Jonny Walker has been forced to withdraw from Red Bull Romanaics after the British rider suffered further injury to his previously broken leg.
The KTM rider was making his return to racing after breaking his leg at the second last round of the FIM SuperEnduro Championship.
Having already missed Erzberg, Walker was hoping to make a strong impression upon his return but it wasn’t to be with reports stating Walker took a massive hit to the same leg.
“I was riding through deep grass and cracked my boot against a hidden tree stump. The impact was so hard that it pulled my foot from the foot peg and I fell forward on to my “crown jewels”. The whole thing was like a comedy about a guy who’s never been on a motorcycle. Then I realised the sharp pain in me right leg and rode standing on one leg to the service point,” Walker said before his transport to the hospital.
There was more bad news to come out of the first day of racing, with Paul Bolton also retiring from the race due to neck pain and blurred vision. “I trained really hard for this year’s Red Bull Romaniacs and am very disappointed. The race for me is over after just a few hours on the bike. In this tough terrain you have to be able to concentrate 100% so it makes no sense for me to continue with severe pain, I’ll just be risking even more injury. I came here to win but unfortunately this year it is not to be. “Said Paul Bolton in an interview.
South Africa’s Wade Young rose to the occasion and continued to push, showing some strategy skills, that distinguish Red Bull Romaniacs veterans. He found himself some riding buddies to cross the unwelcoming Romanian wilderness together with and teamed up with Graham Jarvis (GBR) and Alfredo Gomez (ESP). This earned him the victory for the day, with a better time than Gomez, who was the first to arrive at the finish. Gomez ended up 2nd and Jarvis only finished 4th in today’s ranking. The third place went to Travis Teasdale, leaving the Offroad Day 1 podium dominated by 2 South Africans.
Wade Young: “I started as 8th this morning – so quite far back. I tried to push hard at the beginning before everyone started to spread out. Pretty much rode in a group with Graham in the morning and Gomez and Mani after the SP. Half way through Gomez pulled away and I stayed with Jarvis. I didn’t try to push too hard, just kept it together, it’s going to be a long race. It was 8 hours in the saddle today – and a hard 8 hours. Today was meant to be one of the easier days…!”
Gomez: “This morning, before the SP I tried to push as much as possible but I did not manage to find my flow. Then, after the SP I decided to take more risks. I was riding in groups with Graham and Wade until 1 hour before the finish. After passing them on a downhill, I just went for it and rode by myself until the finish.”
Jarvis: “Lots of long grass for me today, being the first out on the trails. The “Appetizer” was probably the hardest section. After the SP the riding was slow and went on forever with loose rocks and scattered trees you just had to keep picking your line. I really regret that Walker and Bolton are out: It is always sad because whoever wins, wants to say they beat everyone – and not because of DNF. I’m glad to just still be in the race and hope to just keep going.”