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Walker Makes Winning Start At WESS Round One
Back with a vengeance, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jonny Walker has taken the win on the opening day of competition at round one of the World Enduro Super Series at Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares.
Round one of the 2019 World Enduro Super Series got off to a spectacular start with a night of tightly-fought Endurocross racing in Lagares, Portugal.
Among the entry of almost 300 competitors, over 50 Pro riders went head-to-head during a series of qualification heats and semi-finals to reach the final race.
Josep Garcia was impressively fast around the Endurocross circuit - © Future7Media
Showing their best during the evening, Jonny Walker (KTM - GB), Taddy Blazusiak (KTM - POL), Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM - GER), Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna - GB), Josep Garcia (KTM - ESP), Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna - ESP), Wade Young (Sherco - RSA) plus home favourite Diogo Vieira (Yamaha) took to the start line of the six-minute plus two lap race as favourites.
Lettenbichler was fastest out of the starting gate, but with Garcia, Blazusiak and Walker in hot pursuit the pressure was on.
Blazusiak made a dive for the lead at the end of lap one and took over proceedings. However, a mistake in the slippery rock garden on lap two allowed Walker to jump past both Blazusiak and Lettenbichler and into the lead.
The slippery rock garden delivered lots of action-packed racing - © Future7Media
Comfortable out front, Walker commanded the rest of the race, resisting to any late attacks Blazusiak could offer to claim victory on day one in Portugal. The win also marked Walker’s first major win since crashing out of the World Enduro Super Series in Poland in September of last year.
Behind Walker, Blazusiak chased his teammate across the line for second, while Lettenbichler took third. Gomez pushed hard to place fourth, while Garcia impressed with a strong fifth.
The Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares, round one of WESS, continues with Saturday’s Urban Prologue in Porto.
Jonny Walker topped the podium from Taddy Blazusiak and Manuel Lettenbichler - © Future7Media
Results - Round 1: Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares
1. Jonny Walker (KTM - GB) 7 laps, 1:11.823; 2. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM - POL) 8:44.299; 3. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM - GER) 8:46.859; 4. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna - ESP) 8:46.604; 5. Josep Garcia (KTM - ESP) 9;05.133…
Photo credit: Future7Media
Round 1: Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares (Portugal) May 10-12