Following an incredible year on the international extreme enduro circuit KTM Enduro Factory Racing’s Jonny Walker now turns his attentions to the 2015 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship. Placing third overall in the 2014 series having secured numerous podium results along the way, Walker is aiming for the top step of the podium in Poland on Saturday night…
We’re just days away from the opening round of the FIM SuperEnduro World Championship in Gdansk, Poland. How are you feeling?
Jonny: “I’m feeling good. Everything has gone very smoothly as far as my preparations for this championship. It’s sort of been better than I expected. I’ve been working hard in my training and my riding. I’m ready to go racing.”
You ended the 2014 series third overall and with three podium results. What are your expectations this time around?
Jonny: “I believe that I’ve got as good a chance as anybody to fight for the title. Doing all I can to become world champion is my ultimate goal. I want to be winning races and battling at the sharp end of the results at every round. Coming off my best season to date I know I’m capable of winning races indoors.”
Extreme Enduro events are very different to SuperEnduro. Do you find it hard to adapt to the shorter, faster paced style of indoor racing?
Jonny: “At this level it’s all about confidence. I turned a corner this year and feel both mentally and physically stronger. No matter where you race it’s standing on the top step of the podium that gives you the drive to succeed in the next event you go to. Winning Erzberg and Romaniacs was incredible and it’s given me a lot of motivation to achieve similar results indoors.”
You’re back on a 250f for this winter’s SuperEnduro series. You’re obviously happy on a small four-stroke?
Jonny: “Definitely. The 2014 series was my first time racing a four-stroke but by taking three SuperPole wins and a victory at the final round in France I showed my speed was good. Since getting back on the bike I’ve been having a lot of fun with it. I’ve just finished up a month of training in France. Together with my mechanic we built a SuperEnduro track and things have gone well. The bike is dialled in and I feel good riding. My focus is now on turning all that hard work into results.”
With several new additions to the series round one is shaping up to be super competitive. Which riders do you see as your biggest threats?
Jonny: “As the defending champion Taddy Blazusiak is the number one rider to beat. Plus he’s racing on home soil, so he’s got the crowd support behind him. David Knight and Alfredo Gomez are going to be fast too. Having some of the best American riders compete will be interesting. Cody Webb is on top of his game right now. He’s just beaten Taddy to the EnduroCross title so he’s not hanging about. Taylor Robert and Colton Haaker have also won races this year too. It’s definitely going to be tough out there.”
Finally how important will it be to start the season with a podium result?
Jonny: “I think winning or finishing on the podium at round one will be more critical than in the past. With so many riders capable of fighting for a podium result it will be important to come away from Poland in a strong position. There’s a lot of racing ahead but getting it off to a good start will be essential if I want to challenge for the title.”
Round one of the Maxxis FIM SuperEnduro World Championship takes place in Gdansk, Poland on Saturday December 6th.