“WE WERE RIDING RIGHT ON THE LIMIT!”
The first edition of the Alès Trêm extreme enduro in France proved to be a successful one for KTM’s Jonny Walker. Using the event as an essential shakedown ahead of next month’s Hell’s Gate event in Italy, Walker delivered an impressive performance to win both the Endurocross prologue and main event in style…
Congratulations Jonny – a winning result at your first extreme race of 2015!
Jonny Walker: “I couldn’t ask for better really. To get a win in Friday’s prologue and then back it up with the main event win on Saturday was just perfect. It was a really enjoyable event.”
How important was it to win Friday’s Endurocross style prologue?
“Winning the prologue wasn’t essential but with the results deciding the starting order for Saturday’s main event I knew I couldn’t afford to hang back. The Super Final was run at night so it was pretty dark out there. Luckily I got a great start, got into the lead and stayed out of trouble around the first few corners. It was cool to finish first, it gave me a lot of confidence heading into the main race.”
© Lynn / enduro21.com
Did you have a game plan for the main race?
“I pushed hard from the start and tried to build a gap. But by following fresh tracks it was difficult to break away. I crashed twice and missed a turn once on the first lap and that allowed both Jarvis and Andreas Lettenbichler to catch me up.”
With all three riders so close, how were the final two laps?
“Both Graham and Letti were pushing hard so I decided to stick with them and see what pace they were running. There were still two 60-kilometre laps to ride so trying to save energy at the point was important. I sort of guessed Graham would make a break for it on the third lap so I went with him. We were riding right on the limit – there wasn’t much between us. But coming down a hill into the quarry I found a better line and got in front. After that I just gave it everything I had to win.”
Overall, how did you enjoy the first edition of Alès Trêm?
“Honestly, it’s been great. I think the club did a great job. The prologue was a lot of fun – I enjoyed that. The track for Saturday could have been more technical but I suppose with 400 riders competing it’s got to suit everyone and not just the pro riders. Overall, it’s been a good shakedown for Hell’s Gate.”
© Lynn / enduro21.com
Hell’s Gate is just around the corner, what’s it going to take to better your 2014 result of second?
“I feel like I’m riding well, my bike’s great and my fitness is strong. It’s not my favourite event and Graham is a machine around that place. He’s always hard to beat but I can only give it my best shot and see what happens.”
This weekend is round three of SuperEnduro World Championship in Finland. Are you ready for it?
“After getting a race win last time out in Germany I’m raring to go for Finland. It was great to end that event on a high and I know what I’ve got to do to win again this weekend. Like I said, everything is working well it’s now just a matter of making sure I’m in the right place at the right time to keep the wins coming.”