Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jonny Walker claimed a runner-up result at round two of the World Enduro Super Series — the Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble – handing him the WESS championship lead.
Walker’s strong performance at the 24th edition of the Austrian Hard Enduro race meant it was two from two after his second place at round one, the Extreme XL Lagares a month earlier.
“I really wanted to get a win here today but runner-up result is good." Said Jonny after the race. "It was tough out there, the heat really added to the difficulty level. My start wasn’t great but I somehow made up a lot of places early on and got into second.
“The initial pace was very high and I knew if I tried to maintain it I’d burn out. It was mentally hard to slow things down, but the right call. The section Green Hell was a game-changer and with enough energy left in the tank I was able to literally push my way from fourth into second.
“Leading the WESS series is great. I wanted to come out strong for rounds one and two and I’ve done that. Next weekend is a Classic Enduro but I’m hoping I can do well and keep my point’s lead.”
As a three-time Erzbergrodeo Hare Scramble winner, Walker had high hopes of securing a fourth win but didn’t get the best of getaways as the 50 fastest qualifiers headed from the start line.
Despite that Jonny worked his way up to second in large volumes of traffic and heavy dust during the opening stages of the race to follow the then leader Taddy Blazusiak.
Photo Credit: Jonty Edmunds/Future7Media
Riding smart, Walker opted not hold the same rapid pace as the runaway lead pairing of Manuel Lettenbichler and Billy Bolt during the middle part of the race. Opting to try and conserve energy for the toughest of sections during the final stages was a tactic which paid off – arriving at the notorious woodland climb Green Hell in fourth, Walker incredibly pushed his way up to the summit and into second position.
Walker ended the Erzberg Hare Scramble just 41 seconds behind race winner Graham Jarvis after two hours racing.
Photo Credit: Markus Berger/Red Bull
With two second place results from the opening two WESS rounds, Walker now leads the series heading into round three in France, this coming weekend.
Standings – World Enduro Super Series (After round 2 of 8)
- 1. Jonny Walker (KTM - GB) 1700 points
- 2. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna - GB) 1610pts
- 3. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna - GB) 1610pts
- 4. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM - GER) 1540pts
- 5. Wade Young (Sherco - RSA) 1220pts
- 6. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM - POL) 1180pts
- 7. Travis Teasdale (Beta - RSA) 1030pts
- 8. Paul Bolton (KTM - GB) 1020pts
- 9. Pol Tarres (Husqvarna - ESP) 890pts
- 10. Blake Gutzeit (Yamaha - RSA) 760pts
The World Enduro Super Series continues with Trefle Lozerien, this coming weekend in France.
WORLD ENDURO SUPER SERIES – 2018 SCHEDULE
Rnd 1. Extreme XL Lagares (Portugal) May 11-13
Rnd 2. Erzbergrodeo (Austria) May 31-June 3
Rnd 3. Trèfle Lozérien AMV (France) June 8-10
Rnd 4. Red Bull Romaniacs (Romania) July 24-28
Rnd 5. Red Bull 111 Megawatt (Poland) September 8-9
Rnd 6. Hawkstone Park Cross-Country (England) September 22-23
Rnd 7. Gotland Grand National (Sweden) October 26-27
Rnd 8. Red Bull Knock Out (The Netherlands) November 10
Jon PearsonEnduro21 Editor and Bike Testerjon.firstname.lastname@example.org