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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Walkner redeemed himself at Dakar

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Motorcycle pilot Matthias Walkner rehabilitated himself with fifth place at the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia after relapsing due to navigation errors. The man from Salzburg improved by one place yesterday with his best stage result so far and is tenth overall. The day was overshadowed by news of his death. An Italian spectator died after being hit by a competitor’s truck behind a sand dune on Tuesday.

The new leader after the tenth stage with 114 kilometers of special stage in the empty quarter is Walkner’s KTM teammate Kevin Benavides. The Argentine replaced Husqvarna rider Skyler Howes as the leader ahead of the next long stages in the Rub al Khali desert. After stage four, Benavides now leads Howes by a minute and a half. Walkner, who has been struggling with a wrist injury from a fall for over a week, is almost 40 minutes short of the top.

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The fastest of the day was Ross Branch (Hero). Walkner was less than a minute and a half behind the stage winner. “It was very easy to drive – lots of sand, deserted and high dunes. I really enjoyed the day immensely. With fifth place I got myself an almost perfect starting position for tomorrow. We’re going into the open desert and only have to navigate by compass course,” Walkner said. Despite the hardships of the last few days, he still wants to get the best out of it and enjoy his time on the bike, says the 2018 Dakar winner.

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Walkner lost 25 minutes after a navigation error

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Source: Nachrichten

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