Eighth stage of the Dakar 2021 from Sakaka to Neom. Nacho Cornejo wins, followed by Price for just one minute. Gerini is forced to retire.
The Marathon stage and the dakar in general put a lot of body and mind to the test. Ross Branch's tears yesterday made us understand how we can love and hate the Dakar.
Toby Price damaged his rear tire yesterday during the first part of the marathon stage and restarted fixing it with the clamps. Xavier De Soultrait he crashed at km 267 of today's special and was transported to the Tabuk hospital by the medical team: fortunately he seems to have always remained conscious.
In the Original by Motul category, Maurizio gerini just behind Arūnas Gelažninkas. However, the Imperia, after a bad fall 30km from the finish, is transported by helicopter to the hospital for an abdominal effusion and is forced to retire. He didn't take it, he was leading a great race and was absolutely in contention to win in the category Trunk Motorcycle.
But today is the turn of Nacho cornejo to enjoy the first stage victory. The Chilean, who started in second position, completed the stage of the marathon with an advantage of just over a minute up Toby Price, who had navigation problems, and now boasts the same gap over his Australian rival in the overall standings, making the challenge between Honda and KTM ever more heated! From this stage the real gaps begin, with 4 riders in 13 minutes.
They continue with incredible determination and consistency too Cesare Zacchetti e Franco Picco, at the moment respectively 60th and 49th stage and which we remember they run in the Original by Motul category (Malle Moto) without assistance.
The comment of the pilots and Oscar Polli
Oscar Polli: “Ross Branch's tears let us know how to love and hate her Dakar Rally. Navigation for motorcycles and 4 wheels is paper and a source of extreme stress, with the validation of the gps points on the route, called WP (waypoints) which are divided into: control passage, masked, eclipse, safety, visible, speed. The validation must be done between 209 and 50 meters to which we must add the continuous control of the compass degrees called CAP made difficult when changing direction off-piste, in the middle of nowhere. This is part of the components that a driver must learn in facing the Dakar. In today's stage Toby Price highlights his ability to manage and rationalize his skills, making a stage with a finished rear tire in every sense. But tomorrow we will talk about the South American riders ”.
Nacho cornejo: “I started second, behind Ricky, my teammate. At first he was pushing very hard. I was pushing too but I caught up with him maybe just a little bit before refueling. I think we drove at a very good speed today and there were no navigational errors. There were some difficult parts, but we quickly found the way without making any mistakes and this is where we gained a lot of time. It was a nice stage, quite fast but in the end with some very beautiful landscapes: these huge rocky mountains are just amazing. Four days from the end the plan is the same as it is now: ride as fast as possible, don't get lost, don't fall and take care of the bike, so I think if we keep the same attention that I have brought in this race or in these last ones two days I can do quite well. We are very focused, but now is the time to rest and think about tomorrow's stage ”.