Before the final day of the Dakar Rally, Matthias Walkner improved to third overall. In fourth place in the stage, the KTM rider reduced his gap to the front by a minute, but was still more than seven short. Namely to the British GasGas pilot Sam Sunderland, who regained the lead as second of the day. The previous leader Adrien van Beveren (Yamaha) fell back to fourth place. Walkner lost nearly five minutes on his victorious brand mates Kevin Benavides and Sunderland.
“I found my way into the first 80 kilometers extremely well. After that I made two small navigation mistakes. Since I had a lot of dust from the front ones, it was difficult for me to keep paying attention to the road book and to hit the right canyon, ”explained Walkner after the eleventh stage with 346 kilometers around Bischa.
After a sudden loss of power on the motorcycle, he didn’t want to take any more risks over the last 35 kilometers. “I had a few moments of shock, but luckily I got through without a fall. I’m happy to have finished – and to tomorrow’s last day, ”said Walkner.
His second overall victory after 2018 is probably out of reach, he is going into the final 7:15 minutes behind Sunderland. Second is Chilean Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 22 seconds ahead of Salzburg. The Frenchman Van Beveren is more than 15 minutes behind the 680 kilometers from Bischa to Jeddah.