The Beta USA off-road team of Max Gerston, Kyle Redmond and Jesse Groemm will be competing in this weekend’s KENDA AMA Tennessee Knockout at the Trials Training Center. Despite the large field of World Class off-road racers, all three of the Beta riders are legitimate podium contenders.
Gerston finished fifth at the 2014 TKO and fourth the prior year. “The TKO is one of my favorite races of the year” said Gerston, a native of Phoenix, Arizona. “I like to challenge myself and the terrain is unlike anything we have out west. But I have been doing the hard work and I am ready for the heat and humidity so I think I am ready for a podium finish this year.”
Redmond has proven to be one of the most talented off-road motorcycle riders in the world and has a few podium finishes at major events, including GEICO AMA EnduroCross. The first-year Beta factory rider always seems to be on the verge of breaking through and will be looking to make that happen at the TKO.
Groemm finished second in the 2014 KENDA AMA National Enduro championship to earn a Factory Beta ride for 2015. An injury early in the season kept him off the bike for several months but he is now back on track as evidenced by a podium finish at the most recent round in Texas just a few weeks back. Groemm could be a dark horse for a podium spot in Tennessee.
The UK’s Jonny Walker, multi-time winner of the Erzberg Rodeo and Romaniacs events, has confirmed that he will be competing at the TKO for the first time. He will be facing off against Gerston, Redmond and Groemm as well as a long list of top North American based riders including: Cody Webb, Taylor Robert, Mike Brown, Colton Haaker, Grant Baylor, Steward Baylor, Ty Tremaine, Cory Graffunder, Daniel Milner, Ricky Russell, Wally Palmer and Jordan Ashburn.
Brown is a Tennessee native and he took the win at the first two TKO’s in 2011 and 2012. He showed amazing toughness on both occasions but in 2012 in particular as he recovered from nearly being eliminated in an extremely challenging rock ledge section during the second knockout round. Brown struggled in 2013 to finish seventh and had to miss the 2014 event. So he will be back on his factory Husqvarna looking to defend his home turf. He has two wins already this season on the GEICO AMA EnduroCross tour including a win at the most recent round during the X Games event in Austin Texas so he is as strong as ever.
Haaker competed at the 2011 and 2013 TKO events with ninth and seventh place finishes respectively but he has continued to develop as a rider and is currently tied with Cody Webb for the GEICO AMA EnduroCross points lead so you can count on him to be a threat for the win.
“The TKO is good and difficult and I am returning after a two year absence” said Haaker, who won this year’s King of the Motos event. “I look forward to keeping my Hard Enduro top finishing string going.”
The UK’s Jonny Walker, multi time winner of the Erzberg Rodeo and Romaniacs Extreme Enduros, has confirmed that he will be competing at the TKO for the first time. He will be facing off against Brown and Haaker as well as a long list of top North American based riders including: Cody Webb, Taylor Robert, Grant Baylor, Steward Baylor, Ty Tremaine, Cory Graffunder, Daniel Milner, Ricky Russell, Max Gerston, Kyle Redmond, Wally Palmer and Jordan Ashburn.
Baylor finished a strong third at the 2014 TKO and now as a member of the KENDA-backed AmPro Yamaha team, he is looking forward to the 2015 event. “In 2013, I made the main and learned a lot” said Baylor. “I put in a lot of hard work and that helped me get a good result in 2014. I love riding the rocky terrain and it is nice to do a one off event with no points on the line and just let it all hang out there.”
Jordan Ashburn is a Tennessee native and he has competed in all four previous TKO events. The longtime AmPro Yamaha rider has shown great speed but will be looking for his first TKO podium in 2015.
Daniel Milner is an Australian transplant spending his first season racing in the US. He recently took a big win at the KENDA Full Gas Sprint Enduro series by outdueling Kailub Russell, the current GNCC Champion. This will be Milner’s first attempt at the TKO.
Cody Webb will be back to defend his TKO title and Great Britain’s Jonny Walker has confirmed he will be competing in his first TKO along with the AmPro Yamaha team riders. Look for more top riders to be confirmed as we close in on the event.
A separate Women’s Class has been added for the 2015 KENDA AMA Tennessee Knockout. The fifth running of the TKO will take place on the weekend of August 15-16 at the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie, Tennessee. And for the first time, the women will have their own class with a stand-alone main event scheduled to take place on Saturday afternoon at the conclusion of the Amateur competition. And to make it more interesting, event sponsors have put up a purse for the ladies with the top three taking home $300, $200 and $100 respectively.
The women will have their own designated rows during the Saturday Amateur competition and need to complete the 12-14 mile first loop in order to earn a spot in the main event. The qualified female riders will then compete in a ten lap final on a modified version of the Pro “Short Course”, which is approximately one mile long.
While the Amateur class entries are full, there are still openings for the women to enter. Please contact Catherine Bedley via the TKO Contact page or at 423-942-8688.
Moose Racing will be hosting a dinner for the Amateur day participants on Saturday afternoon at the conclusion of the awards ceremony.
Kenda Tire has teamed up with Seat Time to create a cool contest for 2015 Tennessee Knockout participants (amateur riders) to win a set of Kenda tires. To enter, post a picture or video of your TKO training to Instagram and use the hashtag #KendaTKOTraining.
Red BullKTM’s Jonny Walker is arguably the world’s top Extreme Enduro racer and he has accepted an invitation to compete at the 2015 KENDA AMA Tennessee Knockout. The TKO will be the first-ever major US race for the twenty four year-old British rider that has won the Romaniacs, Erzberg and Hell’s Gate Extreme enduros in 2015. The 2015 KENDA Tennessee Knockout will take place on the weekend of August 15-16 at the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie, Tennessee.
Walker had this to say about racing at the KENDA Tennessee Knockout:
I’m really looking forward to this opportunity to race in the States. With so much of my racing taking place in Europe, getting the chance to race against new riders on a track I’ve not been to before is really exciting. Things have been going really, really well so far this year so it would be great to keep my winning streak going. I know that guys like Cody Webb will be tough to beat, but I can’t wait to race against him and guys like Taylor Robert outdoors. It’s also going to be great to race in front of some of my US fans and sponsors. It’s going to be a blast.
Walker will face off against Cody Webb, the two time defending KENDA Tennessee Knockout winner. The two riders have raced each other several times in the past as both competed in the 2015 FIM SuperEnduro Championship, where Webb finished second and Walker third in the championship.
Webb has also traveled to Europe on a few occasions to compete at Erzberg and the Tough One events, where Walker came out ahead but that was a few years ago and on more familiar terrain for Walker. So the two should be well-matched when Webb is on home turf.