Monday’s Morning Glory – Jonny Walker
Monday’s Morning Glory is enduro21’s salute to a rider that delivered the goods over the weekend. This morning Jonny Walker is our guy…
If ever there a moment for Jonny Walker to turn his Hard Enduro season around, the Red Bull Sea to Sky was it. With the previous two races at Erzberg and the Red Bull Romaniacs ending in disappointment, Walker arrived in Kemer, Turkey with winning only on his mind.
During the summer break, Walker had been busy. Well aware that explosive speed would play an important part in the outcome of the race, he took to time card enduro and honed his speed on special tests. At first he struggled to even break the top six of a British Enduro Championship but come the end of the summer he had found his form of old.
Following a stint on a 250 four-stroke at the final round of the Enduro World Championship in France, he jumped back on his trusted KTM 300 EXC for the penultimate round of the BEC. Fighting for the outright win – against riders with serious EWC pedigree – it seemed that Walker was about to peak in time for the Red Bull Sea to Sky.
Arriving in Kemer his game plan was simple – win all three races, the Beach Race, Forest Race and ultimately the Mountain Race. A firm lover of the deep sand, he annihilated his rivals on the Kemer shoreline and took the race win – round one went to Walker.
First to start the Forest Race, he pushed hard from the off. It seemed his summer of enduro was time well spent. In tune with the trail he topped the classification by over one-minute. Round two had also gone his way, but the biggest challenge was yet to come – conquering the 2365m high Olympus Mountain.
Sitting on the beach waiting for the Mountain Race to begin, he focused on the task in hand. The previous two days would account for little if next two hours didn’t go to plan.
Determined to lead from the outset, Walker caught his rivals off guard. Hitting the opening sections hard he left the chasing pack lost in his dust. At the end of the first riverbed he was one minute clear. By checkpoint four he increased his advantage to three minutes and by the halfway point he was four minutes in front and showing no signs of slowing down. But with Jarvis eventually working his way into second, the hunt was on. Could Walker outrun the best Hard Enduro rider in the world?
With each passing section Jarvis edged a little closer and as they reached the notorious Dark Canyon they were almost level. Plotting a clean line through it, Jarvis momentarily took over the race lead but Walker wasn’t finished yet. Refusing to give up he took the fight to Jarvis again and did what no one else had managed to do in 2013 – passed him back.
And this time it was for keeps. With the Mountain Mile left to run, Walker sprinted for all his worth as Jarvis continued to give chase. In a grandstand finish, the duo were practically neck and neck as they race for the finish line but Walker had his wheel in front and that was all it took to take the win.
Conquering the mountain he deservedly earned the top step of the podium. Round three was finally his.
But more importantly he put his bad run of luck behind him – Walker is now back to his best.