2023 EnduroCross: Jonny Walker whitewash at round one
Jonny Walker took a perfect three moto win tally to top the opening round of the 2023 IRC Tire EnduroCross Series in Everett, Washington – Cody Webb and Ryder LeBlond complete the podium.
The IRC Tire EnduroCross Series presented by Progressive visited Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, Washington, for the first of its six-rounds. At the end of the exciting opening night it was reigning champion Jonny Walker picking up where he left off last year with a win.
In fact it wasn’t just any old win, the Beta rider dominated the show, going 1-1-1 in his three motos, easily topping runner-up FactoryOne Sherco’s Cody Webb’s 7-2-3 tally and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Ryder LeBlond’s 5-3-4.
Walker fastest in Hot Lap qualifying
Walker added to his domination of the event by posting the fastest time in hot-laps, ahead of last year’s title rival FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Trystan Hart, and Webb, setting the starting order for the first moto. Webb’s teammate, Cooper Abbott and factory GasGas rider Taddy Blazusiak, were fourth and fifth.
According to the top riders, the Everett, Washington course was a technical one, and a course that required not only finesse, but consistency, which Walker had in spades.
Trystan Hart took the early lead in moto one, followed closely by Walker and Rockstar Energy Factory Racing’s Colton Haaker, the series 2021 champ.
Walker put pressure on Hart throughout the race, but it wasn’t until the final turn of the penultimate lap that he took over P1 when Hart lost his front end and went down, gifting Walker first place. Hart picked his KTM up quickly to follow home in second, and Haaker finished third.
The second main race of the night starts in reverse order from the opening moto, so Walker had last pick on the gate, just ahead of Webb and LeBlond. Abbott came away with the lead early in the race, while Walker, Hart and Webb were mired in mid-pack.
Walker was best at passing on the technical course and he took over the lead by the mid-way point, with Webb working his way to an eventual second place, while the ever-consistent LeBlond finished third.
It was a repeat performance once again in moto three where Walker took the lead early and maintained the consistent speed through the laps he had all night for the win.
Colton Haaker regrouped to pull a second place in the final moto with Webb third to cement his overall podium spot.
In the final results, Walker took the overall with a 1-1-1 moto score, with Webb second at 7-2-3 and LeBlond in third with 5-3-4.
“I was quietly confident coming in.” Said Jonny. “I’ve worked on feeling good and, honestly, last year, I was coming off of two operations and I finished the first round in eighth. So to start this year with a win is huge for me. I knew I was riding good, so I’m really happy with how tonight has gone.”
Some of the established names in the EX series had inconsistant starts including Taddy Blazusiak but also Trystan Hart who has a busy schedule these two weeks or so with Hard Enduro World Championship final two rounds in Europe splitting the EnduroCross schedule.
2023 AMA Super EnduroCross Round 1 Results (Top 10):
In the Women’s Pro class the every versatile Rachel Gutish claimed the overall with a 1-1 scorecard. Melissa Harten and Kylie Sweeten completed the podium at this first round of the series.
Round two of the 2023 EnduroCross series is on October 21 in Prescott Valley, Arizona.
More information: www.endurocross.com
Words and Photo Credit: Shan Moore