Rally

Stage two Dakar win for KTM’s Matthias Walkner

Stage two Dakar win for KTM’s Matthias Walkner

Stage two winner Matthias Walkner

Stage two of the 2019 Dakar Rally challenged all competitors with an extremely fast and rough timed special of 342 kilometres.

Leaving Pisco and heading south along the coast towards San Juan de Marcona the unusual stage saw the cars opening the route, leaving the bikes to deal with the many tracks ahead of them in the sand. The added traffic not only caused the terrain to cut up badly, but also made navigation even more of a challenge.

Following his solid ride on the short, opening day’s stage, Walkner was the seventh rider to enter the timed special. Feeling comfortable on his 450 Rally, the reigning Dakar Champion opted to push right from the beginning.

For the majority of the stage Walkner chased down Ricky Brabec ahead of him, only to head the American rider in the last 40 kilometres and ultimately claim the stage win by a narrow margin of 22 seconds.

Matthias Walkner: “That was a long and really, really fast stage. It was hard to judge the pace of the riders in front, so early on I decided to push and give my best.

It was enough to set the fastest time, which is great but I’m not too keen on stages like that – two or three in a year is enough for me. Crossing the tracks left by the cars on such a tricky stage can be quite daunting sometimes and I’m glad to reach the finish safely.”