WALKER BACK IN THE ROMANIACS GAME
Jonny Walker picks up the pace to win day two at Red Bull Romaniacs and claim the overall lead
In perfect sync with the sunrise this morning, the first riders took off to tackle day two of the Red Bull Romaniacs. Mechanics of the professional riders warned to go easy for the first several meters with the grass still wet from the morning dew. After that it was “wide open” on the well marked and used tracks, which are the classic playground of the local Sibiu enduro community.
Jonny Walker (KTM) seems to have been right about writing off yesterday as a bad day and moving forward. He was on fire and dominated the race from start to finish. After his third place yesterday, Walker started the morning chasing Jarvis – who started six minutes ahead of him.
In the faster morning sections, he managed to gain significant time on Jarvis and eventually caught him up. They then started riding in direct competition throughout most of the day and through the hardest parts. Both cleared the most extreme sections in almost identical times and notably faster than anyone else. Walker later started making an effort to pull away from Jarvis, only succeeding in the final fast stretch.
Working his way into the game, Wade Young brought his KTM home in third. Needing day one to shake out the bugs, Young looked good on day two and is feeling good for the remainder of the week.
Setting off overly eager caused problems for some of the riders this morning, among them Andreas Lettenbichler (KTM) and Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna). They both took a wrong turn at an intersection splitting the Gold and Silver class from Bronze and Iron.
Navigating only by the track markings and not watching their GPS, they missed a Gold-loop. Jarvis somehow realised his mistake and turned back to salvage his day while Letti continued on and missed the checkpoint, along with a few other riders. All of whom received penalty times.
When Letti arrived at the finish, he commented…
“After I realised, that I missed a checkpoint, I just continued the race on my own rhythm. We will have to see how much of a penalty I receive tonight and decide what that means for the rest of the race.”
Letti’s son Manuel (KTM) also got to taste some Red Bull Romaniacs pain and arrived quite tired and sore at the finish. But he was in good spirits and happy about his 11th place result for the day – arriving a good hour past the leading Walker.
Unfortunately Chris Birch (KTM) is an early retirement of the race. While cruising in fourth gear he had a nasty high-speed crash. With a damaged bike and feeling a bit dizzy, he decided to play it safe and quit while he was ahead.
As he left the track towards the Service Point, Chris was spotted helping Silver class riders up a difficult section. Aside from a few bad bruises he is ok.
The Red Bull Romaniacs Silver class were in for a bit of a relief after yesterday’s beast of an opening day and made it to the finish in reasonable times and good spirits.
The Bronze class kept cruising along, still not knowing why they are spared the major pain, while the Iron class got their first taste of “tough” today.