We arrived at the “rest” day of the Dakar Rally with 4 Italians still in the race and Gerini in command of the Original by Motul.
After 7 days of competition, including the prologue, 231 vehicles (78 motorcycle, 14 quads, 56 cars, 49 light vehicles and 34 trucks) of the 286 departed from Jeddah survived to this day. Another 26 vehicles have withdrawn from the race but remain eligible to continue the adventure according to the rules of the Dakar Rally Experience without appearing in the general classification.
Maurizio gerini he rested little, like all the participants in the Malle Moto category (Original by Motul), spending the day fixing the bike and preparing it for the Marathon stage, together with Franco Picco, Cesare Zacchetti e Giovanni Stigliano.
With Price narrowly ahead, it will be a second week of fire.
A dozen riders are very close to each other as the race enters its decisive second week. A mere quarter of an hour separates the top 10 in the middle of the rally. The reigning champion Ricky brabec he is thirteenth overall, but only 19 minutes behind the leader, which makes the Honda rider still formidable in the last week. The 2016 and 2019 champion, Toby Price, at the top of the general classification. The KTM driver always remained lucid in the special stages where navigation made the difference between the competitors. Honda placed two riders, Kevin Benavidez and "Nacho cornejo“, Right behind the Australian and in a perfect position to take advantage of any mistakes the leader may make. The Argentine performed an epic performance in the fifth stage from Riyadh to Al Qaisumah, earning the victory despite falling, injuring his nose and ankle.
Joan Barreda, the fourth Honda rider, sits in seventh place despite a string of navigational errors and has achieved three stage wins so far, taking his career tally to 27 and making him the third most prolific Dakar rider of all time, behind Stephane Peterhansel e Cyril Despres, tied with 33 wins. Xavier De Soultrait he is fifth overall after six stages after a series of excellent performances. The Frenchman, who now runs for Husqvarna and chases Ross Branch in the overall standings, he also had a brief exploit in the lead, as did the American Skyler howes, currently eighth. Daniel sanders he achieved three stage podiums (including the prologue), finishing 12th and firmly at the top of the rookie standings.
Oscar Polli's comment
Oscar Polli"A day of rest for the 78s motorcycle riders still in the race, but who must also prepare for the Marathon stage: spare parts, equipment and the mechanical capacity of the riders on their vehicles will be decisive in the event of mechanical unforeseen events. Last but not least, for the elite riders, this year the consumption of a maximum of only 6 pairs of tires will be decisive, which unfortunately have available. A ranking that can still change, in this real Dakar ”.