Briton wins Red Bull 111 Megawatt in front of record-breaking crowd.
Jonny Walker edged out Mario Roman to wrap up his third consecutive Red Bull 111 Megawatt title at the spectacular PGE Coal Mine in Belchatow.
The 26-year-old looked in great form during Saturday’s offroad qualification in Poland and followed up with a virtuoso performance on Sunday to make it three in a row at the world’s biggest moto enduro event.
He did not have it all his own way, though, as Spaniard Roman pushed him throughout with the Husqvarna rider following KTM’s Walker home just 10.85 seconds behind after the leader got stuck in rocks late on.
Walker said, “Going in to the last lap, I knew that my mousse was totally destroyed. I felt like I could push, but I had to ride slower.
“Obviously, Mario caught me and I nearly lost in the finish. I’m really happy to get the win. A win is a win but it’s not the way I wanted to win, so it is what it is.”
Veteran Graham Jarvis dug in gamely for yet another big race podium one minute and 37.93 seconds back from winner Walker with KTM trio Alfredo Gomez, Manuel Lettenbichler and Paul Bolton next up in a field comprising competitors from 26 countries.
Only 30 riders managed to complete Red Bull 111 Megawatt within the time limit of four hours due to the punishing course that included gruelling hill climbs, steep downhill sections and a last straight leading to the finish line featuring gigantic rocks.
Saturday’s prologue for Taddy Blazusiak’s signature event, which he won first time out in 2014, featured an astonishing 1,000 riders with the best 500 making it through to contest Sunday’s final in front of a record-breaking 35,000 spectators.
Blazusiak declared, “I’m very happy that I could stand in front of the participants, push the ‘magic button’ and start the final race.
“Only a few years back, this event was merely an idea in the heads of a few people, now every year it gets bigger and bigger, and today’s execution was just out of this world. I’m very proud.”
The fourth edition, which counts in the six-part Hard Enduro World Series, featured a longer 90km course that led the riders through new areas of the mine with 150 metres separating the highest and lowest points.
1. Jonny Walker GBR KTM 2:22:21
2. Mario Roman Serrano SPAIN HUSQVARNA 2:22:32
3. Graham Jarvis GBR HUSQVARNA 2:23:59
4. Alfredo Gomez SPAIN KTM 2:24:35
5. Manuel Lettenbichler GERMANY KTM 2:24:59
Pictures: Red Bull Content Pool/Bartek Wolinski/Kin Marcin/Damian Kramski