JONNY WALKER WINS 2013 RED BULL SEA TO SKY!
Red Bull KTM factory rider Jonny Walker of the UK celebrated a great three- day weekend at Kemer, Turkey to be the outright winner of the Red Bull Sea to Sky Hard Enduro.
Jonny Walker had victories in all three separate events – the Beach Race, Forest Race and the very tough Mountain Race where he beat rival Graham Jarvis and Alfredo Gomez into the minor places.
Walker’s weekend started well with a confident win in Friday’s Beach Race. He started at around fifth and overtook Xavi Galindo and Alfredo Gomez in the opening lap. Very much at home on the sand and the Motocross-like surface, he then went on to take a comfortable win to set up to be first out of the start gate in Saturday’s Forest Race, around 37 km of single trails and gravel surfaces in the woods around Kemer. It was the third time the 21-year old rider had won the beach race and Walker said later: “I charged hard during the first couple of laps and got into the lead. Then I just did my best to control the race. It was rough as hell out there, the track was beaten up pretty badly and I just tried to stay loose on the gas. It feels awesome to win that race three times now."
Walker got to open the track for Saturday’s Forest Race, some 37 km of a mix of fast and technically demanding track. It first took the riders through a long, concrete canal with tunnels underneath the streets of Kemer before they entered the forest, had to tackle a large riverbed and exit on a gravel road. To add another degree of difficulty at the end of the ride back at the beach they were challenged to cross over a floating pier. Walker finished ahead of veteran riders and arch rivals Germany’s Andreas Lettenbichler and Jarvis to go into Sunday’s Mountain Race with a big shot of confidence.
This year’s Mountain Race added a new section, the Dark Canyon, which organizers said took 40 days to make a ride-able section. This added to the known difficulties of the race guaranteed it was going to be tough, even for the professionals. Walker knew his main rival would be Jarvis, the most winning rider in this discipline, but Sunday just may have heralded the arrival of the new generation with the British upstart taking a very close victory.
Speaking after the race, Julian Stevens, Walker’s manager and minder of his KTM 300 EXC reported: “Jonny rode a fault free ride but he bent his rear disc before Check Point 1 and had rear brake problems the entire race. He managed to hold a three-minute lead for most of the race and then just tried to keep safe distance from Graham (Jarvis). He made a few mistakes towards the end and Graham got closer and it was a very close finish.” Walker: “In the end both Graham and I were so desperate to win we both made a lot of mistakes. It was a very close finish.”
Red Bull Sea To Sky Hard Enduro 2013 (Kemer, Turkey)
Results Beach Race
1. Jonny Walker (UK), KTM, 23:40 min
2. Alfredo Gomez (E), Husaberg, 23:59
3. Xavi Galindo (E), Husaberg, 24:38
4. Homero Diaz (MX), KTM, 24:45
5. Andreas Lettenbichler (D), Husqvarna, 24:50
6. Paul Bolton (UK), KTM, 25:19
7. Andy Noakley (UK), KTM, 25:22
8. Rene Dietrich (D), Husaberg, 25:31
9. Graham Jarvis (UK), Husaberg, 25:46
10. Harry Neumayr (A), KTM, 25:48
Results Forest Race
1. Walker, 1:10:48 h
2. Lettenbichler, 1:11:43
3. Jarvis, 1:12:42
4. Gomez,, 1:14:15
5. Diaz, 1:16:09
6. Neuemayr, 1:16:41
7. Bolton, 1:17:03
8. Philipp Scholz (D), KTM, 1:17:16
9. Dougie Lampkin (UK), Gas Gas, 1:17:22
10. Noakley, 1:18:12
Results Mountain Race
1. Walker, 2:17:14 h
2. Jarvis, 2:17:24
3. Gomez, 2:26:10
4. Lettenbichler, 2:39:45
5. Scholz, 2:45:30
6. Bolton, 2:52:54
7. Lampkin, 2:54:35
8. Galindo, 3:15:51
9. Dietrich, 3:23:16
10. Neuemayr, 3:24:33