Walkner critical of lack of information following stage five chaos

Matthias Walkner has criticised the lack of information provided for stage five of the Dakar Rally - Credit: Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool

Matthias Walkner was one of a number of participants to lose time due to navigational issues during Friday’s fifth stage of the Dakar Rally, losing half an hour to KTM team-mate Sam Sunderland and dropping from second to fifth in the standings, and the Austrian admitted it was a difficult day all round.

Walkner believes there issues were down to a lack of information when it came to directions, and guesswork was just not what was required, and he pointed out the issues that befell Joan Barreda, who led the rally earlier in the week, who lost around 40 minutes due to taking wrong turns.

“It is strange. Sure, it can be hard and tricky, the navigation – but there has to be enough information,” said Walkner to Motorsport.com. “When you have a T-turn, it has to say ‘left’ and ‘right’, not ‘go with what you think’. And today was the same.

“I never knew a rally that [the order] was changing like this. They lose 20 minutes, they get 20 minutes, they lose 20 minutes – [Joan] Barreda did two days perfect, today he lost like 40 minutes.

“There was, like, a really easy note, but it didn’t say we had to leave the main road. And because there’s so many crossings missing – and normally if a crossing is missing, you just stay on the main road… I do like that always – but at that note it didn’t mean that.”