Gomez and Walker close the season on top.
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Red Bull KTM’s Alfredo Gomez & Jonny Walker Finish 1-2 At Final Round Of 2017 SuperEnduro World Championship
Red Bull KTM Enduro Factory Racing team mates Alfredo Gomez and Jonny Walker brought their participation in the 2017 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship to a highly successful close by finishing first and second respectively at the fourth and final round of the series in Albi, France.
For Alfredo Gomez the event ended with the Spaniard claiming his second consecutive overall win, having also topped the podium for the first time at round three in Spain two weeks earlier. Improving throughout the opening two rounds of the series, in France Gomez’ lightning fast starts on his KTM 300 EXC helped him to third in the opening final before claiming two wins to top the podium ahead of Jonny Walker and Colton Haaker.
“Tonight I got some great starts, twice getting the holeshot, and I just wanted to end the series as well as I could,” explained Gomez. “I’m really pleased for myself and the team. As I’ve said before, for a rider that wasn’t originally planning to be a part of this championship we have done a pretty amazing job. From the first laps of the first race in Poland I have been competitive and to now get my second overall SuperEnduro event win is incredible. Honestly, I’m a little surprised at just how competitive I’ve been in each heat of each race. Amazingly, I don’t think I crashed in any of the finals all season, it’s been an amazing championship.”
Equally pleased with his night, Walker kept Gomez honest throughout the event despite a tough second final. The fastest rider during the one-lap SuperPole session, he then topped the opening final by 15 seconds on the KTM 350 EXC-F. Second in the night’s closing final saw Walker claim a well-deserved runner-up result, bringing his 2017 SuperEnduro campaign to a positive close.
“After getting the fastest time in the SuperPole and then winning the first final I really felt like I could get the overall win,” commented Walker. “The reverse start order second final was kind of my undoing – things just didn’t go as I hoped they would. I finished third, which wasn’t too bad, but I lost a few points that I needed at the end of the night. Track was good, nothing too technical but it made for close racing. I think the three of us – Colton, Alfredo and myself – all wanted to end the series with a strong result, so there was some great racing. Coming off my injury last year, I wasn’t quite on the pace I needed at the start of the series, but things have ended really well.”
With Gomez and Walker finishing first and second the final round of the SuperEnduro series was also a good one for Manuel Lettenbichler, who continued his return from injury to finish in a highly creditable fourth overall having placed fourth in the night’s first and second final and fifth in the third final.
In the Junior class South African KTM rider Travis Teasdale took the overall win. Despite his relative lack of SuperEnduro experience he finished with a 2/3/1 score card to top the podium ahead of Max Vial and eventual SuperEnduro Junior champion Blake Gutzeit.
“I had two weeks of really good training ahead of this event and it made all the difference,” explained Teasdale. “Winning a heat at round three in Spain was good, but tonight I was more consistent. I had a much better bike set-up, and with some solid training I was able to make it happen and get the win.”
Results SuperEnduro Albi 2017
1. Alfredo Gomez (ESP), KTM, 55 points (3-1-1)
2. Jonny Walker (GBR), KTM, 55 (1-3-2)
3. Colton Haaker (USA), Husqvarna, 51 (2-2-3)
4. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER), KTM, 37 (4-4-5)
5. Mario Roman (ESP), Sherco, 30 (6-7-4)
Final Standings SuperEnduro 2017 after 4 of 4 rounds
1. Haaker, 216 points
2. Gomez, 209
3. Walker, 201
4. Roman, 128
5. Pascal Rauchenecker (AUT), Husqvarna, 101
6. Lettenbichler, 99