Sun, 10 Dec 2023

Wadi Ad-Dawasir [Saudi Arabia], January 11 (ANI): Pablo Quintanilla posted second place at the finish-line in Wadi Ad-Dawasir, clawing back time and setting up the chance of making the top step of the final podium. Honda Team's American rider Ricky Brabec was fourth on the day.

The Dakar Rally heads into its final stretch and today, with the lengthiest stage of this edition, at 830 km, the mileage count takes a hefty leap forward. On the agenda were 395 kilometres of special stage across the southern part of Saudi Arabia, with plenty of sand and a lot of dunes to be tackled.

From Al Dawadimi it was on to Wadi Ad-Dawasir, on a day featuring more kilometres of link section than special stage. The most southerly located bivouac in this Dakar will be the destination for two stages: tomorrow, a new looping stage will see competitor's charter territory in the vast Empty Quarter.

Pablo Quintanilla was the best placed representative from the Honda Team on today's stage, although most of the riders performed well on the eighth stage of the Dakar 2022. Pablo reached the bivouac in second place, less than three minutes behind the day's winner. Ricky Brabec also set a fierce pace, registering the day's fourth best time, 6'44" behind Sunderland. Tomorrow, the American should be able to use tomorrow's position to his advantage to gnaw into the time of his direct rivals.

Nacho Cornejo got lumbered with the unpleasant task of opening the track today after winning yesterday's stage. The young Chilean rode well until the latter part of the day, when a minor navigation error caused him to slip back, losing a little more time than expected.

Honda Team team-mate Joan Barreda took a tumble on a dune early in the special that left him in some pain throughout the day. The rider still managed to finish ninth in RallyGP with a 12 minutes deficit. The Spaniard is fifth overall, 14'38" behind the race leader. (ANI)

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