Matthias Walkner was born in 1986 in Kuchl in the province of Salzburg. As a teenager, he aspires to a career as a ski racer. However, at the age of 14, he swaps his skis for his first motocross. Only 3 weeks later Matthias wins his first podium at the Carinthia-Cup. In 2012, he becomes the first Austrian to win the world champion title in the MX3 class and in the following year he achieves the vice world champion title.
In 2015 Matthias finally transfers to the rally sport on the recommendation of Austria motocross legend Heinz Kinigadner and stunningly wins his first ever rally: the Hellas Rally in Greece. In 2016, Matthias secures the Rally Raid World Championship title and signs a 3-year contract with the KTM factory team. His participations in the renowned Rally Dakar Dakar end early with food poisoning (2015) and a femur fracture (2016). In his comeback year of 2017, Matthias earns his first Dakar trophy with a second-place finish. Finally, in 2018 he achieves what no Austrian ever before has managed: Matthias wins the Rally Dakar title in the motocross ranking.
MX3 World Champion
The MX3 World Championship title is the highlight of his career so far. For Matthias, the title of MX3 World Champion is almost comparable to his Dakar title. The entrepreneur Wolfgang Hillinger, his supporter and good friend, backs Matthias for 5 years and continues to do so.
Rally Dakar Champion
The key day is the tenth stage. Matthias makes the right choice in navigation on the decisive note and secures a lead of 45 minutes. He maintains his lead the finish and on January 20th, 2018 he makes Austrian sports history: Matthias wins the 40th edition of the most legendary and certainly toughest rally in the world.
2nd place Rally Dakar
Without any expectations, Matthias makes his comeback. After 14 exhausting stages he is grateful to receive the Bedouin on the podium for the second place in Buenos Aires. A very emotional moment.
heavy fall at Rally Dakar
His second appearance at the Rally Dakar ends abruptly. A heavy crash on the seventh stage forces him to give up. After a femur fracture he receives life-saving surgery still in Bolivia and enters long months of rehabilitation at the Red Bull Training- and Diagnostic Center.
World Rally Champion
Already in his first year competing at the World Rally Championship, Matthias crowned his second World Champion title. Unexpectedly and very surprisingly, he wins the overall ranking of the FIM Rallye Raid Series. At his first Dakar appearance, food poisoning forces him to give up. A victory of the third stage, however, confirms his great potential.
What a diverse and exciting summer: A lot has happened after the triumph of the Rally Dakar in January. I had many appointments, got to know many new people and made new experiences. It was a truly exciting time for me. So many different people have been happy with me and congratulated me. I want