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Gomez edges Walker to SuperEnduro win

Briton Jonny Walker came a close runner-up to fellow factory KTM team=mate Alfredo Gomez in the Bilbao SuperEnduro round at the weekend, the penultimate round of the championship.

“It feels so good to get my first ever overall SuperEnduro win,” explained Alfredo Gomez from the podium in Bilbao. “In the first heat I was so nervous of crashing I was maybe a little too cautious and didn’t try hard enough to overtake Jonny (Walker). I came close on the last lap but I just couldn’t make it happen. I got a great start in the second heat – from the second row I got into the lead very quickly. I pushed hard then to open up a gap and just tried to be consistent to the finish.”

With a runner-up result in the opening final and victory in the second, Gomez’ night came to a perfect end when he topped the third and last final with his KTM 300 EXC to secure his first ever overall SuperEnduro win. “It all came down to the final race for the overall, I knew I had to win. Again, I pushed hard and felt really good. It’s an incredible feeling to get this win, and even more special because it’s here in Spain. In the past I’ve won some heat races but I never really thought that I had the speed to win a main event. I started this championship with no pressure. My speed was good in Poland, and I think that my work in the previous years really helped me. I’ll keep pushing and see what happens at the final in France.”

Also, enjoying a great night in Bilbao was Gomez’ team-mate Jonny Walker. Switching to a KTM 350 EXC-F Walker fired out of the blocks to top the qualifying Superpole before going on to win the night’s first final. “I’ve really been riding a lot recently, and I felt good throughout the night here in Spain. I switched to the 350, which worked great, but in general I feel like I rode a lot better than at the earlier rounds.”

Fourth in the night’s reversed start order second final, Walker bounced back to challenge for the overall event win in the third final. Finishing second to Gomez he secured the overall runner-up result ensuring Red Bull KTM locked out the top two podium positions. “I got good starts, rode consistently and came away with a solid runner-up result. It came down to the final race between Alfredo Gomez and myself for the win, although it’s a little frustrating to get second overall I’m pleased. I landed on someone in the last race of the night, which kind of knocked me off my stride. After winning the first race I knew what I needed to do and I felt like another win was more than possible. It’s been a really good night. I can’t wait for the final in France now.”

Manuel Lettenbichler returned to racing in Bilbao having been forced to sit out round two of the series due to injury. Ending his night fifth overall and just four points from fourth placed Mario Roman he finished with 5-5-4 results. “More than anything I’m just pleased to be back racing,” admitted the reigning SuperEnduro Junior World Champion. “The track was super technical, but it wasn’t too bad to race on. Finishing fifth overall having had some great battles with Mario Roman is cool. I only started riding again two weeks ago, so all things considered I’m pleased with my result.”

Next Round: March 18, 2017 – Albi (FRA)

Results SuperEnduro Bilbao 2017
1. Alfredo Gomez (ESP), KTM, 59 points (2-1-1)
2. Jonny Walker (GBR), KTM, 53 (1-4-2)
3. Colton Haaker (USA), Husqvarna, 48 (3-2-3)
4. Mario Roman (ESP), Sherco, 39 (4-3-5)
5. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER), KTM, 35 (5-5-4)

Standings SuperEnduro 2017 after 3 of 4 rounds
1. Haaker, 165 points
2. Gomez, 154
3. Walker, 146
4. Roman, 98
5. Pascal Rauchenecker (AUT), Husqvarna, 77
Other KTM
6. Lettenbichler, 62

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