PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – Rockstar Husqvarna Factory Racing-backed rider Colton Haaker took the win at the season-opening Law Tigers Prescott Valley EnduroCross Saturday night.
For the first time, the Super EnduroCross class used a three moto format to determine the overall results and Haaker had strong 2-1-1 scores to take the top step of the podium.
Cory Graffunder had his best result in a couple of years riding an SRT Yamaha YZ250F to second overall. The Canadian had 1-5-3 moto results. Taddy Blazusiak rounded out the podium with 4-6-2 moto scores.
Blazusiak got the day started by setting the fastest time during the Seat Concepts Hot Lap. Beta’s Ty Tremaine, TM’s Ty Cullins, 3 Bros SRT/ Husqvarna’s Noah Kepple and Graffunder rounded out the top five. Haaker got off to a rough start by getting stuck on a long and finishing twelfth.
Graffunder started race one in third and quickly moved to second when Blazusiak crashed in the rock section on lap one. Tremaine had the lead and held it for several laps before a big crash in the matrix. Graffunder took a comfortable win.
Haaker had a second-row start but quickly moved up into the top five before a big crash. He came back through the pack to take second late in the race despite a twisted up bike. Cullins had a strong third while Blazusiak and Beta’s Max Gerston finished fourth and fifth.
In moto two, the gate picks were reversed from the moto one results and Haaker took the Fox holeshot from the second row when most of the riders pushed wide in the first turn.
From there, he was unchallenged to the finish.
Hart finished second to move himself into contention for the overall podium. Kepple had a strong ride to finish third. Gerston finished fourth. Graffunder was in third on the last lap but a crash in the Matrix dropped him back to fifth.
The final moto became a battle between Blazusiak and Haaker. Blazusiak led most of the race with Haaker pressuring him until just before the while flag. Haaker ended up making an aggressive pass and went on for the win.
Blazusiak held on for second in the final moto, which was enough for third overall. Gerson finished fourth and took fourth overall as well with 5-4-4 results. Hart finished fifth in the moto and overall.
“After my mistake in the hot-lap, I thought it may be a difficult night, but I worked my way up to second in that (first) race,” said Haaker. “Then the second race was amazing with a holeshot from row two. In the final moto, Taddy was taking my lines everywhere and I felt like I would eventually get past him. I made a pretty aggressive pass near the end to take the win.
“This three moto format is familiar for me since I have been racing the world championship and that helped me.”