July 31st, 2019.

PAR Homes Zip Racing ATVs R Us Yamaha’s Harry Walker turned a back-row start into two credible fifth-place finishes and fourth overall at the third round of the FIM-affiliated EMX Quad European Championship in Stelpe, Latvia last weekend.

In timed qualifying, the young Brit left it until the last of the nine laps to post a best time of 1.45:916, behind championship leader Kevin Saar (Estonia) and Christopher Tvaraen (Norway), relegating Italian Patrick Turrini into fourth in the process. Unfortunately, his championship onslaught took a bit of a nosedive in qualifying when, thanks to a puncture, he went from claiming the holeshot to last place, leaving the 20-year-old with an uphill battle for race day.

Walker worked his way from the back of the gate in the opening 15-lap moto, in a thrilling race that saw plenty of action. While Walker had his head down, picking off the 20-plus international riders, out front, championship leader Saar’s charge was brought to an abrupt halt with suspension problems. This left the way open for a new face out front in the form of Poland’s Roman Gwiazda, with Swede Sune Lewnader in second. Walker bagged an impressive fifth.

In the second race, and again, battling the searing Latvian heat, as well as a smoking quad, Walker stayed focussed, putting in similar lap times to the riders ahead. Saar went for the win in front of Latvian home rider Valerijs Kuzmins, who overtook Lewander in the last corner on the last lap. Walker held his ground, taking another strong fifth, and fourth overall.

With one round remaining at Croatia over the weekend of the 31st August/1st September, Walker, on 95 points, holds joint fourth in the championship, with Gwiazda just two points off Kuzmins in third. With 50 points on the table and a difference of 31 points (leader Saar), 17 points (second-placed Turrini) Walker still has a mathematical chance of getting on the championship podium.

Race 1; 1. Roman Gwiazda (Poland), 2. Sune Lewnader (Sweden), 3. Patrick Turrini (Italy), 4. Christopher Tvaraen (Norway), 5. Harry Walker (GBR).

Race 2; 1. Kevin Saar, 2. Valerijs Kuzmins (Latvia), 3. Sune Lewander, 4. Patrick Turrini, 5. Harry Walker

Overall; 1. Sune Lewander 42 points, 2. Patrick Turrini 38, 3. Valerijs Kuzmins 37, 4. Harry Walker 32

Championship; 1. Kevin Saar 126 points, 2. Patrick Turrini 112, 3. Valerijs Kuzmins 97, 4. Harry Walker 95, 5. Roman Gwiazda 95.

Image credit: Nikki Walker
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