Bad luck and misfortune robbed KTM Enduro Factory Team rider Jonny Walker of a podium result at the 2013 Red Bull Romaniacs Hard Enduro event in Sibiu, Romania. Focused on a strong performance at the tenth anniversary of the event, Walker saw his chances of a top three result take a serious knock when he endured a multitude of problems on Day One. Despite winning Day Two overall, Walker ended the four-day race in fourth.
After placing second in the event-opening Prologue, Walker had run into trouble early on Day One. Starting the day second on the road, Walker soon worked his way into the lead – but his luck was about to run out.
“I crashed hard and lost my GPS navigation system,” he says. “It took some time to find it again. Then about five kilometres from the service check I ran out of fuel. I had no option but to push my bike for three kilometres until I could borrow some.”
Walker eventually made it to the checkpoint and got back in the race – despite losing over an hour – and pushed hard to gain time back, ending the day in fifth.
Knowing that any chance of victory was now lost, the young Brit fought his way back up the leader board by claiming the win on Day Two. Proving that he had the pace and ability to run at the front, Walker took a two-minute margin of victory and moved up to fourth position in the overall classification.
“Winning Day Two was great,” says Walker. “I wanted to show that without my problems I could have fought for the win and I did just that.”
Looking capable of claiming another win on Day Three, Walker rode hard until a stick got caught in his wheel during the afternoon and he was forced to stop and remove it. But with a good lead over the majority of his rivals, Walker still ended his day in second position and moved to within three minutes of a podium result.
With everything still to play for on the final day of racing, the KTM rider again got off to a great start, moving into a potential top three result overall. But Walker’s luck again deserted him when he missed a waypoint and went off course. Losing almost seven minutes in the process, his last chance of reaching the podium slipped away. Walker still ended the race in fourth position, only four minutes behind third-placed man Andreas Lettenbichler.
“I’m disappointed with how this race has turned out,” says Walker after enduring four days of gruelling riding. “I’ve had a multitude of problems all week that have set me back.
“Despite my bad luck I feel that I’ve ridden well,” he adds. “I know I could have challenged for the win. Hopefully next year.”
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