Eleventh stage of the Dakar 2021 from Alula to Yanbu. Head to head between Honda and KTM with Sunderland winning today. Last decisive stage.
This edition of the Dakar Rally 2021 never ceases to amaze. Barreda comes out and remains dry, Sunderland wins on KTM and Benavides leads for only 4 minutes.
Let's start first with Franco Picco, 65, an undisputed example of tenacity and willpower. Yesterday he made us fear for the retirement due to an initial navigation problem and a major one due to the breaking of the mousse and consequent sealing of the tire. But instead he did it, completing the stage and making us understand he has no intention of retiring, even if he was forced to push. Today, with a penalty of 40 minutes, he ends the stage in 45th place and is 46th overall.
But let's move on to the younger and more daring. Today's stage was supposed to be the hardest, but fortunately it was shortened a bit. All the pilots start well and well-trained yesterday were in the first positions, including Quintanilla, but the KTM riders certainly do not give up for a few minutes and both Sam sunderland than the rookie Daniel sanders open the "hammer gas". English and Chilean then begin to distance both Benavides and A brat. Meanwhile, the sensational news of Bang Bang Barreda and stays dry after missing the refueling point. Incredible!
The last kilometers of the special therefore mark the fight at the last second in which Sam sunderland, winner, manages to give a good 6'40 "a Kevin Benavidez. The general classification is thus composed when there is only one decisive and crazy stage to follow all in one breath!
- Kevin Benavidez 45H 01 ′ 44 "
- Sam Sunderland + 00H 04 ′ 12 "
- Ricky Brabec + 00H 07 ′ 13 "
in the category Trunk Motorcycle (Original by Motul) Arunas Gelazninkas he is one step away from victory, with an advantage of over an hour on Emanuel Gyenes.
The comment of Oscar Polli and the pilots
Oscar Polli: “Penultimate stage with“ giallo noir ”on the refueling of Barreda which remained dry. Sam Sunderland wins the stage, shortens the gap but starts first tomorrow
Sam sunderland: “I knew that today was one of my last chances to try to win and I gave it my all, all day. The guys in front did a great job. I haven't been able to take enough time, but I'm happy with my commitment. We still have one day to go and many things can happen. What a really tough day and a really tough Dakar, but I'm very grateful for the team and everyone who did all the work. Also being able to race with our bikes in the desert, given the world situation, is a gift and I will be happy to go and rest for a while now ”.
Kevin Benavidez: “We did a really good job with Ricky. It was a really hard day, very long with a lot of surfing, a lot of sand and dunes. I opened for about two hundred kilometers, so I think I did a good job. With Ricky we pushed together on the dunes. We tried to do our best. Tomorrow we will push like every day, no other strategy than that. There are no team orders and yes, the race is still open".