KTM’s Jonny Walker took control of the Maxxis FIM SuperEnduro World Championship lead with the overall victory at the AMV Seguros GP of Argentina.
With round three marking the first visit to South America in Pinamar, Argentina, it was Walker who claimed the top step of the podium with two race wins and a second place. Behind Walker, Husqvarna’s Colton Haaker continues to improve in the championship by securing the runner-up result, while a bad night for KTM’s Cody Webb saw him end the night in third.
“It’s almost a prefect night,” told Walker. “Two races wins and a second place result for the overall victory is great. But to then take control of the championship lead by 11 points is just incredible.”
With the both Webb and Walker separated by two points entering Argentina, Walker was determined to close the gap to his rival. Quickly getting to grips with the tough and challenging sandy course, Walker was fastest off the start line for race one. Claiming a start-to-finish victory, he then matched that result in race two.
But a bad start in three left him playing catch up. Steadily working his way forward, the KTM rider ended the race in third to record his first overall victory of the series and with it take control of the championship.
“Tonight was nearly all about the starts and riding smart,” said Walker. “I managed to do that in race one and two. Then I had a bad start in race three but fought my way up to second. It feels awesome to lead the championship and I can’t wait to race in Brazil next weekend.”
Continuing to improve with each round of the championship, Haaker delivered his best result of the series with second overall in Argentina. Proving both fast and consistent, the Husqvarna rider challenged Walker during race one.
Backing that up with another second in race three, despite a crash, Haaker then placed third in the final race to end his night as the runner-up.
“I’m pleased, this runner-up result is definitely a step in the right direction,” told Haaker. “The track was hard to judge. When I rode slow I finished good but when I pushed hard I made some mistakes.
“But things are coming together and with the chance to go racing next weekend in Brazil I’m looking forward to it.”
For Webb, the night was very much up and down. Fastest to get to grips with the course, Webb topped timed practice and then went on to win the Akrapovic SuperPole. But a poor start in race one left him playing catch up.
Finishing sixth, Webb pushed hard to improve in race two. But a heavy crash hurt his progress and he could only finish fourth. Finally getting it together in race three, he secured victory to salvage third overall.
“I’m a little bummed to be honest,” told Webb. “I just didn’t have a good night. I made some silly mistakes, had a couple of bad starts and one big crash in race three.
“Thankfully I regrouped to win the final race and salvage third overall. It’s tough to lose control of the point’s race but I’m not going to dwell on that too much. I’ll be on the attack again for Brazil.”
Putting in a strong ride, KTM’s Alfredo Gomez ended his night fourth overall with his best result of third coming in race two.
Starting the night strongly with fourth, KTM’s Taylor Robert was another to suffer numerous ups and downs and with two fifth place results he left Argentina fifth overall.
Producing one of the most impressive rides was 2015 Junior World Champion Ty Tremaine (KTM). Claiming a career best third in race one, the young American completed the top six overall.
In the Junior class, the GP of Argentina marked the first defeat of championship leader Manuel Lettenbichler with TM’s Ben Herrera securing the overall victory.
Instantly gelling with the track, Herrera placed a close second to Yamaha mounted Luis Oliveira. Going on to win the final two races, the Chilean claimed his first SuperEnduro victory in his first time of asking.
Kicking his night off with a victory race one, Oliveira rode on to place as runner-up to Herrera.
Suffering his first defeat of the series, KTM’s Manuel Lettenbichler endured an eventful night in Argentina. With crashes hurting his progress, a second place finish in race three helped him secure third overall.
Behind Lettenbichler, South Africa’s Blake Gutzeit (KTM) was fourth with Germany’s Tim Apolle (Husqvarna) completing the top five.
Round four of the Maxxis FIM SuperEnduro World Championship takes place in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on February 27.