ERZBERG 2013: WALKER FINISHES FOURTH
Bad luck thwarts 2012 winner in Austria
KTM Enduro Factory Team rider Jonny Walker has finished fourth at the 2013 ErzbergRodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble. Qualifying third for the main event after a solid prologue performance, Walker was one of many riders unlucky to drown their bikes shortly after the start of the race. Making a great get away from the drop of the flag, the 2012 Erzberg winner lead as he rounded the first turn. But just meters later his bike took in water, ending his hopes of a second consecutive victory.
With 14 hours of heavy rain falling prior to the race a small, and in places very deep, lake had formed at the start. With riders having no option but to ride through it, Jonny, like many, was unfortunate enough to have his bike take in water. Thankfully Jonny was able to re-start his KTM, but having lost at least five minutes he instantly dropped outside the top 40.
With no option but to charge as hard as he could Jonny soon began working his way up the leader board. Inside the top 10 without too many troubles, his charge for the podium effectively ended when he got stuck shortly before the infamous Karl’s Diner section. Reaching as high as third, Jonny again found himself stuck and dropped to his eventual finishing position of fourth. Giving all he had during the closing stages of the race he closed to within one-minute of a podium result, placing fourth behind race winner Graham Jarvis, runner-up Andreas Lettenbichler, and third placed Alfredo Gomez.
Jonny Walker: “I’m so disappointed with how my race went. I wanted to fight for the win but things just went wrong, right after the first corner. I timed the start perfectly and got the holeshot. I thought coming out of the first corner that I’d done exactly what I needed to do. But as I rode through the water my bike just died. It sucked a lot of water in and stopped. I managed to push it onto a bit of dry ground and did everything I could think of to get it going. I tipped it over, drained the water, then the fuel and kicked and kicked until it fired back up. Once I got going I just pushed as hard as I possibly could. I managed to fight my way into the top ten and at one point was riding with Jarvis. But I got badly stuck on the section called Machine and lost so much time. I pulled and dragged my way out of it and managed to get up to third place. Then in one of the next rocky sections I got stuck in a hole and Alfredo Gomez slipped by. I kept charging and could see him at the hill called Dynamite. I did everything I could to catch him but ran out of time. I’m so disappointed to miss out on the podium. At the very least that was the result I wanted. All I can do is learn from my mistakes and come back stronger.”
Results – ErzbergRodeo 2013, Red Bull Hare Scramble
1. Graham Jarvis (Husaberg),
2. Andreas Lettenbichler (Husqvarna),
3. Alfredo Gomez (Husaberg),
4. Jonny Walker (KTM),
5. Ben Hemingway (Beta)