Al-Rajhi shakes off flat tire for Dakar stage 10 win
Saudi Arabia’s native hero Yazeed Al-Rajhi got here on sturdy within the closing portion of immediately’s tenth stage of the marathon — a 342km/213-mile run by way of the sand between spectacular rockpiles from Neom on the Pink Sea to Al-Ula — to take his second stage win within the automotive class, but it surely took a dangerous gamble to shut the deal. The Overdrive Toyota driver pushed on to the end on a flat tire.
“We went quick, and Dirk (von Zitzewitz, navigator) additionally did an amazing job. Nonetheless, with 30 km to go, we had a flat tire,” associated Al-Rajhi. “We determined to push on, reasoning that we had been nearly there. The tire ended up torn to items, however we completed with it. It was dangerous, however we wished to win. We thought that stopping would value us 1m20s, whereas easing up slightly may solely value us 45s.”
Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah — driving an analogous Toyota Hilux for Toyota Gazoo Racing — completed second, 2m04s behind, main residence total Dakar chief Stephane Peterhansel (X Raid MINI JCW) by 49s to shut the hole to the Frenchman. Nonetheless, he nonetheless trails by 17 minutes with simply two levels remaining.
“Navigating wasn’t simple, however I’m slightly completely satisfied the stage went with no hitch,” mentioned Al-Attiyah. “I believe tomorrow will resolve the Dakar. It’s going to be a tough stage, however we’ll do our greatest. There’s no technique — we’ll simply preserve driving quick. In fact, Stephane is beneath probably the most strain as a result of he’s the chief, however I’m additionally beneath strain: If I can’t make it, I’ll end second.”
Within the bike class, America’s Ricky Brabec (pictured above) claimed prime honors by 3m15s over Monster Vitality Honda teammate Joan Barreda. The win pulled the reigning Dakar champ as much as second total, 51s behind Argentina’s Kevin Benavides in one other Monster Vitality Honda, after their beforehand main teammate ‘Nacho’ Cornejo crashed out.
“I’m certain Nacho has a whole lot of strain. Main the Dakar shouldn’t be simple,” sympathized Brabec. “I don’t suppose there’s a whole lot of strain from the group, however for a private purpose I believe he has a whole lot of strain. He’s a younger child, he’s been driving properly all week — he’s been stunning everyone. He’s the most effective navigator at this rally. Everyone knows all of us wanna win. Successful is the most effective factor there’s in life. There’s no actual group orders.”
Within the SSV class, Sergey Karyakin took his first stage win, main residence America’s Austin Jones by 30s. Class chief Francisco Lopez completed sixth and noticed his total lead over Monster Vitality Can-Am rider Jones lowered to 29s. America’s Pablo Copetti gained the stage within the quad class to tug himself as much as fourth total, as Argentina’s Manuel Andujar — third on immediately’s stage — nonetheless enjoys a lead of 21m. Martin Macík took his second consecutive stage win in vans by a 1m40s over Dimitry Sotnikov, though the Russian Kamaz driver stays comfortably forward total by 47m.