Matthias Walkner has won the fast and demanding second stage of the 2019 Dakar Rally ahead of Monster Energy Honda duo Ricky Brabec and Joan Barreda and Australian Toby Price.
Stage two of the 2019 Dakar Rally challenged all motorcycle competitors with an extremely fast, and rough, timed special of 342 kilometres. Leaving Pisco and heading south along the coast towards San Juan de Marcona the unusual stage saw the cars opening the route, leaving the bikes to deal with the many tracks ahead of them in the sand. The added traffic not only caused the terrain to cut up badly, but also made navigation even more of a challenge.
Following his solid ride on the short, opening day‰Ûªs stage, Matthias Walkner was the seventh rider to enter today‰Ûªs timed special. The reigning Dakar Champion opted to push right from the beginning. For the majority of the stage Walkner chased down Ricky Brabec ahead of him, only to head the American rider in the last 40 kilometres and ultimately claim the stage win by a narrow 22 seconds.
‰ÛÏThat was a long and really, really fast stage," Walkner said. "It was hard to judge the pace of the riders in front, so early on I decided to push and give my best. It was enough to set the fastest time, which is great but I‰Ûªm not too keen on stages like that ‰ÛÒ two or three in a year is enough for me. Crossing the tracks left by the cars on such a tricky stage can be quite daunting sometimes and I‰Ûªm glad to reach the finish safely.‰Û