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Dakar 2024: Eduard Pons consolidates his place in the Top 10 of the Dakar

Dakar 2024: Eduard Pons consolidates his place in the Top 10 of the Dakar

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  • The Spanish driver and his co-driver Jaume Betriu finish ninth in the third stage and consolidate the tenth absolute position in the SSV category.
  • The Pons Rallysport team overcomes with aplomb the first part of the marathon stage and a complicated stretch of dunes, despite suffering two punctures.
  • "It was a survival stage, which we finished at night. After the punctures we had to conserve, but we are in the race, improving and moving forward".

Another long and hard Dakar stage, another test passed by the Pons Rallysport team. The third special stage of the Dakar, between Al Duwadimi and Al Salamiya, ended with the best partial result for Eduard Pons and his co-driver Jaume Betriu, who pushed the Can-Am Maverick X3 to ninth place overall in the SSV category, 44 minutes behind the leader after 437 timed kilometers. The performance allows them to consolidate their tenth place in the general classification among the light series vehicles.

The day was marked in red in the agenda of the Pons Rallysport team, because it was their first contact with a marathon stage, with only two hours of assistance at the end of the special stage, before the vehicles went to the closed park until the next day. Pons and Betriu got through the stage with aplomb and could have finished higher if they hadn't suffered two punctures in the first third of the time trial.

"We had no more spare tires, so we had to be conservative and ride with lead feet until the end," explains the rider from Lleida. "It was really bad luck, because we had a puncture without attacking", he adds.

Among the positive aspects, the skill with which the Pons Rallysport drivers have overcome the dune sections in the second half of the special. "They were soft and big dunes, complicated, and we did a very good job there, because we did not get stuck at any time and we were able to recover some time", says Pons.

Thus, the hardness has once again been the dominant tone in the first Dakar of Pons as driver and Betriu as co-driver. The team from Lleida had to complete the last 25 kilometers of the special stage at night, and in the two hours of assistance they took the opportunity to change a rear suspension triangle that had broken.

"It was a survival stage, which we finished at night. The important thing is that we are in the race, improving and moving forward. Let's hope that luck will be with us, even if we didn't have it today with the punctures," said the veteran Pons.

This Tuesday, the second part of the marathon stage will run between Al Salamiya and Al-Hofuf. There will be 698 kilometers, of which 299 will be timed. The day's special stage will have a bit of everything, mainly fast and rocky tracks, but also dunes in the final part.

 

Automatic translation of the Spanish version available on www.todoterreno.pt-
Source: Eduard Pon's official press release

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