News 7 Jan 2015

Walkner takes debut Dakar Rally stage victory

Aussie Price continues form with fourth on stage three.

Source: KTM.

Source: KTM.

KTM debutant Matthias Walkner gave a fine demonstration of speed to pick up his first stage victory on the Dakar during day three.

After finishing eighth on his very first special on the Dakar, then sixth on the longest special of this year’s edition between Villa Carlos Paz and San Juan, Walkner decided to take the quickest route to his first stage victory on the Dakar.

The Austrian three-time MX1-MX3 World Champion was in the leading trio at CP2 before going into overdrive, leaving the discipline’s specialists in his wake and writing the first entry on his roll of honour for the king of all rallies at the finish in Chilecito.

This performance puts him definitively among the riders to keep an eye on, whilst Marc Coma is being closely watched by all his rivals. After losing more than ten minutes the previous day, the title holder staged a comeback, finishing only 40 seconds behind Walkner.

More importantly, he gained one minute back on Joan Barreda, who did not tempt fate and instead made sure of a solid third place to consolidate his leadership in the general standings.

Australian rookie Toby Price finished fourth on the stage and is now sixth overall, ahead of Barreda’s nearest rival in the general standings, Paulo Goncalves.

Alain Duclos put in a fine performance at the end of the stage to put his Sherco in sixth place, whilst the rest of the French contingent is struggling, with in particular the 16th and 21st places of the Yamahas ridden by Michael Metge and Olivier Pain.

Laia Sanz, the leading lady, enjoyed a noteworthy performance, finishing 17th on the day’s stage.

Llewellyn Sullivan-Pavey was 83rd on the stage and has climbed to 77th overall, with Simon Pavey 91st on stage and 78th overall, while Clayton Jacobsen was 127th today and sits 119th overall.

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