Adding more young talent to our motorsport roster, we’re pleased to announce we’ll be supporting up-and-coming Austrian enduro racer Michael Walkner as he takes on the 2021 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship! Already a part of the GASGAS family – Michael’s day job is as our official test and development enduro rider – he’ll now also join the GASGAS Factory Racing enduro team as an officially supported junior rider.
A seasoned and passionate competitor with international hard enduro experience, Michael will continue in his role as our official test and development rider while also receiving our full support as a GASGAS Factory Racing junior rider.
Setting his sights on becoming one of hard enduro’s leading riders, in competing in the 2021 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship the 23-year-old will gain valuable experience, while also getting the opportunity to further develop his hard enduro skills. Michael will compete on our EC 300 2-stroke.
With the start of the 2021 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship still some months off, Michael will first compete in the opening two rounds of the Italian Enduro Championship, in March. Using the events to re-familiarize himself within a racing environment, he’ll also use his time against the stopwatch to work on his speed. The Austrian will then switch his attention to the opening round of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship, scheduled for 7-9 May.
Michael Walkner - GASGAS Enduro Factory Team Junior Rider: "This is so exciting for me. I ride GASGAS bikes almost every day so to now be competing for the brand, it’s a real honor. Recently, I had been testing suspension settings together with Andrea Verona – the current Enduro1 World Champion – which was my first big test in such a professional environment. I learned so much and it was during those few days that I decided I wanted to give racing my best effort. I will have a small team, just myself, my family, support from GASGAS and other partners, but it will be great. In the past I had some small successes just with my family behind me, so with support from GASGAS I’m excited to see how I can progress. To think about the world championship title now would be premature, but it is definitely my long-term goal. For sure, in 2021 it’s unlikely, but the end goal is to be one of the best riders. I want to give everything and make the most of this opportunity. I can’t wait for the first round.”
Fabio Farioli – GASGAS Factory Racing Enduro Team Manager: “Supporting Michael as an official GASGAS Factory Racing junior rider gives him the backing he needs to compete at the next level. We know that he has the talent and drive to improve, he is young and very motivated, and also already has some international racing experience, so we’re looking forward to watching him progress as the year develops. We’re not putting any big expectations on Michael, we simply want to help him develop his talent and allow him to take on the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship with the right level of technical support.”