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Walker finishes runner-up at Hixpania Hard Enduro, Gomez takes third | News

After three tough days of racing, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jonny Walker has finished the 2017 Hixpania Hard Enduro in a strong second place overall.

Walker’s team-mate Alfredo Gomez completed the podium in third, much to the delight of the Spanish fans.

Riding his KTM 300 EXC, Jonny Walker got his Hixpania campaign off to the perfect start with a win in the event’s Prologue held in the town square of Aguilar de Campoo. Walker excels at the SuperEnduro style format and Friday’s race suited him well. Managing to fend off a hard-charging Billy Bolt, Jonny took the win, setting himself up nicely for the remaining two races.

Saturday’s race led riders around three laps of a 48-kilometre loop, featuring a mixture of extreme terrain and fast open trails. It was Alfredo Gomez who took the early lead but the Spaniard was soon caught with the lead changing hands multiple times throughout the race.

Come the finish, Walker and Gomez finished second and third respectively. Jonny would go into the final day tied for the overall lead with day two winner, Mario Roman.

The final day’s race was a multi-lap event, with each circuit taking the top riders less than 15-minutes to complete. The pace was again extremely competitive with the top-five riders all fighting for the lead. Arriving third at the base of the final hill, a mistake by Walker near the summit saw him passed by Gomez. Fourth place across the line tied him on points with Graham Jarvis, but his position on the final day would relegate Walker to second overall.

Just gonna send it! Carnage on the hill, things got wild @jonnywalker_22 ✊🏻✊🏻🙈🙈 🎥 @philippeteixeira #enduro21 #thisisenduro #hardenduro #hixpania

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“Friday’s Prologue went really well for me,” said Walker. “It was tough on such a short lap with so many riders, but I held on to take the win, which was great. Saturday went well too, I knew I just had to ride consistently and not make any mistakes – second place there put me joint first going into the final day.

“The track was great on Sunday, I enjoyed it and was really happy with my speed. I made one mistake that caused me to drop back behind Graham, but after that I was able to really push on. I reached the final hill in third behind Billy, but managed to loop the bike out nearing the top and I had to have another go. I finished tied with Graham on points, but his win on the final day gave him the overall victory. I’m disappointed not to have won, but I have to be happy with how I rode. At the end it just came down to the final hill and I lost out.”

Defending champion Alfredo Gomez, in passing his team-mate on the final hill, secured third place on the day and third place overall for the event. Unable to push on the final day due to an issue with his rear mousse, Gomez was happy with his podium result.

“I’ve really enjoyed myself, the racing was so close throughout the whole event,” Gomez said. “The final day was not too difficult so the top guys were all on the same pace. I rode well but my I have some issues with my rear mousse halfway through the day and it made it difficult to push. We all arrived at the last hill within a couple of minutes of each other, which is great for the fans, but it means the race was decided within the final 100-metres. It would have been nice to take the win again, but I’m happy to be able to step on the podium.”

1. Graham Jarvis (GBR), Husqvarna
2. Jonny Walker (GBR), KTM
3. Alfredo Gomez (ESP), KTM
4. Billy Bolt (GBR), Husqvarna
5. Mario Roman (ESP), Sherco