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Dakar 2024: Eduard Pons and Jaume Betriu flirt again with the Top 10

Dakar 2024: Eduard Pons and Jaume Betriu flirt again with the Top 10

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  • The Pons Rallysport team enjoys a clean and fun stage and is classified 12th in the SSV category, just half a minute away from entering the top ten.
  • Pons and Betriu recover from the hardness of the last two days of the Dakar and already have their sights set on the last third of the race.
  • “Perseverance has a reward. Today we were able to run at our pace again after a few very hard days, and we want to continue like this until the end.”

“Perseverance has a reward.” This is how Eduard Pons summarized the eighth stage of the Dakar completed by the Pons Rallysport team this Monday. After two mechanical breakdowns made their race very steep the day before, Pons and his co-driver Jaume Betriu have returned to their own devices. The Ilerda team has achieved an absolute 12th position in the SSV category, flirting again with the Top 10.

“After yesterday's tremendous day, today we had a clean and fun stage, with dunes and sand tracks in the first part, and very fast tracks with stones at the end. A very varied special that has allowed us to run at our own pace again, although we started from far behind, and to finish with a good taste in our mouths after a few very hard days,” summarizes Eduard Pons.

The driver from Ilerda refers to the exhausting 48-hour time trial that the team experienced last Thursday and Friday, and to his odyssey in the resumption of the test on Sunday, after the rest day in Riyadh. The Pons Rallysport duo fought hard to complete the route and stay in the race, despite losing several hours repairing the Can-Am Maverick added danger that this entails.

The effort has been rewarded with a result that returns Pons/Betriu to the top of the partial classification among light production vehicles, where they had remained solidly in the first five days, despite having had small setbacks each day. “Now we want to continue like this until the end,” they both affirm as a shared objective.

This eighth stage was once again very long, with a total of 678 kilometers, between Al Duwadimi and Ha'il, of which 458 against the clock. However, the time trial included a neutralization of 179 kilometers on asphalt, so that, in practice, the special has been divided into two timed sections, of 165 and 114 kilometers, respectively. The first, as Pons explained, with dunes and sand, without dust; the second, with dirt and stone tracks, and, again, a lot of dust on the track.

Upon arrival at the Ha'il bivouac, Pons and Betriu, along with the rest of the participants, received the news of the death of the Catalan amateur motorcycle rider Carles Falcón, as a result of the accident he had had on the second day: “We want to send a strong I hug his family and friends, and we will seek to reach the goal in his memory.”

This Tuesday, the ninth stage will take the caravan from Ha'il to Al-Ula, and will include another long special of 436 timed kilometers.

 

Automatic translation of the Spanish version available on www.todoterreno.pt
Source: Pons Rallysport

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