KTM’S WALKER FINISHES THIRD IN DAY TWO OF ROMANIACS
KTM rider Jonny Walker on Friday finished third in the second day of the 2012 Red Bull Romaniacs, moving up one position behind the two dominant veterans Britain’s Graham Jarvis and Germany’s Andreas Lettenbichler who now have a substantial lead.
The 21-year old Briton who has emerged as a future star in the Hard Enduro scene came off his first ever victory in the notorious Red Bull Hare Scramble in Erzberg just last weekend. He admitted that he had been feeling the pressure on Day Two of the race set in the picturesque mountain landscape of Transylvania, particularly having Spanish rider Xavi Galindo hunt him down for the second half of the race. Galindo eventually finished fourth.
The physical side of this endurance race obviously caught up with Jonny Walker who overslept in the morning and almost missed the start. He even had to program his GPS after take-off. It is Jonny’s first experience with GPS in such an event and he was pleased to report he is getting used to it. “Fast and flowing tracks today, I really enjoyed it! I'm getting good with the navigation, only got lost once today! I'm here for the experience this year and want to come back next year to kick some butt. I would be stoked if I can make to the podium of this unbelievable race! I'll ask my mechanic to wake me up in time tomorrow!”
While Jonny moved up the order, race veteran Chris Birch of New Zealand was not so lucky. A regular winner here in the Romaniacs, Birch is carrying a niggling foot injury from his first outing in the Dakar Rally and also hurt his other foot on Day One. This meant he was uncomfortable standing on the foot pegs today, which put him at a significant disadvantage but he soldiered on for seventh place. Both Walker and Birch are riding KTM 300 EXCs.
Day Two proved to be such a challenge that many ended up off their bikes including such experienced riders as Jarvis, who also crashed several times. This did not deter the Husaberg rider from putting an impressive distance between him and the rest of the field.
Uncharacteristically the race is being held in hot weather. Usually the Romaniacs is a much muddier affair and riders are used to battling weather as well as course but organizer Martin Freinademetz confirmed that riding conditions are better than ever this year. “We had plenty of rain until the last day before the prologue. That gives us very good grip and no dust,” he said. “This will allow most riders to complete the 2012 Red Bull Romaniacs over the 600 km of marked track.” He added that if it had rained the field would have already been reduced by 20-30%.
Unofficial Results Day Two
1. Graham Jarvis (GB), Husaberg
2. Andreas Lettenbichler (D), Husqvarna
3. Jonny Walker (GB), KTM
4. Xavier Galindo (E), Husberg
5. Melcior Faja (E), KTM
6. Ervin Kovacs (RO), KTM
7. Chris Birch (NZ), KTM
8. Altus de Wet (RSA), KTM