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(aut) 1.78m / 83kg


Mountain biking, on-road motorbiking and barbecues with friends


KTM, Red Bull, Milwaukee, Gmundner Keramik, Günther Tore, Quabus, Shoei, Ride 100%, Alpinestars, Kini, IDH


Brand: KTM
Model: 450 Factory
Performance tuner: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Assistance: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Class: RallyGP


2023: Ab. stage 2
2021: 2nd
2019: 7th
2018: 2nd
2017: 1st
2016: 7th
2015: 2nd
2014: 11th

  Don't be fooled by the number 52: Matthias Walkner is one of the top bikers in rally raid, and has finished on the podium in four of the last six editions of the Dakar. In 2018 he became the first Austrian to win the rally in the bikes class, and has come close to repeating that triumph, finishing second in 2019 and third in 2022. The 36-year-old took up motorsport relatively late, switching from skiing to motocross at 14, and won the MX3 world championship title in 2012. Fellow countryman and mentor Heinz Kinigadner encouraged him to try rally raid, and it was love at first sight; Matthias won his first event in Greece, then took a surprise FIM world championship title in 2015 after Marc Coma's mid-season retirement. He lifted the crown again in 2021, posting wins at the Silk Way Rally and Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, but a niggling shoulder injury put paid to his hopes in the first World Rally-Raid Championship in 2022. After a crash in Abu Dhabi, Matthias decided to undergo surgery in the summer, skipping the final two events of the W2RC season in Morocco and Andalusia. That meant he couldn't challenge Sam Sunderland for the overall title, but he's hoping to be back on top form for his ninth Dakar. Following a couple of early abandons -food poisoning in 2015, a broken femur in 2016- Matthias has become one of the most consistent riders in the Dakar field, finishing every year since 2017. He is expecting a different kind of rally in 2023 with the various rule changes in the bikes, but don't be surprised to see him up towards the top of the leaderboard when we get to the business end of this 45th edition.

Ranking 2023