Just months after a disappointed Sam Sunderland crashed out of the Dakar Rally, the British-ace is back on the podium with a runner-up spot in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.
Tag: Matthias Walkner
It’s like a fairy-tale. In 2017, Matthias Walkner finished runner-up at the Rally Dakar. A year later, after working hard on both his fitness and navigation, he returned to the Dakar on the new KTM 450 RALLY machine he’d helped to develop. After two weeks of riding in one of the toughest Dakars ever, Matthias clinched victory – an Austrian rider on-board an Austrian machine, with an Austrian title sponsor!
As we reach the well-earned rest day of Dakar 2018, it can certainly be said that this year’s route so far has been one of the toughest. From the start in Lima, Peru to today’s rest day in La Paz, Bolivia, the competitors have passed through days of desert and will now head into the mountains, racing at an altitude of over 2,500 meters.
KTM has enjoyed no fewer than 16 consecutive Rally Dakar victories. Even since 2011, when rules changed and engine sizes were reduced to a maximum of 450cc in an effort to bring other manufacturers into the event, KTM have won every single race. With an all-new bike for 2018, KTM once again take to the start well-prepared, well-motivated and hoping to take win number 17 …
Winner of the 2017 Rally Dakar, Sam Sunderland has had a mixed season in this year’s FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. A title contender right up to the final round in Morocco, Sunderland endured a series of minor injuries and bad luck that eventually ruled him out of the running. Despite this, his pace throughout the year has been hugely impressive, with wins at the opening two rounds in Abu Dhabi and Qatar. Sam heads into the 2018 Dakar as the man to beat.
With 16 consecutive wins at the notoriously tough Rally Dakar the KTM Factory Racing Team is gearing up for another tough battle in January with the sole aim of continuing this unbelievable success-streak.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing´s Matthias Walkner secured a well-deserved victory at the 2017 OiLibya Rally, which marked the fifth and final round of the 2017 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.
He’s achieved the goal of a lifetime, but it’s back to work for Sam Sunderland, only this time he will begin the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship as a Dakar winner.
Sam Sunderland talks to the KTM BLOG about finishing the Dakar Rally for the first time, and taking an incredible victory, KTM’s 16th consecutive win, at the notoriously tough event.