Goosebumps moment – Walkner: “I’ve already seen the wheelchair”

Matthias Walkner has been in hospital since his nasty motorcycle accident two months ago. On Friday the Dakar Rally winner will finally go home and back to life. A look back at anxious moments with goosebumps.

From his hospital bed, Matthias Walkner spoke yesterday at UKH Graz about the most difficult two months of his career. In preparation for his tenth Dakar Rally, the 37-year-old from Salzburg had a serious accident during a training trip in the USA at the beginning of December. He’s been through an ordeal since then, but there’s finally a silver lining on the horizon for “Hiasi.” Walkner about: State of health: “I wasn’t feeling so well a week ago, but a lot of positive things have happened in the last few days. The CT scan on Monday looked very good, and I haven’t needed morphine for the pain since Friday. This gives me energy so that I now have the hope of being completely pain-free in one to two years.”Operations: “I have already had a total of six operations. I had a two-inch hole in my foot where all the bones were shattered. This was reconstructed in a 15-hour operation using my own bones and foreign material.” Accident: “I drove at around 70 percent of normal racing speed. Behind a round hill I missed a cliff edge and jumped into the opposite slope with a height difference of six meters. I can’t remember ever being so scared while jumping. In the air I saw a frame in front of me that was divided into a black picture on the right and a wheelchair on the left. I can imagine what that meant.”Worst Moments: “The last few days in America were the worst. I couldn’t tolerate the food anymore. For breakfast there were two burger slices, pork sausages, two pancakes and an egg dish made from ready-made powder. Combined with my painkillers, this caused bad cramps in my stomach. Going to the toilet with the iron frame, which was anchored in my bone at seven points, was also really bad.” Next steps: “I’m allowed to go home for the first time on Friday – for a week. I am motivated to fight my way back to normal life and do what I enjoy: cycling with friends, swimming, barbecuing, and at some point riding a street motorbike. There are a lot of casual things I’m fighting for now. Afterwards we go to Tobelbad near Graz for at least two weeks of rehab.” Motocross world champion 2012 (MX3 class) Cross-country world champion 2015 Dakar Rally overall winner 2018 Second overall in 2017 and 2019, third overall in 2022 Five stage wins in the Dakar Rally Dakar as a spectator: “It was very difficult for me at the beginning. But even though I was so far away, I was still close. Sam Sunderland (factory rider from KTM sister team GasGas) contacted me immediately after his retirement. Daniel Sanders, with whom I always share a motorhome, basically simulated my presence for social media. And my physiotherapists must have thought: What’s wrong with the walker, he looks at his cell phone all day!? Because I followed the current results there every day.”Sporting future: “I’m not yet racking my brains about whether I’ll race again. At the moment I have completely different priorities. In any case, I only want to start again when I’m competitive. Maybe starting in the cars is also an option, or I can bring my know-how from 25 years of motorsport to KTM in a different form.”
source site-12