Dropping In On: Jonny Walker

Photos by Future7Media

Hard Enduro takes center stage this weekend as the world’s best riders compete at The Tough One, held for the first time ever at the iconic Hawkstone Park venue, England. Runner-up in 2013, KTM mounted Walker again starts as one of the favorites for top honors. A fan of the deep sandy conditions, which the grueling motocross circuit is famed for, Walker is hungry to deliver a winning result at his home event of the season...

Q: The Tough One’s move to Hawkstone Park is causing quite a stir. Any ideas what to expect?

****A:**** Nobody really knows what to expect. I think that’s the biggest thing about the race – it’s unknown. It’s going to be sandy and three hours in that terrain will be punishing. Between the motocross sections, the man-made stuff and the hill climbs in the woods there’s a real mixture of terrain. I enjoy riding sand and have worked hard on my fitness so hopefully that will help me. But it’s going to be hard.

Q: What are your expectations ahead of the race?

A: I want to win – that's the goal. I feel like I'm capable of it and I've been working hard to achieve it. Of course finishing on the podium would be good but I want more than that. I'll be giving it 100 per cent to win The Tough One.

Q: With a full entry list, who are you expecting to challenge for the podium?

A: There are a lot of guys to watch out for – at least 10 people are capable of finishing inside the top five. But you can't rule out Graham Jarvis and David Knight, they'll be pushing for the win. Plus Alfredo Gomez, Paul Bolton and my teammate Andreas Lettenbichler will be right in the mix too.

Q: After Hell’s Gate you moved to live in France. Why was that?

A: Moving to France is something I'd thought about doing for a while. My mechanic is French and I was able to rent a house close to him in the south of France. So far it's been going great. I've got everything from extreme enduro tracks to motocross within an hour of where I live. Almost everyday I'm able to ride somewhere different and try something new. Having my mechanic close by is brilliant. We can bounce a lot of ideas off each other – I'm really enjoying it.

Q: Is it true you’ve been doing a lot of training on a 125?

A: Yeah, I started riding a 125 recently. I'd never ridden one before but it's a lot of fun. I've been riding it a lot on some motocross tracks and working on improving my corner speed. It's a great bike to learn on – when you get things right they're awesome.

Q: It’s six weeks until the ErzbergRodeo in Austria. Have you started thinking about that race yet?

A: Erzberg is always in the back of my mind. Missing out on the podium in 2013 was a bitter pill to swallow, but between illness and injury I was anything but at my best back then. I want to make amends this year and I'll be going there all guns blazing. But first my goal is winning The Tough One.