During last weekend in the FIM Gala in Andorra, we met our two times World Champion Colton HAAKER (USA – Husqvarna) to talk about his elbow injury and what he expects for the new season…
Hello Colton, we would like to have more information about your injury…
Colton HAAKER: "I had a big crash, hitting my elbow on a rock and cut it open after the first round of Endurocross. Then, I had an infection inside the elbow and the arm and I fought this infection with antibiotic for a month and then did few races with it. I just couldn't stop the infection and ultimately had a surgery. That's why stopped the Endurocross series, to get this surgery and just get it fix and save my arm.”
How do you feel now, a week before the SuperEnduro season opener?
C.H: "I feel good. I don't think like I'm 120% but I feel like when I was 100% before the Endurocross. I won the first round there. I know what I have to do in Poland and I know the season he is going to be long so I'm just looking forward to build my momentum throughout the series.”
Did you have time to get a good training?
C.H: "Yes! I've had a couple of weeks to ride. From round 1 there is more competition this year so I think it's going to be an interesting year.”
Everybody wants to beat you; you are the big favorite…
C.H: "Yes, I know! It's good! For so many years, I wanted to beat these guys and now, I get to beat them. Taddy is returning and that's really exciting. I think it's really cool. After his farewell ceremony last year, I think it's a bit ridiculous to comeback but at the same time, I'm exciting to racing him again. I always racing him so, to see him go last year was a bitter sweet because I felt that we always had some good racing together and great battle. He was always someone I could race tough and battle hard with and at the end of the day we check hand so I enjoyed it. But at the same time, the ceremony was amazing and he said 'that was it' so we'll see in Poland now how it goes…”
It seems you have a big rivalry with Cody WEBB in the US and now this is coming to SuperEnduro.
C.H: "Yes, I mean, Cody and I have been battling for years now. We have both been going at it in SuperEnduro and Endurocross and this year, the injury took me out of it, which is a bummer for our series in the US because it really made it kind of boring to watch. But I'm really happy to be healthy for SuperEnduro. It's better to give up one series to hopefully save another. If I kept fighting it, I probably have surgery at some point and I probably ruined my chances of SuperEnduro title as well so better to get it done then rather it screwed my out of two titles.”
Who do you think will be the most dangerous?
C.H: "I always think that everyone out there is extremely dangerous. They are all very competitive but at the end of the day I still believe I'm the best rider out there and I think at the end of the race it's me against myself. If I can show up, be Colton out there, I don't believe anyone can touch me to be honest. Me riding at my very best, I don't think there is any one in the world that can touch me now or the years before. I think I'll be the best rider if I show up.”
What are you expecting this season except a third title?
C.H: "I expect the season to be really intense. I don't expect there to be anyone to really dominate. This year will be really interesting with all the competitors. It's going to come down like in 2016 when it came to the last race. It's going to be that unpredictable!”