Graham Jarvis wins the 2017 Sea to Sky Hard Enduro title in Turkey
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Graham Jarvis has proven the man to beat once again, in taking home the Red Bull Sea to Sky hard enduro title in Turkey, from Sherco riders Mario Roman and Wade Young.
Powered by his TE 300, Jarvis made light work of the challenging near four-hour mountain race to finish just under one-and-a-half minutes ahead of runner-up Mario Roman. In doing so Jarvis claimed his fifth Sea to Sky victory.
As always Jarvis made a cautious start to the event, completing the opening beach race without mistakes and in fifth position. Then finishing the forest race in fourth position, he did what he set out to do and secured a front row starting position for the third and final day’s mountain race.
Battling his way through the dusty early stages of the race following a good start, Graham fell and damaged his clutch master cylinder. Managing to make repairs he pushed on knowing his chance of podium result hinged on his speed up the rocky climbs close to the finish. Working his way through the arduous final metres of the race he moved his way to the front to secure a well-deserved fifth Sea to Sky victory.
Graham Jarvis – P1
“It’s a great feeling to win again here at Sea to Sky. This win means more than ever because the level of the other riders is just so much higher now. To get the win after such a closely fought battle feels amazing. I got a good start in today’s mountain race, but as soon as we got into the forest it was just so dusty – I had to just had to ride behind the guy in front. I had a silly crash and broke the clutch master cylinder, but with a bit of string and duct tape I managed to fix it up. It worked but it wasn’t perfect. The middle of the course is quite flowing and fast, so I didn’t think I would be able to catch the guys in front. I just rode steady because I knew it got a lot tougher at the top. Towards the end there’s about 100 metres of rocks, and I got through them really well and managed to get past the others. From there it was just the final push to the top.”
The event started off well for KTM’s official team riders. Alfredo Gomez rode an excellent Beach Race, despite a nasty crash that resulted in an injured arm. Gomez finished third, only just beaten by his team-mate Jonny Walker at the final obstacle.
The forest race was a little tougher for Gomez. A couple of mistakes cost him some time early on with the Spaniard deciding to ride at a steady pace in order to reach the finish in one piece. After a less than perfect start to the Mountain Race, Alfredo rode superbly to pick his way through the field to finish fourth and just a few minutes from the podium.
Alfredo Gomez – P4
“I’ve enjoyed my time here in Turkey, it’s always a fun event. The week started off well with a third place on the beach. That whole race was really tough and everyone was swapping positions quite often. I missed out on the runner-up position by only a couple of seconds when Jonny passed me on the last lap, but overall it was good. The Forest Race didn’t go so well for me. My pace was good, but the race was very hot and dusty and tougher than previous years. I tried to keep to a good rhythm in order to get to the finish safely and get a good start position for the final race. The Mountain Race was tough. My start wasn’t great, I got into the forest and the tracks were so dusty it was difficult to ride properly. There had been some rain over night so further up the hill the dust turned to mud, which made things even more tricky. I caught Graham and for a lot of the race we were riding quite close – he would make some time then I would catch him back up. Nearer the top I could see Mario and Wade up ahead and I tried my best to catch them but couldn’t quite make it. Fourth is encouraging after a bad start, but of course it would be better to finish on the podium. I’ll regroup and prepare myself for the next race.”
Jarvis’ Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing teammate Billy Bolt also successfully completed the 2017 running of the three-day Sea to Sky event to finish fifth in the mountain race. Starting the competition in the best possible way with victory in the opening beach race, Billy then placed third in the mountain race to start the final day of racing confident of a strong result.
From a good start, Billy frustratingly made a mistake on one of the early obstacles, leaving the beach trailing the rest of the front row starters. Forced to bide his time on the dusty lower section of the track, as the climbs became more technical Billy, like Jarvis, started to work his way forward to reach to top of the Olympus Mountain in fifth position.
Billy Bolt – P5
“I’m really happy with how things have gone this week. I’ve made it to the finish three days in a row, relatively drama-free. Compared to last year this has been a million times better. I got a good start today, but made a mistake on one of the obstacles on the beach. I ended up being last to leave the beach out of the top group and then into the forest the dust was unbelievable. I just had to sit behind and deal with it best I could. As things began to get more technical, towards the top, I was able to get past a few people. To finish in fifth after such a bad start is really good. It’s been a good week, two podiums and a fifth – I can’t complain with that. The results are getting better every race and my consistency is good, so I just have to keep doing what I’m doing.”
KTM’s Jonny Walker made an excellent start in the beach race, leading the 50 top-qualifiers down the Turkish start straight. A small mistake resulted in him losing the lead but after some close racing the Brit held on for second at the line.
The Forest Race also saw Walker finish as runner-up. Catching and passing Billy Bolt on the 50km course, Walker was first to reach the finish. He was just pipped to the win by Wade Young who was slightly faster on corrected time.
Unfortunately, the Mountain Race did not go Jonny’s way. After a difficult start, and struggling with the dust, a few mistakes cost him too much time, preventing him from fighting for the podium. Pushing hard, he eventually placed sixth.
Jonny Walker – P6
“The week has gone quite well for me, it’s just disappointing not to cap it off with a good result on the Mountain Race. Getting two second places in the beach and forest races was great. I was riding well and the bike felt good. “I really enjoyed the Beach Race, I got a good start and managed to get out in front. A couple of mistakes meant the others caught back up and it was a closely fought battle from there on. The Forest Race went well, it was tiring but I settled into a good pace and kept pushing. I passed Billy and crossed the line first, it just wasn’t quite enough to take the win on corrected time. I didn’t get the best of starts on the Mountain Race. Graham caught me in the forest and we were riding together for a while. The dust was a nightmare. I made a silly mistake and managed to get a stone wedged in the back wheel, that cost me some time and Alfredo got past. As we climbed the mountain I thought I would be able to make up some time on those ahead as the riding got more difficult, but that didn’t happen. I’m was glad to get to the finish without too many problems, I just wish I was a little higher up the order.”
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.