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Jonny Walker Claims Emphatic Victory

Erzbergrodeo 2014

maddix park mx 

Jonny Walker claimed an emphatic victory at the 20th edition of the Red Bull Hare Scramble.

Click here for highlights.

With the Iron Giant basking in near-perfect weather conditions, the 500-rider entry blasted off the quarry floor start line under clear bright skies. From the start it was clear that Jonny Walker was in business mode, forcing his way to the front on maximum attack.

Clearing every notoriously difficult section with ease, Walker etched out a 15-minute lead to take his second Red Bull Hare Scramble victory at the Erzbergrodeo.

I felt ready and I gave it everything I had.

“I believed I could win this race and that’s exactly what I set out to do from the off,” told an ecstatic Walker at the finish line. “I’ve trained my butt off since The Tough One. I felt ready and I gave it everything I had. Overall the race went well, I hardly made any mistakes and got the win. I’m so happy right now – I needed this!”

As defending champion, Graham Jarvis was expected to challenge Walker, but a crash moments after the start as he exited the quarry, put him on the back foot. By Carl’s Dinner, Jarvis had passed the rest of the field, but by then Walker was just a dust cloud in the distance.

Walker’s KTM team-mate Andreas Lettenbichler delivered yet another podium result at the Iron Giant. Holding second position early on, Lettenbichler was unable to hold off the attack from Jarvis and ended his race in third.

Behind the leading trio, the fight for a top five position was scrapped out between Alfredo Gomez and Paul Bolton. In the end it was Gomez who hung on to beat Bolton and take fourth.

Securing a well-deserved fifth, Bolton crossed the finish line moments after Gomez.

Slow to get going, Dougie Lampkin settled into the race as the competitors ventured into the treacherous forestry sections. Steadily picking off riders, Lampkin eventually placed sixth.

Making the long trip from Canada worthwhile, Cory Graffunder ended his race in seventh, while Ben Hemingway added another Red Bull Hare Scramble finish to his growing collection with eighth.

In the battle for the remainder of the top ten, Erzbergrodeo rookies, Taylor Robert and Cody Webb fought it out to the finish, with Robert narrowly beating Webb for ninth.

Unfortunately the Erzbergrodeo didn’t go to plan for David Knight. A bad start left him fighting through the field, but some bike problems later in the race forced a premature end to his Red Bull Hare Scramble ride.

Clearing every notoriously difficult section with ease, Walker etched out a 15-minute lead to take his second Red Bull Hare Scramble victory at the Erzbergrodeo.

Top Photo:  Jonny Walker celebrates victory© Philip Platzer/Red Bull Content Pool

Interview with Jonny Walker


The 20th edition of the Erzbergrodeo was certainly a good one for KTM’s Jonny Walker, who powered his way to a dominant victory. Claiming a start-to-finish win to become a two-time winner of the Red Bull Hare Scramble, Walker made light work of a race that was anything but easy…

Congratulations, you must be thrilled to have won the 20th edition of Erzberg’s Red Bull Hare Scramble?

Jonny Walker: “I am. I can’t tell you how pleased I am to have won. 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, it’s been a real team effort.”

What’s changed in the last 12 months – the Jonny Walker that won this year was a completely different rider to the one that placed fourth in 2013?

JW: “A lot’s changed. I guess the first thing is that I believed I could win. The last few weeks I’ve been building towards this, with the help of a lot of people. Last year was a tough year. People were expecting me to do well after I won in 2012, but my health and fitness wasn’t what it needed to be. This year I knew I could do it. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I felt strong coming into the race and knew I had an amazing bike.”

How was the race – it looked like it couldn’t have gone any better for you?

JW: “It went pretty much exactly like I hoped it would. I lead coming out the first corner, then dropped a few positions as I lined myself up for the first hill. I wasn’t worried about that, as I knew how important it would be simply to get to the top of it. I got into the lead soon after that, and then 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.”

The Red Bull Hare Scramble is never easy, how did this year’s compare to previous years?

JW: “It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t too hard either. I felt really fresh when I finished, but if it had rained it would have been a totally different story. The rocks through Carl’s Diner were dry and grippy and that made things a lot simpler. It was a great track, not too hard but not too easy. I guess it must have been a little easier this year because there were a lot of finishers.”

Did you make any mistakes, have any scary moments?

JW: “I did make one mistake in the woods, where I overshot a turn and had to lift my bike back up the hill and onto the track I needed. I went over the bars once as well. We refuelled at the bottom of the hill called Machine, and that didn’t go so well. A lot of fuel didn’t make it into my bike and some got onto the air filter. The bike didn’t run so well for a while after that and I had to have two goes at that hill. But it cleared and everything was fine with my bike.”

How hard was it riding alone for so long?

JW: “I had a little battle with Cory Graffunder at the start of the race, which was cool. But then I was alone. In some ways it’s great because it was just me and the track, but I did have a few doubts starting to creep into my mind – am I going the right way, am I pushing too hard, not hard enough. Once I knew I had a good lead, and was through Carl’s Diner, I felt a little more settled. But I never stopped pushing.”

So what’s next, where’s your next event?

JW: “I wish I was racing at X Games next weekend but the goal was to focus everything towards winning at Erzberg, which we managed to do. I didn’t want to do half a job at two different races. I guess it’ll be back to training and riding and then the next event is Romaniacs. I’m looking forward to that. It was a mixed event for me last year, but I know what to expect there now. It should be a lot of fun…”

Results – Erzberg 2014, Red Bull Hare Scramble

1. Jonny Walker (KTM) 1:37:38; 2. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 1:50:50; 3. Andreas Lettenbichler (KTM) 1:53:01; 4. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) 1:53:53; 5. Paul Bolton (KTM) 1:55:21; 6. Dougie Lampkin (KTM) 2:05:31; 7. Cory Graffunder (Husqvarna) 2:05:51; 8. Ben Hemingway (Beta) 2:18:01; 9. Taylor Robert (KTM) 2:19:24; 10. Cody Webb (Beta) 2:20:06…


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