Matthias Walkner (KTM) was amazed: “Like on Mars” / Dakar Moto

Matthias Walkner finished the eighth stage of the Dakar Rally 2021 just six minutes behind. The landscape reminds the Red Bull KTM driver of Mars.

The marathon stage of the 43rd edition of the toughest rally in the world is the most difficult test for motorcycle drivers in any Dakar. It is not just the actual driving that pushes you to the limit, the subsequent maintenance and repair work must also be carried out in a concentrated manner. Instead of a restful sleep, there followed a short, shivering night.

“The marathon stage would be over,” Walkner breathed out. “It’s pretty cold here right now. We started at half past three in the morning with temperatures around six degrees. When you go into the stages, you notice that the whole body is stiff and that the motorcycle is not yet warmed up. When it’s so cold, you just need a certain amount of time to warm up and find your way in. “

But the 34-year-old Austrian found his way around well. Driving more or less alone, the 2018 Dakar winner navigated safely through the varied terrain and only lost 6:30 minutes to stage winner and Dakar leader Nacho Cornejo (Honda).

«I was out and about all day and on my own with the navigation. It was a little difficult for me to assess how well I was doing and what the pace is. I got my personal maximum in pushing and flawless navigation, ”explained Walkner. «The stage was again very fast with a lot of sand and protruding stones. With a top speed of almost 180 km / h on off-piste sections, that was pretty much at the limit. There were several shocking moments when things got tight. “

In addition to sandy and stony areas, the eighth race day of the Dakar 2021 awaited the drivers with the most astonishing landscapes in the country. Every pilot was fascinated by the rocky formations. The landscape in Saudi Arabia surprises and amazes Walkner again and again.

“After the refueling stop, the road book took us into canyons – an extremely casual landscape – be sure to take a look at the summary on Eurosport,” recommends the Red Bull KTM driver. “But there was also quite a difficult navigation through this Martian landscape. In this section I invested a little more time in error-free navigation, reduced the pace slightly and therefore also lost a few minutes. But I am very happy with my performance. Today that was simply my maximum willingness to take risks when it comes to constantly looking at the raodbook and riding a motorcycle fast. I didn’t lose much time, in the end it was six and a half minutes. “

Dakar Rally 2021 – result stage 8
Pos Driver (nation) motorcycle Time / Diff punishment
1 Ji. Cornejo (CHL) Honda 03:08:40 00:00:00
2 T. Price (AUS) KTM + 0:01:05 00:00:00
3 R. Brabec (USA) Honda + 0:02:50 00:00:00
4 S. Sunderland (GBR) KTM + 0:03:46 00:00:00
5 K. Benavides (ARG) Honda + 0:05:29 00:00:00
6 J. Barreda (ESP) Honda + 0:05:47 00:00:00
7 D. Sanders (AUS) KTM + 0:06:29 00:00:00
8 M. Walkner (AUT) KTM + 0:06:32 00:00:00
9 S. Howes (USA) KTM + 0:06:53 00:00:00
10 S. Bühler (DEU) Hero + 0:07:58 00:00:00
11 R. Branch (BWA) Yamaha + 0:09:18 00:00:00
12 L. Santolino (ESP) Sherco + 0:09:33 00:00:00
13 A. Van Beveren (FRA) Yamaha + 0:12:48 00:00:00
14 S. Svitko (SVK) KTM + 0:12:50 00:00:00
15 T. Schareina (ESP) KTM + 0:14:14 00:00:00
16 M. Giemza (POL) Husqvarna + 0:16:03 00:00:00
17 M. Michek (CZE) KTM + 0:16:06 00:00:00
18 P. Quintanilla (CHL) Husqvarna + 0:18:40 00:00:00
19 J. Betriu (ESP) KTM + 0:19:35 00:00:00
20 L. Benavides (ARG) Husqvarna + 0:21:48 00:00:00
21 O. Mena (ESP) KTM + 0:23:45 00:00:00
22 E. Gyenes (ROU) KTM + 0:30:38 00:00:00
23 B. Melot (FRA) KTM + 0:30:56 00:00:00
24 D. Knight (GBR) Husqvarna + 0:31:37 00:00:00
25 J. Rodrigues (PRT) Hero + 0:31:57 00:00:00
26 A. Gelazninkas (LTU) KTM + 0:32:27 00:00:00
27 L. Sanz (ESP) GASGAS + 0:34:21 00:00:00
28 J. Garcia (ESP) KTM + 0:34:52 00:00:00
29 Hn. Koitha Veettil (IND) Sherco + 0:36:07 00:00:00
30 C. Chapeliere (FRA) KTM + 0:37:41 00:00:00
31 M. Gerini (ITA) Husqvarna + 0:37:59 00:00:00
32 K. Dabrowski (POL) KTM + 0:38:07 00:00:00
33 M. Burgess (AUS) KTM + 0:39:07 00:00:00
34 X. Flick (FRA) Husqvarna + 0:39:56 00:00:00
35 M. Engel (CZE) KTM + 0:40:57 00:00:00
36 L. Podmol (CZE) Husqvarna + 0:44:45 00:00:00
37 M. Doveze (FRA) KTM + 0:46:13 00:00:00
38 D. Pabiska (CZE) KTM + 0:46:57 00:00:00
39 J. Brabec (CZE) KTM + 0:48:52 00:15:00
40 P. Spierings (NLD) Husqvarna + 0:49:27 00:00:00
41 R. Goncalves (PRT) Sherco + 0:51:19 00:00:00
42 R. Krejci (CZE) KTM + 0:53:46 00:15:00
43 Z. Yakp (CHN) KTM + 1:09:12 00:00:00
44 S. Darques (FRA) Yamaha + 1:19:53 00:00:00
45 C. Herbst (FRA) KTM + 1:25:30 00:00:00
46 M. Alghuneim (SAU) KTM + 1:26:23 00:00:00
47 N. Hawker (GBR) Husqvarna + 1:29:29 00:00:00
48 Z. Hongyi (CHN) KTM + 1:29:52 00:00:00
49 F. Picco (ITA) Husqvarna + 1:31:37 00:00:00
50 S. Marcic (SVN) Husqvarna + 1:33:05 00:00:00
51 J. Vega Puerta (ESP) Yamaha + 1:34:59 00:00:00
52 E. Vlcak (SVK) Husqvarna + 1:35:14 00:00:00
53 S. Garcia (ESP) Yamaha + 1:35:35 00:00:00
54 A. Baratin (FRA) KTM + 1:36:19 00:00:00
55 R. Lhotsky (CZE) Husqvarna + 1:37:08 00:00:00
56 M. Calmet (ESP) KTM + 1:42:26 00:00:00
57 W. Roelants (BEL) Husqvarna + 1:45:28 00:00:00
58 F. Barlerin (FRA) KTM + 1:46:44 00:00:00
59 G. Barthelemy (FRA) KTM + 1:46:46 00:00:00
60 C. Zacchetti (ITA) KTM + 1:48:51 00:00:00
61 Aj. Houlihan (AUS) KTM + 1:53:58 00:00:00
62 Jp. Rivera (MEX) KTM + 1:55:46 00:00:00
63 E. Sanchez (ESP) KTM + 1:59:00 00:00:00
64 R. Al-Lal Lahadil (ESP) KTM + 1:59:23 00:00:00
65 N. Dubois (FRA) KTM + 1:59:58 00:00:00
66 E. Carbonell Mendez (ESP) KTM + 2:01:03 00:00:00
67 M. Benko (SVK) KTM + 71:51:20 62:00:00
68 G. Stigliano (ITA) Yamaha + 71:51:20 62:00:00
69 A. Tomiczek (POL) Husqvarna + 71:51:20 62:00:00
70 A. Bishop (ESP) KTM + 71:51:20 62:00:00
71 S. Jugla (FRA) KTM + 71:51:20 62:00:00
72 A. Raorane (IND) KTM + 71:51:20 62:00:00
73 F. Catanese (ITA) Yamaha + 71:51:20 62:00:00
Dakar Rally 2021 – status after stage 8
Pos Driver (nation) motorcycle Time / Diff punishment
1 Ji. Cornejo (CHL) Honda 32:00:11 00:00:00
2 T. Price (AUS) KTM + 0:01:06 00:00:00
3 S. Sunderland (GBR) KTM + 0:05:57 00:00:00
4 K. Benavides (ARG) Honda + 0:12:58 00:02:00
5 J. Barreda Bort (ESP) Honda + 0:16:05 00:00:00
6 R. Brabec (USA) Honda + 0:17:42 00:00:00
7 S. Howes (USA) KTM + 0:19:20 00:06:00
8 D. Sanders (AUS) KTM + 0:22:40 00:07:00
9 L. Santolino (ESP) Sherco + 0:26:59 00:00:00
10 P. Quintanilla (CHL) Husqvarna + 0:38:41 00:00:00
11 L. Benavides (ARG) Husqvarna + 0:38:55 00:01:00
12 S. Svitko (SVK) KTM + 0:47:42 00:00:00
13 R. Branch (BWA) Yamaha + 0:50:15 00:01:00
14 A. Van Beveren (FRA) Yamaha + 0:50:30 00:00:00
15 M. Michek (CZE) KTM + 1:07:59 00:02:00
16 J. Rodrigues (PRT) Hero + 1:17:49 00:02:00
17 M. Giemza (POL) Husqvarna + 1:48:32 00:02:00
18 J. Betriu (ESP) KTM + 1:55:21 00:05:00
19 S. Bühler (DEU) Hero + 2:06:18 00:17:00
20 T. Schareina (ESP) KTM + 2:14:15 00:00:00
21 M. Walkner (AUT) KTM + 2:24:11 00:02:00
22 J. Garcia (ESP) KTM + 2:45:12 00:00:00
23 O. Mena (ESP) KTM + 3:19:35 00:00:00
24 L. Sanz (ESP) GASGAS + 3:39:56 00:10:00
25 R. Goncalves (PRT) Sherco + 4:00:50 00:00:00
26 M. Engel (CZE) KTM + 4:21:11 00:01:00
27 A. Gelazninkas (LTU) KTM + 4:37:54 00:00:00
28 M. Gerini (ITA) Husqvarna + 4:38:26 00:03:00
29 C. Chapeliere (FRA) KTM + 4:52:42 00:41:00
30 E. Gyenes (ROU) KTM + 5:37:08 00:02:00
31 B. Melot (FRA) KTM + 5:51:42 00:01:00
32 Hn. Koitha Veettil (IND) Sherco + 5:52:43 00:00:00
33 P. Spierings (NLD) Husqvarna + 6:07:33 00:00:00
34 D. Knight (GBR) Husqvarna + 6:12:05 00:24:00
35 M. Burgess (AUS) KTM + 6:59:32 00:39:00
36 K. Dabrowski (POL) KTM + 7:05:53 00:00:00
37 D. Pabiska (CZE) KTM + 7:06:26 00:01:00
38 L. Podmol (CZE) Husqvarna + 8:10:10 00:15:00
39 M. Doveze (FRA) KTM + 8:10:52 00:05:00
40 X. Flick (FRA) Husqvarna + 8:11:09 00:00:00
41 Z. Yakp (CHN) KTM + 8:25:16 00:41:00
42 M. Calmet (ESP) KTM + 11:09:16 00:02:00
43 S. Marcic (SVN) Husqvarna + 11:21:25 00:03:00
44 C. Herbst (FRA) KTM + 11:33:50 00:23:00
45 N. Hawker (GBR) Husqvarna + 12:44:41 00:02:00
46 C. Zacchetti (ITA) KTM + 13:09:51 00:12:00
47 S. Darques (FRA) Yamaha + 13:36:12 00:04:30
48 R. Lhotsky (CZE) Husqvarna + 13:36:57 00:31:00
49 E. Vlcak (SVK) Husqvarna + 13:56:03 00:26:00
50 M. Alghuneim (SAU) KTM + 13:59:56 00:22:00
51 S. Garcia (ESP) Yamaha + 14:01:57 00:05:00
52 F. Picco (ITA) Husqvarna + 14:08:08 00:21:00
53 J. Vega Puerta (ESP) Yamaha + 14:21:29 00:00:00
54 Z. Hongyi (CHN) KTM + 14:54:42 00:00:00
55 A. Baratin (FRA) KTM + 15:06:57 00:05:00
56 G. Barthelemy (FRA) KTM + 15:34:06 00:00:00
57 Jp. Guillen Rivera (MEX) KTM + 16:10:56 00:22:00
58 Aj. Houlihan (AUS) KTM + 17:37:54 01:27:00
59 W. Roelants (BEL) Husqvarna + 17:49:29 00:07:00
60 E. Sanchez (ESP) KTM + 19:06:21 00:01:00
61 R. Al-Lal Lahadil (ESP) KTM + 19:21:17 00:05:30
62 F. Barlerin (FRA) KTM + 19:26:35 00:00:30
63 E. Mendez (ESP) KTM + 19:29:04 00:26:00
64 N. Dubois (FRA) KTM + 22:27:28 00:52:00

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