From KTM Newsletter
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jonny Walker and young South African Wade Young (KTM) wrapped up their Red Bull Sea to Sky Hard Enduro weekend with a 2-3 finish in the prestigious Mountain Race, but the top step honors went to Graham Jarvis who retained his title from 2014.
Jarvis edged out Walker in the final leg of the three-day event, but also prevented him from completing a season sweep of the major Hard Enduro races. Walker won the Beach Race on the opening day and Young won the Forest Race.
Walker has enjoyed an unprecedented run of victories in the current season and while he was disappointed not to wrap up this last event in what was an eventful last day, he still said it had been a very positive season.
Jonny Walker: “I had a good race, it wasn’t the winning result I wanted but I can’t complain too much about it. It’s hard to win them all. My start was decent and I made my way into the front on the first section and pushed hard. But on the high-speed section my front wheel hit a rock or something and jolted my handlebars. My shoulder hurt like hell after it. I tried to shake it off but the pain never left. I led up the riverbed and had a decent gap. Both Graham and Wade were coming though. When I stopped for the second fuel point Graham didn’t and he got into the lead. He pulled a gap on me there and it was one I just wasn’t able to close back. Overall, it’s been an incredible season though. I never thought I’d win five races. It’s been a long year racing in so many places so to only lose one race is perfect really.”
It was a very strong performance from Young, who on Saturday had surprised the two front contenders by winning the Forest Race by the narrowest of margins. British KTM rider Paul Bolton finished fourth and Red Bull KTM factory rider Andreas Lettenbichler was fifth. Seven of the top 10 riders were on KTM.
Wade Young: “I’m so happy to get my first Red Bull Sea to Sky podium. I really wanted to deliver a good result here. Winning the Forest Race gave me a lot of confidence for the Mountain Race and I attacked hard from the start. Jonny passed me but I didn’t let him get too far away. I had a few problems during the second half of the race but other than that it was a good run.”
After winning the Beach Race, Walker knew that the competition would start to get serious in Saturday’s Forest Race where organizers had prepared some 80% of new track, including single trails and riverbeds. But when the pro class riders reached the finish line just short of one hour 30 minutes, it first looked like it was going to be close finish between Walker and Jarvis. That victory finally went to Young who had started four minutes behind Walker. Young, Walker and Jarvis were separated by only a couple of seconds.
Walker still went into the final day from a front row start and was confident that he could get the job done up the mountain on Sunday. It was however not to be for the British rider.
This year’s Mountain Race offered bigger challenges for the pro class riders, with new gnarly sections added for extra challenge on the way up to the peak of Olympus, which after 80 km was at 2,365 meters altitude.
Day Three – Mountain Race
1. Graham Jarvis (GBR) Husqvarna, 3 hours 8 minutes 35 seconds
2. Jonny Walker (GBR) KTM, 3:11:10
3. Wade Young (RSA) KTM, 3:19:13
4. Paul Bolton (GBR) KTM, 3:20:19
5. Andreas Lettenbichler (GER) KTM, 3:20:59
7. Jonathan Richardson (GBR) KTM, 3:30:43
8. Philipp Scholz (GER) KTM, 3:37:57
9. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER) KTM, 3:38:35
10. Ben Hemingway (GBR) Beta, 3:47:54