KTM, Red Bull, OMV, Skoda, Spiluttini, Ice-Watch, SHOEI, 100%, Ebner Eventlogistik, Akrapovic, Kini, Quabus, Alpinstar, Wings for Lifehttps://matthiaswalkner.com/
2018: 1st (1 stage win)
2016: Ab. Stage 7
2015: Ab. Stage 10 (1 stage win)
2018: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (4th), Atacama Rally (4th), Desafio Ruta 40, Morocco Rally (2nd); 3rd FIM World Championship
2016: Atacama Rally (6th), Morocco Rally (7th, 1 stage win)
2015: Abu Dhabi (31st), Qatar (7th), Sardegna (1st), Chile (2nd), Morocco (2nd); FIM World Champion,
2014: Hellas Rally (1st), Morocco Rally
2012: MX3 WORLD CHAMPION
2012: Morocco Rally
2010 and 2011: MX1 WORLD CHAMPION
For the first time in Dakar history, an Austrian will wear the number 1 race bib and his KTM will sport the number 1 plate. A first that follows Matthias Walkner’s win on edition 40, which is something his mentor Heinz Kinigadner never managed to do. It is also “Kini”, the KTM Motorsports team manager, who has overseen the young Matthais’ conversion from World Motocross Champion to rally-raid. The Austrian made a promising debut with a stage win, but the going got tougher with retirements in 2015 and 2016. But Walkner is a fast learner and he bounced back with a runner-up finish in 2017 and the victory last year at Cordoba. His year was very busy between solicitations, training back home in Austria, testing in Morocco and the four rounds of the world rally-raid championship in which he finished third. Elected Austrian sportsman of the year in motor racing and fourth overall, far behind his friend and two-time Olympic Alpine Ski Champion, Marcel Hirschner, Walkner has only one think on his mind and that is to defend his Dakar title.
“A lot has happened since my Dakar triumph. I met so many people and experienced new things. Times I will never forget. I did a lot of motocross and enduro and of course testing in Morocco with KTM. During my races in South America and Morocco, I came on strong even though it doesn’t seem so in my results. I am delighted to have finished third in the world championship. The goal is to reach my full potential on the 2019 Dakar. The mission is clear: defend in my title.”
RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM
Matthias Walkner, the winner of the last edition, finished this year behind his Australian team-mate. The Austrian climbs onto the second step of the podium, a place he already occupied in 2017.
“I feel really sorry for Pablo, because normally he should have stayed on the podium and done an amazing job. I was honestly a little bit lucky with myself and not making...
Matthias Walkner finished fourth in the penultimate stage, 3’29” behind Michael Metge, to consolidate his third place in the general classification. The defending champion's 40-minute margin over Andrew Short should be enough to put him on the podium in Lima tomorrow.
"Everybody thought the first guy did a good job, but in the end there was chaos....
Matthias Walkner posted the best time to win the Super Ica special stage. The Austrian beat Pablo Quintanilla and Toby Price, but reminds behind his two rivals in the general standings.
“Until the refuelling, Toby caught up a lot of time on me. But in the dunes I tried to push really hard in the morning. It was a really fast track with not really visible stones and...
Matthias Walkner has completed the 8th stage and has managed to improve on Toby Price’s time in the last few kilometres of the special. Now, only Pablo Quintanilla can beat the Austrian.
Toby Price now only leads Matthias Walkner by 30 seconds after 300 km of the special. Sam Sunderland trails by 4’47 while Adrien Van Beveren is now holding steady 9 minutes behind. That said, the time for Pablo Quintanilla, in with a chance of a stage win, has not yet been recorded.
The defending champion is sitting seventh overall at the end of stage 7, a shade below his level of last year, but he is also aware that everything can change in a heartbeat.
"It was really hard. In the sand, if somebody takes the wrong line, everybody gets lost. I got a little bit confused with some notes and lost a little bit of time. The last days are always very difficult....
The defending champion finished third today and stayed in contention for the win, sitting in sixth place overall about 10 minutes behind new leader Pablo Quintanilla.
"For me, it was quite good because I had some good lines in front of me, but the navigation was really tricky and I always tried to focus on the road book, not just trust the lines. I was all day more or...
Pablo Quintanilla seems set on leaving his mark on the race before the rest day. The Husqvarna rider has regained the lead after 227 km, 14 seconds in front of his team-mate Andrew Short. Adrien Van Beveren lies in wait 29 seconds behind, while Toby Price is also less than one minute behind the leader.
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