MATTHIAS WALKNER(aut) 1.75m / 85kg
mountainbiking, onroad motorcycling and barbecue with friends
KTM, Red bull, Motorex, Skoda, Shoei, 100%, AE, Akrapovic, Kini, WingsForLife, Quabus, IDH, Spiluttini, AlpineStars
2019: 2nd (2 stage wins)
2018: 1st (1 stage win)
2016: Ab. Stage 7
2015: Ab. Stage 10 (1 stage win)
2019: Atacama Rally (7th), Morocco Rally (7th); 14th FIM World Championship
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
“There is a real team spirit at KTM”
The last edition of the Dakar was anything but a stroll in the desert for the KTM team. While Toby Price won the event despite a broken wrist, Mathias Walkner’s rally was just as painful. The Austrian rider fractured his ankle on stage four…but didn’t realize it until he returned to Austria. Despite the handicap he finished second in the general classification. The rider from Kuchl has been staggeringly consistent for the past three years, including his win in 2018. The worthy heritor of his mentor Heinz Kinigadner, who himself never won the world’s toughest motor race, steered the young Mathias, who like him had won the World Moto-cross Championship, towards rally-raid. After a promising debut with a stage victory, he struggled with retirements in 2015 and 2016. But Walkner is a fast learner and bounced back with a finish runner-up in 2017, victory the following year and another second place in 2019. His start to the season was hampered by first an ankle operation then another for a ruptured knee ligament. He competed in just two rounds of the World Championship (7th place in Chile and 7th in Morocco). With his new-found star status in his home country, he made the most of his chance to test ride a Moto GP bike at the Salzbourgring and took part in the Porsche Sprint Challenge. But now comes the Dakar in Saudi Arabia where Matthias, like his team mates, Toby Price and Sam Sunderland will aim for another triumph.
“The last Dakar was hard from start to finish. I was really happy when the battle was over…In the end, I was elated to finish in second place. Before the start, I thought that another constructor was going to win. But it wasn’t to be and KTM won again. There is a real team spirit and a tremendous amount of professionalism in the team.”
RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM
- Mark : KTM
- Model : 450 RALLY
- Performance tuner : KTM Austria
- Assistance : Red Bull KTM Factory Team
- Class : G1.1 A.S.O. Elites
All news of M. Walkner
"I love this kind of stage"
The 2018 champion is back among the best after struggling with inconsistent form and a bout of fever.
"It was one of my best days. I pushed hard in the long dune sector. I love this kind of stage. The end was much faster. I ran out of fuel 3 km before the refuelling station, so I had to stop for a while and get back going again, but I think I posted...
Walkner ahead by one second!
Matthias Walkner has moved into the lead of the special at km 324, inching one second ahead of Pablo Quintanilla. The fight for the stage win is shaping up to be an epic duel between these two men.
Walkner closing in on Quintanilla
Matthias Walkner has upped the ante in the last few kilometres and reduced his deficit to Pablo Quintanilla to just 11 seconds at km 212. José Ignacio Cornejo is trailing by 2′31″, while alarm bells are surely starting to ring for Ricky Brabec, who is now 10 minutes behind the leader.
Walkner and Quintanilla distanced
After a good start, Matthias Walkner has lost time over the last few kilometres and now trails Joan Barreda by 5’23. Pablo Quintanilla, who opened the way this morning, has been caught by Toby Price and Joan Barreda, who has regained 6 minutes on the Chilean!
Matthias Walkner: “Not one of my best days”
Weakened by a severe sore throat, the winner in 2018 is nonetheless within touching distance of an honourable finish, in 6th position in the general standings.
“It was really not the best day for me. I didn’t feel so well already at the beginning. I struggled a bit on the rocky and stony tracks with the bike. Then it got a little bit better,...
"The fastest stage of my life"
Matthias Walkner had yet to learn about the death of Paulo Gonçalves when he was asked about his performance in stage 7, in which he was runner-up to Joan Barreda.
"Four and a half hours for 550 kilometres. I think it was the fastest stage of my life. The average speed, I think, was about 130 km/h. You have to concentrate and the sand makes things...
Matthias Walkner: “Everybody is really, really fast”
The winner of the Dakar in 2018 has reached the rest 33 minutes behind Honda rider Ricky Brabec, who leads the general standings.
“I think it’s really bad news about Toby. I just saw him stopping with Andrew, but the feeling was like we did 80 per cent all day of our full speed. I was also thinking that my tyre would burst, but in the end...
Walkner takes advantage of his position
Matthias Walkner set off far behind his main rivals and this has allowed him to attack without asking himself too many questions. This strategy has paid off, because the official KTM rider has posted the best time after 50 km, 9 seconds ahead of his team-mate Luciano Benavides who also set off lower down the field.
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