Bel-Ray Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Graham Jarvis delivered a flawless performance at the Hard Enduro Piatra Neamt in Romania to win round two of the European Extreme Enduro Championship. And with Alfredo Gomez placing third it was an event to remember for Husqvarna Motorcycles.
As the defending event champion, Jarvis entered HEPN as one of the main favourites for victory. But with race attracting a host of world-class extreme enduro riders for the second round of the newly introduced European Extreme Enduro Championship it was never going to be an easy race.
Placing second in Friday’s Prologue, Jarvis got his weekend off to a strong start. Starting day one in second, Jarvis set about reeling in close rival Jonny Walker. Catching Walker on the final hill climb, Jarvis battled his way past to win the day. With a sizable advantage in hand starting day two, Jarvis rode steadily and smart. Making few mistakes he crossed the finish line directly behind Walker to ensure the outright win and with it took control of the championship lead.
Making his debut ride at HEPN, Alfredo Gomez was quick to impress. Fourth in the Prologue, the Spaniard delivered a solid performance on day one to catch and pass Walker to place second. On day two a few mistakes held Gomez back. Losing time to leaders Jarvis and Walker, Gomez ended his day in third and narrowly lost out on the outright runner-up result by just six seconds.
Graham Jarvis: “It’s great to get another win at the HEPN and also take the lead in the European Extreme Enduro Championship. It’s been a tough couple of days. Rain on day one made things very slippery and greasy and also navigation was hard. On the last hill I managed to pass Jonny and take the win. That gave me a good advantage entering the final day so I knew that if I rode smart the outright win was mine. Jonny caught me early and was pushing hard so I just tried to stay close to him. We pretty much arrived to the finish together so I knew I had won the race – it’s been a brilliant weekend.”
Alfredo Gomez: “It’s been a close race. I’m happy to have finished on the podium but just a little disappointed to have missed out on the runner-up result by only six seconds. The conditions were tricky and I got lost about five times on day one. It’s only my first time here so overall I’m pleased to get a top three result.”
Results – Hard Enduro Piatra Neamt – Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 4:53:48; 2. Jonny Walker 4:56:51; 3. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) 4:56:5
Runner-Up Result For Walker At Hard Enduro Piatra Neamt
KTM Enduro Factory rider Jonny Walker claimed a positive runner-up result at the Hard Enduro Piatra Neamt in Romania, round two of the European Extreme Enduro Championship.
Fresh off his dominating win in the Red Bull Hare Scramble at Erzberg, Walker arrived in Romania eager to continue his winning ways. With the race staged over three days Walker got off to a flying start by securing a convincing win in the event opening prologue.
But with the prologue results determining the starting order for day one, Walker was faced with the difficult task of leading the field of riders out into the Romanian countryside. Navigation was difficult and with few tracks to follow Walker lost his way several times, allowing close rivals Graham Jarvis and Alfredo Gomez to close in. Ending his day third his result ultimately cost him a chance of the overall win.
Determined to make amends – and helped by starting third on day two – Walker quickly reeled in both Jarvis and Gomez, who started ahead of him, to win day two. But with the duo following Walker closely he was unable to pull away sufficiently to secure the outright victory. Nevertheless he secured a strong runner-up result.
Jonny Walker: “Overall it’s been an enjoyable race. For my first time at the HEPN I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I felt I was riding well enough to challenge for the victory. Friday’s Prologue went to plan and I was able to win it by about seven seconds. In hindsight that probably wasn’t my best tactical decision of the event as the prologue then determined the starting order for day one. Being first on the road meant navigation was difficult and by trying to push hard I got lost a couple of times, which allowed Graham and then Alfredo to catch me. Ending day one in third cost me a chance at winning the event outright. On day two I started third and rode better than I did previously. I reeled the leaders in quite quickly and won the day but just wasn’t able to pull enough of a gap to win the race. On a positive note winning two out of three days wasn’t bad!”