Jonny Walker, the current AMA EnduroCross champion and former winner of major international Hard Enduro events, including the Erzbergrodeo and Red Bull Romaniacs, has had a strong 2023 season so far. The Beta rider finished second to Billy Bolt in the FIM SuperEnduro championship and backed that up with a fourth-place finish at the Erzbergrodeo in June.
Tim Apolle has spent a lot of time racing in the US, including a couple of seasons of AMA EnduroCross. The German has earned several podiums in EnduroCross and international Hard Enduro events. He loves to put on a show so he is a fun rider to keep an eye on.
Pennsylvania’s Danny Lewis is a strong up and coming rider that has focused on the AMA US Hard Enduro championship for the past few years. A switch to Beta motorcycles in 2023 has contributed to several top ten finishes including a fifth place at the Snake Bike Hard Enduro in Texas.
The 2023 Red Bull Tennessee Knockout will take place at the Trials Training Center on August 18-20, 2023. There are still entries available for the Saturday amateur classes, including the ECR eMoto class. Click here to enter.
A separate link will be sent directly to the pre-qualified Amateur and Pro riders.
The Beta rider from the UK just finished runner-up in the 2023 FIM SuperEnduro championship for the second year in a row and plans to compete in selected high-profile events before coming back to the US to defend his AMA EnduroCross championship. The high-intensity knockout format at the TKO suits Walker’s strengths.
“I am super excited to come back to race the TKO,” said Walker. “I am picking some special outdoor races this year that I enjoy, and the TKO is one that I have not won, so I would like to tick that off my list.”
The 2023 Red Bull Tennessee Knockout will take place at the Trials Training Center on August 18-20, 2023. The top North American riders will take on some of the world’s best Hard Enduro riders in a four-round pro race format on Sunday.
Up to 500 additional riders can sign up for the amateur racing that will take place on Friday and Saturday to aim for an AMA Grand Championship number one plate.
Amateur riders are encouraged to enter the TKO before the early-bird entry discount ends. Riders can enter here.
A separate link will be sent directly to the pre-qualified Amateur and Pro riders
American Cody Webb (@codywebb2) and the UK’s Jonny Walker (@jonnywalker_22) waged an epic back and forth battle for the win at the fifth annual KENDA AMA Tennessee Knockout (@tkoenduro) presented by Moose Racing and SRT Offroad. Webb eventually wore Walker down and opened a small gap with just a few laps remaining to take his third consecutive win at the Trials Training Center.
The KENDA Tennessee Knockout uses a unique four-round Sunday format to narrow down a fifty-five rider field. It consist of a Hot Lap on a mile-long short course that Webb won with a 3:41 lap time. FMF KTM’s Taylor Robert (@taylor_robert33) was second in that timed session and Walker rounded out the top three. Husqvarna’s Colton Haaker and Mike Brown finished fourth and fifth.
After the Hot Lap, the 51 riders that managed to complete a lap competed in the first Knockout round, which was a 14 mile off-road loop that was a race against the clock with the riders taking off in 30-second intervals in the order of their Hot Lap Times. Robert surprised Webb by catching him near the end of the lap and passing him for the physical lead and finished with a thirty-one second gap and a 48:45 Lap time. Walker also managed to set a faster time than Webb to take the second position just 25 seconds behind Robert. SRT Offroad’s Cory Graffunder set the fourth fastest time and Mike Brown was fifth. Only the top twenty-five riders would move on to the second Knockout round, which would feature five groups of five riders racing head to head.
Those top five riders were the top seed in each group and only the top three in each would earn a spot in the fifteen rider main event. Knockout two would again use the long loop but with more difficult sections added so the lap time increased to 54:41 for the fastest rider, which was again Robert. Walker, Webb, Graffunder and Brown also won each of their respective groups to earn front row starting spots for the main event.
When the fifteen riders launched out off the line for the main event, which was back on the short course for a 30-minute plus one lap race, it was Walker that got aggressive and took the lead out of the first turn. Webb and Robert were close behind so it looked like the fans were in for an epic battle between the top three riders from the morning Knockout rounds. Unfortunately for Robert, he got stuck on a hill on the first lap after almost hitting the back of Webb and pushed himself deep into the field.
The battle between Walker and Robert was intense from the beginning with the two trading the lead several times during the first two-thirds of the nine-lap race. Then Walker did not make it up one of the extremely technical hills and he blocked Webb and both were forced to go back to the bottom to make another attempt. The crowd was cheering loudly as they jockeyed for position and Webb managed to get turned around quicker and take the lead. At this point, Walker was starting to feel the fatigue of the intense pace, high temperatures and humidity so Webb managed to slowly pull away in the final few laps to take the win with a one-minute and 43-second gap.
This was Webb’s third win in a row at the TKO, and combined with his 2014 GEICO AMA EnduroCross championship, it is hard to argue that he is the best Extreme off-road racer in America right now. And he was facing off against Walker, who many would argue is currently the strongest Extreme off-road racer in the world. “I had chills running down my back from the fatigue and I know that Jonny felt a little sick the last few days and also had to deal with jetlag, so I am happy that I was I was able to take the win”, Webb said. “This is definitely right up there with the biggest wins I have ever had with all of the tough riders that showed up for this event”.
Walker was disappointed to not get the win but had high praise for Webb and liked the format. “This race was shorter than most of the races that I do but the intensity was very high”, Walker said. “I will definitely be back next year looking to get the win.”
Robert rebounded from his mishap on the first lap as well as another one on lap two. He battled with Brown for several laps and made the pass to take third once only to be pushed back to fourth again after an aggressive counter pass. Robert eventually got by to solidly secure the final podium spot. “I got stuck on a pretty small hill on that first lap and that put me way back”, Robert said. “I have improved my technical skills a lot over the last few years but I can’t make up time on Cody and Jonny on this kind of terrain, but I am happy to get back on the podium.”
Husqvarna’s Brown held on for fourth, the last rider to remain on the lead lap. Gruffunder had a steady ride to take fifth on his KTM.
Beta’s Kyle Redmond finished sixth. Haaker was seventh on his factory Husqvarna. AmPro Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn, who is a Tennessee native finished eight. RPM KTM’s Ty Tremaine finished ninth and Beta’s Max Gerston rounded out the top ten.
2015 KENDA AMA Tennessee Knockout, presented by Moose Racing and SRT Offroad. Results:
1. Cody Webb – KTM
2. Jonny Walker – KTM
3. Taylor Robert – KTM
4. Mike Brown – Husqvarna
5. Cory Graffunder – KTM
6. Kyle Redmond – Beta
7. Colton Haker – Husqvarna
8. Jordan Ashburn – Yamaha
9. Ty Tremaine – KTM
10. Max Gerston – Beta
11. Grant Baylor – Yamaha
12. Ricky Russell – Yamaha
13. Mitch Carvolth – KTM
14. Quinn Wentzel – KTM
15. Wally Palmer – KTM/Christini
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.