KTM’s Alex Doringer: “It was quite a different Dakar”

Sam Sunderland (right) and Matthias Walkner finished 1-2 in the Dakar Rally - Credit: Flavien Duhamel/Red Bull Content Pool

Alex Doringer, KTM’s Division Manager of Enduro and Rally, admitted it was a tough fortnight for the outfit despite seeing his riders finish 1-2-3 in the Dakar Rally.

Sam Sunderland was victorious for the team, and in doing so became the first Briton to win any category of the Dakar Rally, whilst his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team team-mate Matthias Walkner finished second. To complete a clean sweep of the podium for KTM, privateer entrant Gerard Farres finished third after taking advantage of an overnight speeding penalty to Adrian van Beveren.

Doringer praised both factory entry riders for being consistent throughout the event, especially with many challenging factors playing a big part in proceedings, both on and off the stages, with logistics being particularly difficult throughout.

“The Dakar, with all these circumstances, with the weather, the rain and muddy conditions, it was quite difficult for the team from a logistics point of view,” said Doringer. “I think for the riders, it was quite a different Dakar.

“There were not as many kilometres of special stages but it was intensive both physically and mentally. Sam did a fantastic job and he was very consistent. Also Matthias was the same.”