Red Bull KTM rider Jonny Walker has unseated fellow Brit Graeme Jarvis as the King of Hell’s Gate, ending the Husqvarna rider’s incredible run of four wins in for years despite the truly hellish conditions at the Tuscan race.
With heavy rain and snow as well as freezing cold conditions, both early leader Alfredo Gomez and then Jarvis were forced out of the race after the flood-swollen rivers they were riding through flooded their machines.
That left Walker clear at the front, and he was able to avoid the traps that had caught out his main rivals to take the lead to the finishing line uninterrupted. Rookie Mario Roman and Austrian Lars Enockl were runners up, completing a podium after last year’s race saw only Jarvis and Walker finish.
Speaking afterwards, Walker said: “That was pure hell out there – I think it’s the toughest race I’ve ever done. It was seriously hard – there was no let up all day. Staying out of trouble was the key to just simply finishing. Luckily I managed to do that and it put me in a perfect position to win. After four years of trying it’s awesome to finally get a win around here.”