Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Matthias Walkner is recovering well following surgery to repair an injury to his left leg, which he sustained while training in the United States. However, the damage is such that the Austrian will be unable to compete in the Dakar Rally in January. Teammate Kevin Benavides also injured his left leg while training recently, but the Argentinian is expected to be back riding in time for Dakar.
While training with the team on December 5, Matthias Walkner unfortunately fell from his KTM 450 RALLY, which resulted in him breaking his tibia, fibula, and ankle joint. Flown to the hospital in Palm Springs, Walkner underwent a successful surgery to repair the damage. The 2018 Dakar Rally Champion will require a further surgery in due course, which he hopes to have carried out at home in Austria.
In what was a tough few days for the Red Bull KTM team, Kevin Benavides also injured his left leg while testing on Sunday, December 3. Thankfully, Kevin’s injury was not deemed too serious, but the reigning Dakar Champion had to cut short his training schedule. With just under one month to go before the Dakar start, Benavides is expected to make a positive recovery and will take part in the rally.
All at Red Bull KTM Factory Racing wish both riders all the best for a speedy recovery.
Andreas Hölzl – Rally Team Manager: “It’s been a very difficult few days for the team here in the United States. Training for the Dakar had been going extremely well, with all riders working very hard. Kevin damaged his leg last Sunday, but thankfully, it wasn’t too bad. We hope he will be back to near full fitness by Dakar. On Monday, Matthias had a nasty crash while training, which ended up in him having several fractures. The surgery went really well, and they have attached a fixator to his left leg to help the recovery. But he will require more surgery, once the swelling starts to go down. Obviously, these two incidents have been a massive blow to the team, but we will continue to look ahead and do all we can to be as strong as possible for Dakar. The whole team wishes both Matthias and Kevin a quick and full recovery.”