KTM's Jonny Walker got the defence of his Red Bull Romaniacs crown off to a perfect start with victory in the Sibiu prologue. Claiming a start-to-finish victory in the infamous downtown Sibiu prologue, Walker made light work of the treacherous man-made obstacles to give himself the advantage heading into the first day of racing in the Carpathian Mountains.
"It was a really great race. I hardly put a foot wrong for the whole thing," said Walker afterwards. "I knew the holeshot would be important to stay out of trouble so I made sure I got to the first obstacle in the lead.
"That gave me a clean first lap and I managed to open up a little gap. I rode hard for the first few laps and just tried to maintain my lead."
Behind Walker, the fight was on for the remainder of the prologue. Back in Romaniacs action having missed the event last year due to a foot injury, Husqvarna's Alfredo Gómez chased Walker home for second.
"It's great to be back here in Sibiu," said Gómez. "I really wanted a good start and I've got it now with second in the prologue. There's a long week of racing ahead so for now I'm just focused on taking things one day at a time."
Rounding out the top three, Husqvarna's Graham Jarvis was third. "I started out fourth and then got to third early on," explained Jarvis. "But by then the leaders were already too far gone and I didn't want to risk anything trying to catch them in the traffic.”
For 2015 a new ruling allows the top three finishers to decide their preferred starting position for day one. Getting first pick, Walker will leave the start line third and try to chase down both Jarvis and Gómez, who lead the field out first and second respectively.