Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2021 – Preview

Matthias Walkner - Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is made up of five full days of racing, primarily held in the dunes of the Liwa Desert. Totaling 1,949 kilometers, the event will feature 1,357 kilometers raced against the clock and is known to provide a real challenge in terms of endurance and navigation. The rally looks set to be the perfect test for rider and machine ahead of the 2022 Dakar.

Securing the world championship title last time out in Morocco, Matthias Walkner heads to the United Arab Emirates looking to maintain his speed and positive momentum during the run up to the Dakar Rally, as well as carry out important testing on his KTM 450 RALLY ahead of the Saudi event. With the race marking the final competitive outing of the year, the Austrian star is aiming to claim a solid finish at this fifth round of the championship.

Matthias Walkner: “I’m really looking forward to this final race in Abu Dhabi – it’s always a great event with an amazing desert and very good conditions for the team and riders. As the last race before Dakar it’s important for me to do my best, but with the championship already in the bag I don’t want to take too many risks this late in the year. I’ll do my best, but also try to enjoy it and keep my momentum and feeling on the bike ahead of Dakar.”

Opening with a short two-kilometer super special, followed by five full stages of racing, round five of the 2021 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship – the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge – kicks off in Abu Dhabi from November 6 – 11.

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