Matthias Walkner crowned 2015 FIM World Cross-Country Rallies world champion in Morocco.
The final round of the series, saw the former MX3 World Champion clinch his first rally crown with a runner-up result in Morocco.
Entering the rally two points behind Marc Coma – who retired earlier this year – the KTM rider delivered a solid performance to secure the title less than 10 months after his Dakar Rally debut.
Placing 34 seconds behind race winner Sam Sunderland, Walkner was crowned the new rally champion.
“I can’t believe I have won the title. It’s truly extraordinary. Luckily everything went extremely well for me. I tried not to make any mistakes and more or less rode comfortably to the finish,” told Walkner at the end of the fifth and final stage.
Sunderland’s race win ensured KTM placed 1-2-3 in the championship classification with Coma still ending his year in third.
With victory on stage five, Honda’s Paulo Gonclaves ended the rally in third overall.
Newly crowned Enduro 2 World Champion Antoine Meo made his rally debut in Morocco. Despite missing one stage through illness, he recorded an impressive sixth on the final stage of the weeklong race.
Jordi Viladoms and Toby Price were two other riders struck with food poisoning and both were forced to withdraw from the race.
Ivan Cervantes also made his rally debut in Morocco and placed inside the top 20 with 18th.
Laia Sanz overcame a 15-hour penalty on day one to end the final stage in 10th for 47th overall.
Pela Renet saw his race end on the penultimate stage with a crash. The Husqvarna rider suffered a suspected broken jaw.
Rally of Morocco
Stage Five Results
1. Paulo Goncalves (POR) Honda, three hours 35 minutes
2. Helder Rodrigues (POR) Yamaha, + 5 minutes 46
3. Matthias Walkner (AUT) KTM, + 6.48
4. Sam Sunderland (GBR) KTM, +10.35
5. Olivier Pain (FRA) KTM, + 10.37
6. Antoine Meo (FRA) KTM, + 11.15
Final Overall Results
1. Sunderland, 15 hours 38.00
2. Walkner + 00.34
3. Goncalves, + 29.08
4. Faria, +56.38
5. Benavides, + 59.15
FIM World Cross-Country Rallies Championship Final Standings
1. Walkner KTM 87pts
2. Sunderland KTM 80
3. Marc Coma KTM 70
4. Goncalves Honda 69
5. Quintanilla KTM 65