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ADV NewsMatthias Walkner To Race Romanics On Rally Bike Vs. Pol Tarres On T7

Matthias Walkner To Race Romanics On Rally Bike Vs. Pol Tarres On T7

The two pro-riders will battle it out in the bronze class on their ‘unconventional’ bikes.

Published on 07.13.2022
Matthias Walkner to race Romaniacs on KTM 450 Factory Rally Bike against Pol Tarres on his Tenere 700
Photo: Edoardo Bauer / Javi Echevarria

In less than three weeks the infamous Red Bull Romaniacs is set to begin, pushing the limits of endurance, stamina and technical skills for even the most elite riders. Often referred to as the “toughest hard enduro rally on Earth,” the grueling five-day event leads competitors through some of the most extreme enduro trails in the breathtaking wilderness of Romania’s Southern Carpathian Mountains.

Returning to the extreme enduro race in the Bronze class, will be Pol Tarres on his Tenere 700 adventure bike. This time not only taking on the challenging four offroad days but he will also attempt to negotiate the man-made obstacles at the prologue — a unique challenge that has become a trademark of the race and that, after a 2 year hiatus, organizers are saying is returning with “different levels of crazy for riders to battle through.” 

Matthias Walkner to race Romaniacs on KTM 450 Factory Rally Bike against Pol Tarres on his Tenere 700
Photo: Javi Echevarria

But Pol will not be the only one taking on the Bronze class with an ‘unconventional’ bike. Austria’s Matthias Walkner, winner of the 2018 Dakar Rally and twice in second position, will be bringing his KTM 450 Factory Rally bike to the bronze tracks as well. 


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All eyes will be watching the impending battle between Walkner and Tarres as they compete against each other in the discipline of hard enduro on the gnarly and extremely technical tracks. Pol already has a year of Romaniacs on an adventure bike under his belt, making history in 2021 with a top 20 finish in the Bronze class. Matthias, who will also tackle this year’s prologue, is going to see for the very first time how well he can channel his vast rally experience to the infamous multi-day extreme enduro.

Matthias Walkner to race Romaniacs on KTM 450 Factory Rally Bike against Pol Tarres on his Tenere 700
Photo: Rally Zone

Walkner’s first attempt at Romaniacs will see him with the advantage of maneuvering a lighter 306 lbs (dry) bike. But Pol’s T7 is no slouch – built from the ground up by Dakar racer and FIM 500cc Baja World Champion, Manuel Lucchese, with mods that include new gearing, carbon fiber components, engine tuning and custom suspension that provides 270mm of travel up front while a shock from Rally Raid offers 230mm in the rear. In addition, the bike has had significant weight shaved off at 393 pounds and Lucchese says they will be trying to bring it down further to 385 lbs.

Matthias Walkner to race Romaniacs on KTM 450 Factory Rally Bike against Pol Tarres on his Tenere 700
Pol’s T7 has been fully dialed by Dakar racer and FIM 500cc Baja World Champion, Manuel Lucchese. Photo: Javi Echevarria.

Also of note, veteran competitor Chris Birch is back for more Red Bull Romaniacs. Having been on the podium five times, from 2007 to 2011, including taking the win in 2010, Birch will be bringing his KTM500 EXC motorcycle to compete in the Silver Class.

The countdown has begun! The action will take place from July 26-30. Live streams from the Prologue and the Gusterita finish will be aired on the Red Bull Romaniacs website and social media channels. Red Bull daily highlights and live clips will be shown on Red Bull TV and Red Bull Motorsports facebook. 

Author: ADV Pulse Staff
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