Now Reading
Walker continues AMA Endurocross winning streak at round in Prescott – Race Report

Walker continues AMA Endurocross winning streak at round in Prescott – Race Report

Britain’s Jonny Walker continued his perfect season on his factory Beta, going 1-1-1 in the IRC Tire EnduroCross Series, presented by Progressive, at Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott, Arizona, on October 21, for round two of its six-round series, duplicating his performance at the opener two weeks ago in Everett, Washington. Walker also topped the hot lap qualifying at both events, doing so in Prescott by a full two seconds.

Race Report by AMA Endurocross – Images courtesy of Jack Jaxson

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Colton Haaker gave Walker a run for his money after grabbing the holeshot in the first moto and leading until Walker was able to make an aggressive pass to take the lead in the treacherous rock section.

“The whole night was tough,” said Walker. “The track was difficult to make time anywhere. Even if I did do a hot lap that was two seconds faster, it’s difficult to do that every lap, lap after lap. Colton was on fire. He rode well tonight. Even the first moto, he was in front, and I knew the only way to pass him was to get aggressive with him. I was setting Colton up a few laps. I was only gaining on him in the rocks. I gained on him a few times, and then all of a sudden, he dropped onto my line. So, then I shot back to the inside. I thought, if I can get it inside in this corner. He stayed going from the outside back to the inside, so we made a bit of contact. But it was on the second-to-last lap. I knew I had to get away because I knew he’d be coming back hard at me. So happy to go 1-1-1 again.”

The third moto played out in similar fashion, with Haaker getting away first at the start while Walker dogged the former EnduroCross champ, making a pass while jumping out of the rock section.

“Yeah, the rocks, that was the most technical bit of the track,” said Walker. “That was the only bit I felt like I could make time. I felt comfortable in there.” Despite his run-ins with Walker, Haaker grabbed two of three holeshots and went 2-2-2 for second.

“I just wanted to try to get a win,” said Haaker. “Jonny didn’t want me to have one, apparently. We were a little dicey. I felt like I was good in mostly the whole track. It was just the rocks where I felt his pressure. I had to just sit a little bit more than I would have liked. I didn’t feel amazing there, for whatever reason. I felt better the other motos there, but then that last moto I felt like I just couldn’t quite figure out where I wanted to be and go.”

“I’m really confident in my starts right now,” said Haaker. “I figured some stuff out there before the first round. I think altogether the package is there. I just obviously had a mistake that first moto that cost me the win. Then the last moto maybe just rode a little tight.”

FactoryOne Sherco’s Cody Webb seemed to be satisfied with a third overall finish after posting a 4-3-3 moto tally.

“I’m happy to come away with a podium,” said Webb. “This track really wasn’t my forte. There were so many slams out there. I’m a little bit older, and my wrist is so trashed. I took it easy this week. I was feeling a little under the weather, too. Only rode once since the weekend and took it easy to recover for this race and being at altitude and dry up here.”

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Ryder LeBlond went 3-6-4 for third place.

“Overall, I’m pretty happy,” said LeBlond. “This whole week, I was a little under the weather. This year I did not let it affect me. Last year I got my podium, and then I got 16th because I got sick. This year I was able to back it up with a fourth. Obviously, I want to be on that podium and work closer to that win, but honestly, I’m happy to keep it consistent. We’re still in the points for everything and still good going into the next round.”

FMF/KTM’s Trystan Hart had a bad night by his standards and was not pleased after the race.

“It’s round two of EnduroCross, and it’s my third fifth-place in a row,” said Hart. “It’s a first for me to be in a position like this. In the last five years, this has never happened to me. So, it’s new. It’s frustrating. I know I’m a good rider, so eventually, something is going to happen, and I’ll be back. It just happens. It happens to Eli Tomac. It happens to the best. We’ll see what happens in the future.”

Sixth went to factory GasGas rider Taddy Blazusiak, who posted a 6-7-5 moto score despite crashing in the first moto.

“The night went pretty good, to be honest,” said Blazusiak. “I felt I had good speed. The bike was working better than the first round. I didn’t do myself any favors with that first moto crash, with two corners to go. I got together with Ryder. I believe I was third or second, I don’t know. That cost me a lot tonight. Anyway, we are going in the right direction. I feel like my speed is good for where we are at in the season. We’re going to keep working. We still have a few more things that we’re going to test on Monday at the test track. I feel like we’re going in the right direction. I’ve been there already. So, let’s keep working and it will click. All we’ve got to do is just keep going hard.”

FactoryOne Sherco’s Cooper Abbott’s 9-5-6 was good enough for seventh overall. Cooper rode a four-stroke at the first round but opted for a two-stroke for Prescott.

“First moto was a bit rough,” said Abbott. “Some stuff’s out of my hands, and that’s a bit frustrating. But I simply just need to ride better. I need to put myself in better positions. [I’m] not where I want to be. There are a lot of fast guys, and everybody is riding well. I know I can be a lot farther up there and battling for podiums and wins. I just got to put myself in better positions and I haven’t done that so far.”

Eighth was GasGas rider Max Gerston (8-10-8), while 10th went to Dominik Olszowy of Poland who rode a Rieju to a 11-9-10 score.

In the Women’s Pro final, Over and Out/GasGas’ Rachel Gutish came from behind to grab the win, while Melissa Harten was second and Kylee Sweeten was third.

Overall Results

1. Jonny Walker (Bet) 1-1-1
2. Colton Haaker (Hus) 2-2-2
3. Cody Webb (She) 4-3-3
4. Ryder LeBlond (Hus) 3-6-4
5. Trystan Hart (KTM) 5-4-7
6. Taddy Blazusiak (GG) 6-7-5
7. Cooper Abbott (She) 9-5-6
8. Will Riordan (KTM) 7-8-9
9. Max Gerston (GG) 8-10-8
10. Dominik Olszowy (Rie) 11-9-10