeshot, bringing Jonny WALKER and the unstoppable Billy BOLT in his wake. The American was then abruptly overtaken by the two Brits and fell into third place. WALKER made a mistake in the rock garden and was caught by WEBB, but the privateer Beta rider managed to keep his advantage, and just moments later WEBB was on foot pushing his Sherco towards the paddock. The American hit the crankcase in a section of the circuit, although he was unsure exactly where, and his engine was leaking oil, he had no choice but to retire. This premature exit cost him the chance to fight for 3rd in general classification on the night, and instead he finished the GP in 6th place. Taddy BLAZUSIAK had already been in the running for the final podium place overall, but the Pole didn’t have an easy run of things either. He dropped places after a mistake with OLSZOWY and Norbert SZIGOVITS (HUN-KTM) when landing the first jump on the Israeli track. The Pole bypassed an obstacle instead of retaking it and lost even more time, at this point BLAZUSIAK was in last place. However, he gritted his teeth and fought back to finish 3rd in the last race. The Polish legend received a 10-second penalty for his maneuver at the start of the race, but he retained 3rd place overall. Up in the lead, Billy BOLT finished the Israeli GP with a bang – he won by more than 17 seconds ahead of Jonny WALKER and BLAZUSIAK.

BOLT has now won his 4th GP in as many rounds. This season is really marked by the skill and class of the English rider, who has lost only one in twelve disputed races, an incredible stat! In the championship standings he further increases his lead over Jonny WALKER, in fact BOLT has a 36-point lead over his compatriot. While this may seem insurmountable, it is not enough for him to relax yet. WALKER will try his luck in the grand finale in Gliwice, Poland on March 17th. For the last place on the end of year podium, just 3 points separate Cody WEBB and Taddy BLAZUSIAK, and the Polish fans will be out in force to support their favourite rider in the last fight of the year.

The National Riders Went All Out

The championship heavyweights weren’t the only ones to take to the track in Jerusalem. The Israeli federation showed their strength and almost a hundred riders divided into different age and displacement classes came to take on the FIM SuperEnduro World Championship track. In the two most prestigious categories, Iftah FRANKO (Husqvarna) won the PRO class while Ron ROZENBOIM (KTM) won in EXPERTS. This second Israeli Grand Prix once again offered its share of spectacular sights and epic fights in front of an enthusiastic crowd who enjoyed the exploits of the SuperEnduro heroes.

What They Said:

Billy BOLT (GBR-Husqvarna): “It was another good night for me, even though I feel I could still improve in some aspects of my riding – the first race especially was a bit of a messy one for me. But overall I’m really satisfied with the end result of tonight. Across the three races, I stayed focused and I felt better as the night went on. Now I feel like I can’t wait another two weeks before the last round, because it seems a long time! I will stay mentally and physically prepared and get ready to end this season in style.”

Taddy BLAZUSIAK (POL-GASGAS): “First of all I would like to clarify that this evening I made a decision which seemed to me to be the fairest in terms of safety, I did not act in this way to cheat, but simply because I judged as a rider it was the most reasonable maneuver to make. I’m sorry for the penalty, but I know that I can only blame myself because once again I put myself in a precarious situation. I have not been satisfied with the way I have ridden since the start of the season, I have made lots of small mistakes which have cost me a lot, and I’ve also had a bit of bad luck. There’s not much missing to get back to my optimum performance, especially since physically and in terms of form I feel really good. I’m still in the race for the final championship podium, and I guarantee I’m not going to give up!”