Despite suffering another serious knee injury in the weeks prior, KTM-backed off-road racer Andy Wilksch has charged his way to an impressive E2 class podium and top-five overall result at the 2023 Australian Four-Day Enduro (A4DE) in Harvey, WA.
Having only returned to riding 11 weeks ago after rupturing his ACL and MCL earlier this year, the 2022 Australian E3 champion again blew his knee out while racing a state enduro round just two weeks ago, and entered the 2023 A4DE on crutches and with zero bike time.
Aboard the 2023 KTM 450 EXC-F in the highly competitive E2 class, the 26-year-old started the notoriously challenging event cautiously, and slowly worked his way into contention as he gained more confidence with what his knee could handle.
Wilksch would gain speed with each day, finishing the four-day contest with an impressive second place overall in the final moto of the event. As a result, Wilksch concluded four demanding days of enduro action with a P3 result in the E2 class and P5 overall.
With the off-road season now well underway, surgery is off the cards for Wilksch, who will instead focus on building strength in his injured knee before rounds five and six of the Australian Off-Road Championship at Edenhope, VIC, on 22-23 July.
Meanwhile in the E3 class, KTM-supported teenager Riley McGillivray proved to be the class of the field, as he charged to a memorable first-career A4DE win in the senior classes. McGillivray finished 37.6s ahead of second place after four days of racing.
KTM rider Ben Kearns finished fourth in the same class after a solid performance that saw him take the day three win in class, while fellow KTM rider Steven Pocock finished P5. KTM racers Tom Mason and Jesse Lawton also finished fourth and fifth respectively in the E1 class, while Ebony Nielsen placed third in the EW field.
Andy Wilksch: “After reinjuring my knee just 11 days before the start of the Four-Day I didn’t even know if I’d line up. It was a busy week trying to get rid of the swelling and getting scans, then I got food poisoning and had to delay my flight to WA by another day. It was a crazy week, and I took it day-by-day trying to get my knee stronger. The first two days really were about trial and error, trying to find confidence and the limits of what I could handle. As we went on, I got more confident and kept building the results, and I was super-happy to finish second in the final moto. My KTM was amazing and I had a great time on it, and battling everyone. With everything I faced, and after such a challenging start to the year, I’m super-stoked to finish with an E2 podium and my first podium of the year.”