Despite his rookie status, Jonny Walker is not to be overlooked as a possible medal winner.
At only 22 years old Jonny’s a couple of years younger than Taddy Blazusiak, and young enough to be Mike Brown’s son. But don’t let his baby-face and blue eyes fool you. Walker’s got game.
In the two years he’s contested Europe’s SuperEnduro World Championship he’s claimed a runner-up and third place result in the final championship standings. He’s also beaten Blazusiak and Knight numerous times. Forced to miss X Games Brazil due to injury, Walker’s excited to add his name to the Enduro X line-up in Brazil.
Bestwick is the only British athlete to ever win a Gold Medal in X Games. In Barcelona I want to become the second.
“X Games is the biggest action sports event on the planet,” said Walker. “Growing up as a kid I religiously watched the live coverage on ESPN for the entire week during August. Getting an invite to race myself is incredible. Sharing the same stage that made guys like Travis Pastrana, Tony Hawk and Jamie Bestwick household names will be an honour.
“But I’m not going there to make up the numbers. My race face will definitely be on when the start gate drops for Enduro-X. Bestwick is the only British athlete to ever win a Gold Medal in X Games. In Barcelona I want to become the second.”
Forced to watch the live streaming of the Enduro-X final in Brazil from his home in England, Walker believes he can use that to his advantage.
“It was so frustrating having to watch the Enduro-X final in Brazil from home. But I’ve studied the race in depth and picked up a couple of pointers. Obviously the format is different to what I’m used to in the SuperEnduro World Championship. With only one main event final you’ve got to make the start count. That’s going to be so important.
I’ve beaten guys like Blazusiak out of the gate before and I know I can do it again.
“I’ve beaten guys like Blazusiak out of the gate before and I know I can do it again. If you get a holeshot, that’s almost seventy per cent of the race done. After that it’s a mix of consistency and luck in making it to the chequered flag first.”
But with the defence of his Red Bull Hare Scramble title in Erzberg, Austria just around the corner, is Walker ready to take on the best Enduro-X riders in the world?
“X Games Barcelona falls just two weeks before the Red Bull Hare Scramble in Erzberg. Both races are polar opposites of each other so the preparation for Barcelona has been difficult. But I ended last winter’s SuperEnduro series third overall and beat Blazusiak and Knight a few times. I’m still feeling race sharp even though racing the Iron Giant is in the back of my mind. We’ll see, once that start gate drops anything can happen.”