STUNNING RED BULL HARE SCRAMBLE VICTORY TO JONNY WALKER AND KTM!
Red Bull KTM Extreme Enduro rider Jonny Walker of the UK was in incredible form on Sunday when he tackled and conquered Austria’s notorious ‘Iron Giant’ first in the Red Bull Hare Scramble, the crowning even at the 20th anniversary of the annual Erzbergrodeo.
Billed as the ultimate Extreme Enduro event, the Red Bull Hare Scramble sees 500 starters attempt to complete the mind-blowingly difficult track up and down Erzberg, where iron ore is mined for centuries. It was the twentieth annual staging of this very special event.
Jonny Walker, who won in 2012, not only took the victory, he did it by a winning margin that has rarely, if ever been seen before. The 23-year-old from Cumbria, UK got a near perfect start on his KTM 300 EXC and literally never looked back as he charged up the mountain and over and through obstacles that had other riders dazed and confused.
“I can’t complain,” Walker said in typical understated fashion in the finish area. “I had a perfect race. I wanted to get a good start and battle for the win and I managed to get a break. It feels awesome to have won like that.”
Reflecting after the race he continued: “Everyone knows just how important this race is, and how hard it is to win, so to have put last year’s disappointments behind me and returned to the top of the podium is amazing. I have to say a huge thanks to all of my sponsors and supporters, as it’s been a real team effort.
I took the lead coming out of the first corner, but dropped a few positions as I lined up for the first hill, although once I got to the top of it I got into the lead again and pushed as hard as I could. Everything just fell into place; I didn’t make many mistakes, focused on my own race and things worked out great. I can’t tell you how pleased I am to have won.”
Stefan Pierer (CEO KTM AG): “The Erzbergrodeo 2014 and its highlight, the Red Bull Hare Scramble, celebrated a perfect 20th anniversary. Jonny Walker´s victory has been a demonstration of skills and the perfect advertisement for Extreme Enduro sport. We are very happy that the most famous race in this discipline has established itself in Styria and has an appeal with more and more people every year.”
Heinz Kinigadner (Sports Director KTM Motorsport): “Looking back on the first Erzbergrodeo 20 years ago, it´s tremendous how this concept has developed in the last two decades. Like KTM the whole event has incredibly accelerated, has become bigger, more professional; however, the original atmosphere and motivation can be felt everywhere. Meanwhile, there are thousands involved, but at the end it´s just about off-road enthusiasts storming a giant mountain. Hats off to all, who made their way at the Erzberg, to the organizers and above all hats off to Jonny and his perfect race.”
Jonny Walker finished the race in a startling 1:37:38 hour and had given the winner’s interview before second placed Graham Jarvis of Great Britain passed through the winner’s arch, registering a time of 1:50:50 hours. Jarvis was followed by KTM factory rider Andreas Lettenbichler of Germany about two minutes behind. Alfredo Gomez of Spain and KTM rider Paul Bolton of Britain completed the top five.
Lettenbichler was also happy with his third place finish: “Its amazing to get a podium at Erzberg. Its like a victory to get third and I am happy with the result. It was a physical day and harder than ever.”
KTM supported rider Dougie Lampkin of Great Britain was sixth across the line on his KTM and American KTM factory rider Taylor Robert was a strong 10th in his first appearance at Erzberg. Robert also finished second in Saturday’s Generali Iron Road Prologue, which culls the 500 riders to start in the Red Bull Hare Scramble from 1800 hopeful starters. Robert had improved his time from Friday by two seconds and was the only rider to set a better time on Saturday.
Get on board with Jonny Walker as he takes on the infamous Red Bull Hare Scramble (POV footage)
Results Red Bull Hare Scramble 2014 (Checkpoint 23 / Finish)
1. Jonny Walker (GBR), KTM, 1:37:38 h
2. Graham Jarvis (GBR), Husqvarna, 1:50:50
3. Andreas Lettenbichler (GER), KTM, 1:53:01
4. Alfredo Gomez (ESP), Husqvarna, 1:53:53
5. Paul Bolton (GBR), KTM, 1:55:21
6. Dougie Lampkin (GBR), KTM, 2:05:31
9. Taylor Robert (USA), KTM, 2:19:24