KTM factory rider Jonny Walker kept his podium hopes alive on Friday with another strong ride in the wilds of the Carpathian Mountains on Day three of the 2013 Red Bull Romaniacs.
Walker, the young British extreme rider finished the stage fit and fighting sandwiched between overall leader Graham Jarvis and in front of Alfredo Gomez, second overall after Day Two. Overall results for Day Three will be released later tonight. Walker also gained about five minutes on Friday on the leader Jarvis and still has a chance of repeating his 2012 effort and finish on the podium.
As Thursday’s stage winner, Walker was charged with opening the track on Friday. He went out fast and stayed at the front of the pack for the first half of stage. A small navigational error in the second half cost him the lead but he still gained an important five minutes on Jarvis at the end of the day.
Team manager Julian Stevens said Walker was fresh, feeling good and looking forward to the final day. “This is the tenth anniversary of the Romaniacs and I think tomorrow will be a very difficult day, “Stevens said. “But Johnny is happy and feeling great and many of the other riders are very tired after these hard days of riding.”
Veteran Romaniac and KTM rider Chris Birch of New Zealand is hanging in with the top riders and finished in sixth place on Day Three. UK KTM rider Paul Bolton finished fourth.
Not so lucky was KTM factory rider Cristobal Guerrero of Spain. He was close behind another rider on a very fast section when the rider in front overlooked a ditch and crashed. Unable to avoid him, Guerrero too crashed and both riders were taken to hospital for checks. Stevens said indications were that Guerrero’s injuries were not serious.
Teammate Ivan Cervantes retired after Day One following a small injury. He wanted to continue but he had to keep in mind that there is still one round of the Enduro World Championships to go. The Spanish rider has promised to return to contest the Romaniacs in 2014.
Unofficial Results Day 3
1, Graham Jarvis, UK, Husaberg 06:01:17
2, Jonny Walker, UK, KTM 06:05:06
3, Alfredo Gomez, Spain, Husaberg 06:24:23
4, Paul Bolton, UK KTM 06:29:30
5, Andreas Lettenbichler, Germany, Husqvarna 06:31:47
6, Chris Birch New Zealand, KTM, 06:35:08
7, Ben Hemingway, UK 06:45:48
8, Philipp Scholtz 07:04:40
9, Scott Bouverie 07:20:29
10, Dan Hemingway, UK 07:31:09