Matthias Walkner Kazakhistan KTM Rally

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Matthias Walkner has completed a shortened fifth and final stage of the 2021 Rally Kazakhstan in sixth place. Earning him second overall in the event’s provisional classifications.

Unfortunately, Sam Sunderland suffered a fall around kilometre 20, injuring his hip, and could not continue.

Initially scheduled to include a 267.02km timed special. However, stage five of the 2021 Rally Kazakhstan was shortened to just 158.27km due to an issue with the event’s refuelling set-up. 


As such, riders’ times were very close over the stage, with less than five minutes separating the top 10. 

The action

Another fast route over hardpack, rocky tracks still required accurate navigation and focus on avoiding losing time.

Coming into stage five in second overall, four minutes down on the leader, Matthias Walkner faced a difficult task to make up the time needed due to being the second rider to attack the special. 

Despite putting in a mistake-free ride at the front of the pack, there was less time to impact the deficit with the stage being shortened. 

Safely arriving at the finish in sixth, just over two minutes down on the eventual stage winner. As a result, Matthias secured his runner-up position in the overall standings. 

Happy with his speed throughout the race and his KTM 450 RALLY performance, the Austrian is now looking forward to the rest of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies season.


Matthias Walkner: “Finally, we have arrived at the finish line at Rally Kazakhstan. I’ve enjoyed it – the landscape here has been unique, and the event has been good. 

It’s been a swift rally, and that took a little time to get used to, but overall, I’m thrilled with my riding, and the bike has been perfect. 

Second place overall is good, it’s a little frustrating to be just four minutes away from the win after close to 15 hours of racing, and I know I made a couple of mistakes earlier in the race that cost me that time, but this is the nature of rallying. 

I am thrilled that I could take a good pace when opening the stage and not losing maintained guys behind. So that’s encouraging. I’m feeling good and already looking forward to Silkway.”


As the seventh rider to enter today’s timed special, Sam Sunderland knew he would have to push right from the start to make up time on his rivals ahead. 

Unfortunately, a crash just over 20km into the special resulted in Sunderland’s inability to continue the stage. 

They took him to the local hospital, and scans confirmed Sam suffered a fractured hip and concussion. Thankfully, the British rider can walk and was soon discharged and back with his team. 

Although disappointed not to have completed the event, Sam is thankful for his assistance and will soon return home for further checks.

Jordi Viladoms – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team Manager: “Of course, we’re happy for Matthias. 

He rode a powerful rally to the second position. He had one bad day where a mistake cost him some time, but the most important thing is that the bike is working well and has a perfect pace. 

We have the Silkway Rally in a few weeks, so it’s essential that Matthias is in good condition and feels confident and strong. The bad news is, of course, Sam’s crash. 

It looks like it was, a big one at quite a high speed, so we’re thankful his injuries are not too bad. The hope now is that he can recover quickly and return to racing with the team as fast as possible.”

The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team will return to action at the Silkway Rally in Russia, round two of the 2021 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, from July 1-11.

2021 Rally Kazakhstan – Provisional Results, Stage Five

  1. Joaquim Rodrigues (POR), Hero, 1:19:51
  2. Ross Branch (BWA), Yamaha, 1:20:58 +1:07
  3. Daniel Sanders (AUS), GASGAS, 1:21:22 +1:31
  4. Skyler Howes (USA), Husqvarna, 1:21:28 +1:37
  5. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 1:21:50 +1:59
  6. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 1:22:00 +2:09

2021 Rally Kazakhstan – Provisional Standings (after Stage Five)

  1. Ross Branch (BWA), Yamaha, 14:39:02
  2. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 14:44:09 +5:07
  3. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 14:49:18 +10:16
  4. Daniel Sanders (AUS), GASGAS, 15:10:36 +31:34
  5. Andrew Short (USA), Yamaha, 15:11:23 +32:21

via KTM


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