After Joan “Bang Bang” Barreda demolished the competition on Stage 1 of the 2019 Dakar Rally, giving Honda their first win of the year, today’s stage was the moment for reigning Dakar champion Matthias Walkner to fight back, giving KTM their first win.
Today’s Stage 2 linked Pisco to San Juan de Marcona, with riders having to cover a total of 553 km, of which 342 k were against the clock at the special stage.
American Ricky Brabec (Honda) pulled away with the lead at the middle of the stage, but Austrian Matthias Walkner never gave up, and riding his KTM machine without any mistakes in navigation, he eventually crossed the finish line in San Juan de Marcona first, with a 22 second advantage over Brabec.
Third on the Stage, and still leading the overall classification of the Dakar, was Joan Barreda. Honda’s main man to attack the title this year lost a bit of time early on, probably because he was opening the track for other riders, but he did find his rhythm towards the end of the stage, closing the day in third.
This means Joan Barreda is still the overall leader of the Dakar, now with a lead of 1m31s over Walkner, with Ricky Brabec in third two seconds behind the KTM rider.
Tomorrow’s Stage 3 will take riders and bikes over a total of 798 km, with 331 km against the clock on the special stage, as the bivouac moves from San Juan de Marcona to Arequipa.
Here’s the 2019 Dakar Rally classification after Stage 2
1. Joan Barreda (Spain) – Honda – 4h23m14s
2. Matthias Walkner (Austria) – KTM – +1m31s
3. Ricky Brabec (USA) – Honda – +1m33s
4. Pablo Quintanilla (Chile) – Husqvarna – +3m17s
5. Toby Price (Australia) – KTM – +4m33s