Matthias-Walkner---Red-Bull-KTM-Factory-Racing---2022-Dakar-Rally-cover | Foto: Matthias-Walkner---Red-Bull-KTM-Factory-Racing---2022-Dakar-Rally-cover

Matthias Walkner and KTM finish Third at 2022 Dakar Rally

Por: Susana Beltrán

20, January, 2022 en Sports Mode

Dakar Rally 2022 – Stage 12

Matthias Walkner, who finished third on the final day of the race, had a great day on the field today, finishing seventh and securing his overall podium. After more than 8,000 kilometers, the top three in the motorcycle group were less than 7 minutes apart, and the competition in this year’s event was so close. Walkner’s third place was the Austrian’s fourth Dakar podium, as he added a gruelling finish to the 2021 FIM Cross Country Rally World Championship title, and it’s a huge challenge for the seasoned 35-year-old. That said, it’s been an incredible 12 months of racing.

Matthias Walkner: “I’m very happy and happy to finish here healthy. After a couple of tough Dakars over the past two years, it feels great to be on the podium again. As always, it’s a super Long and tough Dakar, but this year is special because every day requires a high level of navigation. We’ve seen from day one that you can gain or lose a lot of time at each stage. Because of that, I really The try to focus on my road book and focus on my navigation throughout the race. The first week went really well for me, the second week everyone worked really hard so you have to do your best every day because time Tight. This new bike is fantastic and the team put a lot of effort into making sure we are capable of getting on the podium, so thank them. Now we celebrate!”

After a rocky start to the event this year, when navigation issues cost him a lot of time in the first stage, Toby Price has done well day in and day out to get back into the top 10. A second-fastest finish on the final day of the race, coupled with his stage win on Day 10, showed that the two-time Dakar champion hasn’t lost any speed or momentum. Price is delighted to have completed the 2022 event without injury and now looks ahead to the remainder of this year’s FIM World Rally Championship.

Toby Price - Red Bull KTM Factory Racing - 2022 Dakar Rally
Toby Price – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 2022 Dakar Rally

Toby Price: “I’m always happy to reach the finish here at the Dakar, it’s been a really tough race this year. Losing time on that first day put me on the back foot a little for the rest of the stages, and the way things are now, any mistakes can lose you a lot of time on the others because things are so close. The terrain here in Saudi makes for a really fast race too, a lot of the stages are sprints to the finish, but the atmosphere is good and it’s a good place to be. I’m excited for 2023 already!”

Kevin Benavidez showed impressive speed at the 2022 Dakar Rally – his first for the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team. The 2021 Dakar champions also lost time on their first day in Saudi, day after day with quick, steady performances to get back on track with a fifth-place finish at the end of Stage 9. Unfortunately, the Argentine had to retire after a technical problem on stage 10. When Benavides returned to finish the final two stages of the race, he was back on track immediately and won the stage on day 11. Kevin is delighted to have made it to the finish line safely and with many positive results with his performance, he is already energized for the next leg of the annual event.

Kevin Benavides: “I have enjoyed this final day at the Dakar – I opened the stage, which was great, and it feels good to finally get to the finish. Obviously, it’s frustrating to have had the problem on stage 10, up until that point my race had gone really well, and I believe I had the pace to challenge for the podium. These last two days have shown that, too. There are many positives I can take from this year’s race and I’m really happy with how I rode and navigated through the stages. Part of the Dakar is all about learning and improving and so I’ll take that away from this year and try to come back even stronger in 2023.”

In addition to making his Dakar debut, Danilo Petrucci also made his debut at the 2022 Dakar Rally. Danilo Petrucci has grabbed some attention in the paddock with his consistent speed and skill on the Tech3 KTM 450 RALLY. Winning a stage in the Dakar is a great achievement, and doing it on the first try is an amazing achievement! Danilo achieved his goal of finishing the race and was ecstatic about how his game went and what he achieved.

Kevin Benavides - Red Bull KTM Factory Racing - 2022 Dakar Rally
Kevin Benavides – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 2022 Dakar Rally

Danilo Petrucci: “I am so happy to finally reach the finish line and to complete the goal I set out to do. It’s been a tough time both leading up to the event and the race itself, but to complete my first ever Dakar feels amazing. I’m really happy with my performance but over the last couple of days I have had some crashes and feel quite sore at the moment. Thanks to all the team for their hard work, it has been an amazing experience and one of the hardest things I have ever done.”

KTM-backed privateer Mason Klein finished the 2022 Dakar season with an excellent fifth on stage 12, not only a top rookie, but also an excellent ninth. The 20-year-old American showed incredible navigation, road book and speed skills at this year’s event.

Norbert Stadlbauer – Rally Team Manager: “I’m really proud of the whole team. The Dakar is simply the toughest, hardest race in the world. For all of our riders to get to the finish is a huge achievement. Big congratulations to Matthias who did an amazing job to put his KTM on the podium in third position. It’s another really good result for him and even more impressive considering the level of this year’s event. Thank you also to Toby, Kevin, and of course Danilo, who all performed very well over the whole race. It’s been an amazing Dakar, so thank you to all who helped to make it happen.”

Provisional Results Stage 12 (overall) – 2022 Dakar Rally

1. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Honda, 1:40:00
2. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 1:40:18 +0:18
3. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (CHI), Honda, 1:40:29 +0:29
4. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 1:41:13 +1:13
5. Mason Klein (USA), KTM, 1:41:23 +1:23
Other KTM
7. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 1:42:57 +2:57
11. Kevin Benavides (ARG), KTM, 1:45:08 +5:08
31. Danilo Petrucci (ITA), KTM, 1:55:35 +15:35

Provisional Standings – 2022 Dakar Rally after 12 of 12 stages

1. Sam Sunderland (GBR), GASGAS, 38:47:30
2. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Honda, 38:50:57 +3:27
3. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 38:54:17 +6:47
4. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 39:06:11 +18:41
5. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 39:13:12 +25:42
Other KTM
9. Mason Klein (USA), KTM, 39:36:37 +49:07
10. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 39:36:50 +49:20