January has been a busy month for me with the two Eddy's Extremes where I finished second to David Knight in the first round, and second to Johnny Walker in the second round. I was happy with both results as the courses were both quite fast. Next on my schedule it was on to the Tough One for the first round of the Red Bull Extreme Championship. The track really was quite extreme with icy conditions, really steep hills and lots of rocky sections, all for a duration of two hours. After a run to the bikes to start, I set off in third place, by the end of the 1st lap I had a 30 second lead and at the half way point I had lapped everybody. As the last hour was in the dark it was a case of not making mistakes, especially up the hills. It was a fantastic result for me and was good for my confidence.
After a few days rest it was off to Italy to do some training with Golden Tyre for the new Extreme Mousse and to test the KTM Freeride for the Scottish Six Days Trial, which was a real fun bike to ride. A few days at home then I went to Toro Trail in Spain to do some practice and we got some awesome video footage which will be on YouTube soon, so stay tuned! Then it was time to get organized for the King of Motos as it was a last minute decision to ride, with this being the first year of the event nobody knew much about it and Jimmy Lewis was keeping it top secret. All we knew was it was 60 miles of flat out desert riding and 20 miles of rocks, so it would all depend how difficult the rocks were for my result, as this is where I know can make the time up. I have no desert riding experience at all, so I knew I would have to adapt quickly, especially on the fast sections. I got a good start in second behind Kurt Caselli and held it for the first couple of miles until I made some mistakes on the whoops sections by picking wrong lines and was riding cautiously, as I was new to this type of terrain.
When I got to the first rock section I was glad to see it was quite difficult, as I could see the riders in front of me and realized I could get some time back. I passed some riders here and rode over a Kawasaki (sorry whoever it was), but it was soon back to fast going where I got overtaken again. This scenario repeated itself for the first half of the race. I was up near the front with Cody Webb and Kyle Redmond when I got completely lost and confused for over 10 minutes as the terrain all looked the same to me, so when I got back on track I really started pushing to catch them.
I passed Cody after he was broke down and then soon caught up with Kurt. When I got to the fuel stop I was told Kyle was 10 minutes in front, so I gave it everything from that point on and made loads of time up in the rocky gulley’s. I eventually caught up with Kyle and passed him. I got a few minutes lead then got lost again, but luckily Kyle had broken his GPS and also got lost so I got to the end and was surprised to get the win by a good margin. Some luck definitely played it's part in this race. It was an incredible experience riding in the desert and I loved every minute of it. A huge thanks to Kyle for putting up with me for a week!