KTM have announced that the Austrian manufacturer has signed British Enduro talent Jonny Walker as a factory rider for Extreme Enduro disciplines.
The 21-year-old has emerged over the past two seasons as a gifted rider in Extreme Enduro events and is considered by KTM as having great potential as a top competitor.
Jonny will compete for KTM in the 2012-2013 Indoor Enduro World Championship, the Extreme Enduro races such as the Erzberg Rodeo, The Tough One, Hells Gate, Red Bull Romaniacs an Red Bull Sea to Sky and some Enduro World Championships rounds. He may also start in the X-Games and some EnduroCross events if it is possible and appropriate to include them in his schedule.
Born in Cumbria, UK, Jonny graduated to Enduro after going through the ranks of trials riding where he won multiple championship titles. Looking to expand his riding skills he first bought a secondhand KTM 250 in 2010 and quickly made a name for himself with good performances in selected rounds of the British Enduro Championship. While his first season was cut short after a crash and subsequent injury, his name was already on the radar screen of KTM UK. Jonny agreed a deal with KTM UK for 2011 and for 2013 advances to the status of a KTM full factory rider.
Despite his youth, Jonny has already shown that he is a major challenger to the sports established top riders. In his first year of competition he enjoyed success at the World Indoor Cup, Hell’s Gate, the British Enduro Championship, the British Sprint Enduro Championship and other top competitions. In 2011 he was also part of the ACU’s junior Trophy team, which finished third overall at the International Six Days Enduro in Finland. He also finished fourth overall in the 2011 ISDE E3 class, finishing only behind the KTM factory riders.
But it was at the notorious Erzberg Rodeo in Austria in 2011 that observers of his riding style really sat up and took interest when he finished the grueling ride up Austria’s Iron Mountain to finish third in his very first attempt. Then in 2012, he topped his previous performance at Erzberg by emerging as the winner. This victory also represented a generation change as it followed five consecutive Red Bull Hare Scramble victories on the Iron Mountain by KTM’s Extreme Factory Rider, Taddy Blazusiak. Taddy, who was also ‘discovered’ by KTM at the Erzberg Rodeo, did not compete in 2012 because of his full-time commitment to the EnduroCross Championship in the USA.
As well as his victory at Erzberg, Jonny has enjoyed great success during 2012, finishing second overall in the SuperEnduro World Indoor Enduro Cup, first overall in the British Extreme Enduro Championship and first in the British Sprint Enduro Championship. He also finished third behind veteran evergreens Graham Jarvis and Andreas Leitenbichler in the 2012 Red Bull Romaniacs and despite having been in hospital with Glandular Fever the week before the Red Bull Sea To Sky in Turkey, he won the Beach Race and was third in both the Mountain Race and the Forest Race.