Alonso on the verge of the top 50. Results of the second stage of Dakar 2020January 7, 2020
The leader changes in most categories, the failures of the main favorites, the newcomer drama Fernando Alonso, as well as the finest hour of the South Africans – in the review of the main events of the second day of the Dakar 2020 rally marathon …
The main thing
South African motorcycle racer Ross Bratch made a couple of sensations in his debut Dakar a year ago. And now he has opened the account for victories at special stages, at the finish in Neoma ahead of one and a half minutes KTM factory racer Sam Sunderland. The current triumphant Dakar Toby Price paid for yesterday’s victory, because he was forced to open the track. As a result, the Australian lost about 12 minutes on navigation. But Ignacio Casale, the leader in the ATV category, escaped any problems, having won a second victory in a row with surprising ease.
The day turned out to be chaotic for the favorites of the SUV category. The most experienced and titled Stefan Peteransel, Carlos Sainz and Nasser Al-Attiyah lost a lot of time, having strayed in the sand. And the fastest following the results of the day was another favorite Giniel de Villiers, who became the first racer in history to win the Dakar special stages in Africa, South America and the Middle East. But the leadership in the general classification was not captured by de Villiers, but by the driver of the X-Raid Mini Orlando Terranova. There was a change in the leader in the all-terrain vehicle category, where the current owner of the Golden Bedouin Francisco Lopez was on the first line.
Performance of the day
Khalid Al-Kassimi, a little-known to the general public, first made himself known in Dakar back in 2018, when he confidently took sixth place following the results of the entire rally marathon. And it seems that moving the competition to Saudi Arabia benefited the rally driver from neighboring Abu Dhabi. The former WRC racer fully realized the potential of the Peugeot 3008 DKR on the route to Neom and finished in an honorable third place. And in the overall standings, Al-Kassimi climbed to seventh place and is now ahead of the local racer, Yazid Al-Raji.
After the finish the day before, Fernando Alonso said that he planned to carefully drive through the first stages and, in general, was not the time to reveal the cards. But, unfortunately, this cautious approach did not allow the eminent newcomer Dakar to avoid problems. At the 160th kilometer of the second stage, the Spaniard hit a stone and tore off the left front wheel. They managed to fix the car, but it took two and a half hours to repair. In the general classification, the two-time Formula 1 world champion is now only the 48th. But all the main tests are yet to come …
Statistics of the day
Ross Branch became the first native of Botswana and the sixth representative of the African continent to win the Dakar special stage. The most productive motorcycle racer is South African Alfie Cox, who has won eight victories between 1999 and 2003. Franco-Malian Alain Duclos won one stage in 2006 and 2014. ATV Brian Baragwanath marked a victory in 2016. But, of course, the most successful native of South Africa is Giniel de Villiers, who won the off-road competition at the Dakar 2009 and today won his anniversary, 15th special stage. The pioneer was Kenyan Shehar Mehta, the winner of six stages and the winner of fifth place in the category of SUVs in Dakar-1987.
Quote of the Day
Nasser Al-Attiyah: “Three punctures yesterday, three punctures today. In addition to this, today we got lost and lost ten minutes. It is not easy in the new area, but everyone makes mistakes. Nevertheless, we must thank the organizers for their work, because the Dakar is very interesting. I think that the struggle for victory will go to the last stage. ”
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