Tuareg Rallye 2013 - #116 Lukas Matzinger (Husaberg Adventure Team) - final summary report
“A new high...”
Despite having ridden a bike in some of the most inhospitable places on earth, nothing had quite prepared Lukas for his first taste of Tunisian sand! “I had a fantastic start, but by the middle of the afternoon it was horrible!” he says of his first competitive rallye stage. Nevertheless, despite taking over twice as long as the first place finisher, Lukas persevered and completed the stage without any time penalty - something he would replicate day after day throughout the rally.
Riding a lightweight and manouverable Husaberg FE 570 (the very same bike he broke the world altitude record on last year), Lukas was able to make short work of the more technical stages the Profi riders had to navigate as part of the rally “To be honest, it’s almost like cheating” he says with a huge grin, describing how other riders on larger and heavier bikes struggled in the more extreme terrain.
Fortunately initial concerns about fuel range on the longer stages (his bike only holds a modest 12 litres of fuel) never materialized, however he did find that once the engine got hot - typically when slugging through the soft sand - the bike suffered from poor throttle response and would not pull cleanly at higher revs. “I ended up having to use momentum on some of the bigger dunes, as when I’d open the throttle [hard], then engine would just die” he shrugged. However, since the bike was otherwise running perfectly, he elected to ‘ride around’ the problem for the rest of the rally, rather than risk changing his fuel injector that might have complicated things further.
While Lukas admits he was a novice when it came to off-road racing, it was soon apparent that his riding skills and competitive machine resulted in a steady climb up the leader-board. When we spoke at the half-way point, he was full of optimism: “I didn’t come here to race so much as to learn about rallying” he says “But I’m enjoying myself so much, I actually feel I can do reasonably well!”
Unfortunately his enthusiasm was given a brief knock when on the 4th stage he was penalized 4 hours for missing a checkpoint: “I’m sure I didn’t miss it, but the organization insisted my timecard wasn’t marked” he sighs “I guess that is all part of the learning process - next time I’ll make sure I get every stamp!”
His consistent pace and merciful lack of mechanical or navigational issues throughout the rally resulted in a 36th place overall finish in the Moto Profi class - an excellent result for a first-time rally racer, although as Lukas was at pains to point out “Had I not got that 4 hour penalty, I’d have finished 22nd overall!” he smiles wistfully.
Based on his experience in Tunisia, and with a heavy hint that he would like to return and try to improve his overall result, it would seem that Lukas has finally found his competitive calling!
results #116 Lukas Matzinger (AUT) - class: Moto Profi
Day 1: 45th
Day 2: 29th
Day 3: timing suspended
Day 4: 40th
Day 5: 23rd
Day 6: 34th
Day 7: 16th
36th Overall (MP)