After a tough outing on Day One of the tenth anniversary edition of the Red Bull Romaniacs Hard Enduro, KTM factory rider Jonny Walker turned his game around on Thursday to take line honors.
Walker put the tribulations of crashes, losing his GPS device and fuel issues behind him and had a great day out on the track in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. He was first across the line after 5 hours 50 minutes and 40 seconds on his KTM machine.
Day two was faster and easier than the now notorious Day One when only a handful of the 40 professional riders finished the day but apart from one small navigational error for the young UK rider it was all systems go for Walker. He was also able to pick up about 15 minutes time on overall leader Graham Jarvis who finished in fifth place.
Walker finished in front of Spaniard Alfredo Gomes and veteran Romaniac Andreas Lettenbichler of Germany. KTM’s New Zealand Romaniac veteran Chris Birch finished sixth to be up with the elite Extreme riders.
Jonny Walker: “Today was mega and I’m so happy to have won the day. I gave it everything I had and charged hard all day and was able to win by more than two minutes. Hopefully this is a step in the right direction, I’m getting closer to the podium!”
Walker took a podium third last year, which was a strong result for the young rider. Jarvis and Lettenbichler, older and much more experienced, took the top two 2012 places. Jonny’s top result is also an indication that he has finally put the effects of glandular fever behind him and that he is able and willing to fight with the elite in the group.
After fighting their way through the countryside, the final part of the stage took riders through a disused coal processing plant – a stark contrast to the rolling hills and forests of the Carpathians.
KTM factory rider Cristobal Guerrero was a determined finisher on Thursday after a torturous day on Wednesday when he was 15 hours and 36 minutes on the trails. Teammate Ivan Cervantes did not start on Thursday after twisting his knee in Wednesday’s marathon.
The tenth edition of the Romaniacs concludes on Saturday.
Unofficial Day 2 Results (no official and no overall yet available)
1. Jonny Walker. UK. KTM 5:50.40
2. Alfred Gomez. Spain. 5:52:45
3. Andreas Lettenbichler. Germany. Husqvarna. 6:01:48
4. Paul Bolton. UK. 6:05:26
5. Graham Jarvis. Husaberg. 6:05:46
6. Chris Birch. New Zealand. 6:06:11
7. Ben Hemingway
8. Alex Van den Broek
9. Rienk Tuinstra
10. Dan Hemingway