Walkner crowned world champion in first rally season

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Only one year after his debut in a rally-raid Matthias Walkner is crowned world champion. In the final stage of the OiLibya Rally the Austrian finished third while his nearest rival, Pablo Quintanilla, crashed out in the early stages.

“It is unreal to become world champion so soon,” Walkner said at the finish in Agadir. “I never expected this. In the beginning we still had Marc Coma as the big favourite, but when he decided to stop there still were a lot of great riders to battle: Gonçalves, Sunderland, Quintanilla, Barreda… They all are really strong.”

After his summer break Walkner was improving race by race. “I came back stronger and everything improved: my speed, my navigation. Now I have a few months of hard work left for the Dakar. I didn’t finish last time, so my goal is to finish this time. In what position, we’ll have to wait and see. But I do feel strong and confident after this success.”

Listen to the interview with Matthias Walkner at Radio Rallymaniacs

OiLibya Rally