Red Bull KTM’s Extreme Enduro specialist Jonny Walker got himself off to a roaring start in the 2015 Red Bull Romaniacs on Tuesday with a decisive victory in the event prologue in the streets of Sibiu, Romania.
Walker looked controlled and untroubled as he tackled the daunting range of obstacles in the street course, finishing his 11 laps in 16 minutes and 50 seconds. Second and third were the British rider’s two regular Husqvarna rivals Alfredo Gomez and Graham Jarvis.
Jonny Walker: “It was a really great race. I hardly put a foot wrong for the whole thing. I knew the holeshot would be important to stay out of trouble so I made sure I got to the first obstacle in the lead. That gave me a clean first lap and I managed to open up a little gap. I rode hard for the first few laps and just tried to maintain my lead. With my prologue win I now have the option of starting third tomorrow, which I plan on doing. That should give me both Graham and Alfredo to chase. I’m looking forward to it.”
Walker carries the red plate as the title defender and can now choose his starting position for Wednesday, the first day out in the forest and mountain landscape of the surrounding Carpathian Mountains.
KTM riders took seven of the top ten places with Paul Bolton (UK) fourth, Red Bull KTM Factory rider Andreas Lettenbichler (GER) fifth, Chris Birch (NZ) sixth, Manuel Lettenbichler (son of Andreas) in seventh, British rider Jonathan Richardson ninth, and South Africa’s Wade Young completing the top ten.
Riders were challenged with a daunting array of obstacles that required extreme strength and concentration and favored those with trials skills. In addition to the now classic SuperEnduro features like the log matrix and the rock garden, they also had to negotiate a ‘sea’ of loose tires, raised railway tracks, a section of fallen trees complete with leaves and branches, trash skips and even got blasted with a snow cannon in the final stage of each lap.
However whatever organizers put in their way on Tuesday will only be the warm-up for another three days of hard riding over incredibly challenging natural terrain of the kind over which Walker usually shines. The defending champion and Red Bull Hare Scramble winner looks set to continue his golden season of Hard Enduro.
Red Bull Romaniacs
Prologue Results – Gold Class
(Launches this 4-day Hard Enduro event in and around Sibiu, Romania)
1, Jonny Walker, GBR, KTM (11 laps 16 minutes 50)
2, Alfredo Gomez, ESP, Husqvarna, 17:06
3, Graham Jarvis, GBR, Husqvarna, 18:10
4, Paul Bolton, GBR, KTM, 18:22
5, Andreas Lettenbichler, GER, KTM, 18:31
6, Chris Birch, NZL, KTM (10 laps) – 17:42
7, Manuel Lettenbichler, GER, KTM (10 laps) – 18:00
8, Blake Gutzeit, RSA, Husqvarna (10 laps) – 18:42
9, Jonathon Richardson, GBR, KTM (9 laps) – 16:51
10, Wade Young, RSA, KTM (9 laps) – 17:02
12, David Cyprian, CZE, KTM (9 laps) – 18:58
13, Lars Enoeckl, AUT, KTM (9 laps) – 19:00
15, Scott Bouverie, RSA, KTM (8 laps) – 17:25
16, Philipp Scholz, GER, KTM (8 laps) – 17:30
18, Travis Teasdale, RSA, KTM (8 laps) – 18:17
20, Andy Noakley GBR, KTM (8 laps) – 18:40
21, Philipp Schneider, AUT, KTM (8 laps) – 19:25
22, Dwayne Kleynhans, RSA, KTM (7 laps) – 18:34
23, Otto Freund, GER, KTM (7 laps) – 18:49
25, Benjamin Diesel, AUT, KTM (5 laps) – 17:31
First day (of 3) Hard Enduro tomorrow, Wednesday
Live Results available on the Red Bull Romaniacs APP
More (including streaming) at www.redbullromaniacs.com