Injuries force Gomez and Walker out of Red Bull Romaniacs

Red Bull Romaniacs 2017 – Sibiu (Romania)
Alfredo Gomez - KTM 300 EXC - Red Bull Romaniacs - Sibiu, Romania - 2017

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Red Bull Romaniacs started off well for the KTM factory riders. Alfredo Gomez, on form following his win at the ErzbergRodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble, took the Prologue event in his stride and in lapping most of the Gold class competitors took a comfortable win.

Gomez: “I had such a great ride at Erzberg, I wanted to bring that form to Romania. Things started off well, winning the prologue relatively easily. I was so excited for the first offroad day, I wanted to go for the win.”

Jonny Walker’s performance was equally as solid. He finished in a strong third position, not far behind his team-mate. These results set them up well for day one.

Walker: “I came into Romaniacs with one thing on my mind – to repeat my win from 2015. The prologue went quite well, I was happy with my ride and my bike was perfect. Finishing third meant I was first on the road on day one, which wasn’t ideal. I was keen to get started though and despite making a few mistakes, I came in third."

Offroad day one

Gomez started day one as one of the main favourites for the event victory. Disappointingly, only minutes into the first day a small mistake by the Spaniard resulted in a crash and a pinched nerve in his leg.

Gomez: “Unfortunately, eight minutes after the start on day one I crashed and ended up landing badly on my leg. I pinched a nerve, which caused me to lose some feeling. I also hurt my back a little so I had to make the difficult decision to retire from the race. It’s hugely disappointing but it can happen. I’ll work hard to by fully fit for Red Bull Megawatt”

Walker’s day one went a lot better. The British rider overcame the disadvantage of starting first on the road and put in a great performance on what turned out to be one of the toughest ever days at Romaniacs.

Offroad day two

The second offroad day started well for Walker, his pace was good and he soon caught up the time to the leaders. An especially tricky, near-vertical descent caught out many of the riders shortly before the service point. Unfortunately, Walker was one of those riders.

Walker: “On day two I started off really well. Then a crash on a treacherous downhill, through a rocky gully, resulted in me trapping my hand under the bike. I knew straight away I had hurt it pretty badly but carried on to the service area. Afterwards, I found it really hard to keep up with the leaders. I couldn’t hold on to the bike properly and my riding suffered.”

Walker continued the day as best he could to finish a commendable third.

Offroad day three

Setting off on day three, Walker’s hand was still giving him a lot of pain. Despite trying his best, he simply couldn’t ride safely and with the risk of further injury too great he was forced to stop.

Walker: “I made the start on day three, hoping for the best, but it just wasn’t to be. I couldn’t hang onto the bars properly with my left hand. I couldn’t operate the clutch properly either, which is one of the most important things at Romaniacs. I decided it was best not to risk more injury and really I had no option but to retire.

“I’m gutted because I was really happy with my riding. I was able to catch Graham during the morning on day two and was really confident of a good result. It’s disappointing to have to retire over such a small thing, but that’s racing I guess.”

Gomez and Walker now have a six-week break before their next hard enduro event, the Red Bull 111 Megawatt held in Kleszczów, Poland on September 9-10th.

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Jonny Walker - KTM 300 EXC - Red Bull Romaniacs - Sibiu, Romania - 2017
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