Alfredo Gomez emerged as the fastest KTM factory rider at the GetzenRodeo Extreme Enduro on Saturday, finishing second to serial winner Graham Jarvis in the event that is held every two years.
Factory teammate Jonny Walker was fourth, coming in behind Mario Roman of Spain.
Alfredo Gomez started well and set the pace in the morning qualifier on his KTM 300 EXC. He took an early lead in lap one and went into battle with Jonny Walker for the rest of the two-hour race. They finished 1-2 with Jarvis in third.
The fastest 12 riders advanced to the five-lap main race over challenging forest trails lined with huge numbers of enthusiastic fans. Gomez and Walker went off first but Jarvis, who started 10 seconds behind the KTM pair, hit the front by the end of the first lap and began to pull away.
While Jarvis went on to set the pace, there was a three-man battle between Gomez, Walker and Mario Roman for the minor places. Gomez managed to slip into second after a good run at the final rocky climb in lap two. Walker struggled with traction, and in finding a good rhythm. He finally succumbed to pressure from Roman and had to settle for fourth place.
Gomez: “I’m happy with second place today. It’s been a good race for me. Graham was incredibly strong in the main event. He was the best guy today. Overall I had a strong race. I won the qualifier this morning and I enjoyed that. I knew things would be tougher for the main event and they where. Graham found a better line up a rocky climb and that’s where he gapped us. After that, I just tried to maintain my position. I’m pleased to be the runner-up.”
Walker: “It’s been a tough day. This morning’s qualifier was really good. I rode well and felt like I had more to give. But I wanted to save energy for the main race. I started second behind Alfredo but ran into some trouble on a rocky climb. I just wasn’t able to regroup quickly enough and then continued to make more mistakes. It’s disappointing, I know I should have been better but I also have to consider that this is the first rocky technical race I’ve done in 2016 so that’s a factor too. I’ll regroup and come back stronger for the next one.”
Gomez and Walker are now set to race in the Hixpania Hard Enduro next weekend (Nov 4-6).
Results GetzenRodeo 2016
1. Graham Jarvis (GBR), Husqvarna, 53:30 min
2. Alfredo Gomez (ESP), KTM, +2:55 min
3. Mario Roman (ESP), Husqvarna, +5:12
4. Jonny Walker (GBR), KTM, +7:38
5. Blake Gutzeit (RSA), Yamaha, +21:33