Note: Automatic translation
The action returned to Dakar with the seventh stage of the race, this time between Riyadh and Al Dawadimi, with a total of 701km (401km timed), with Rui Gonçalves performing consistently, in another day of demanding navigation.
After regaining strength on the rest day and with the mechanics fine-tuned, Rui Gonçalves faced the 400km of qualifying, in a stage disputed in unexplored territory, with over 100km of dunes that demanded total and absolute concentration in terms of navigation.
The Sherco driver was once again consistent in his performance, by choosing a pace that allowed him to navigate safely in the middle of the Arabian desert, ending the day in 16th place with a time of 3h46m.
Rui Gonçalves: "We started this second week of the Dakar Rally with a stage marked by very demanding navigation. At the beginning I didn't feel very well but, from km 180 on, things started going better, I felt faster and in some places where navigation was more complicated I managed to avoid big mistakes. It was a stage where I had to keep a close eye on the "Road Book" and I think it was a positive day, in which I finished with a 16th place at the end of the stage.
Our goal will remain the same for the rest of the week, always focused because the upcoming stages will certainly be as demanding as this one in terms of navigation.
Thanks to all of you for the tremendous support given throughout these days, from my part I will certainly continue to give the maximum."
The eighth stage of Dakar 2022 will start in Al Dawadimi and end in Wadi Ad-Dawasir, with a total of 839 km (348 km timed), and the first 200 km of this stage will be entirely on sand.
Source: Rui Gonçalves official press release
Photo: Rally Zone
Automatic translation from the original Portuguese Version
Note: Automatic translation
After the rest day the Dakar is back in full swing in the second week with a challenging 401km special stage
A 401 km stage reopened the games of the Dakar 2022 which, after the day of rest, enters the second part of the race, the part where the weight of the 4000 km already covered and the awareness of having to face as many more begins to be felt.
A very demanding special stage, to be tackled more with the head than with the foot on the accelerator and which has put many cars in difficulty.
The crew Schiumarini and Sinibaldi, on board the Pajero WRC+, administered this stage with the aim of limiting the risks due to the dust in suspension present along the track and which strongly limited visibility. Precisely because of the poor visibility, many crews collided during this day, which Schiumarini himself described as "interminable".
In the last 25 km, in fact, the Pajero of the two Italians had a problem with the control unit, forcing them to stop.
However, Schiumarini managed to obtain a good time that allowed him to climb to 55th place in the overall standings.
Source official press release
Automatic translation from the original Italian version
David Castera had warned that stages 7 and 8 would be huge.
The competitors tackled over 400 km of racing today and face a similar distance tomorrow.
However, the Dakar "starts when you wake up and ends when you go to bed", as biker Lorenzo Santolino put it at the end of the special. Stage 6 winner Daniel Sanders has definitely learnt this lesson after crashing out of the race 7 km into the liaison this morning, when he was still riding on the tarmac of Riyadh (see A crushing blow). The GasGas biker, who was due to open the 402 km timed sector, did not join the rest of the field in its westward trek from the capital to Ad-Dawadimi, the geographic centre of the Kingdom, located 300 km from the rest day bivouac on the premises of one of the oldest palaces in the realm.
This part of Riyadh hosted the race for the very first time, first on the sandy terrain that made up a third of the special on the border with the neighbouring Al-Qassim Province, followed by a turn due south towards the bivouac. Combined with the 299 km liaison, the stage marking the start of the second week of the 44th Dakar came out to over 700 km.
The stage after a rest day can be tough.
This one knocked Daniel Sanders out from the get-go (see “A crushing blow”) while reinvigorating Ignacio Cornejo, who burst back onto the scene with his navigational acumen to earn Honda its third special in this Dakar, his career fourth. However, the time gained is far from enough to put him back in contention for the title that seemed so close last year, not least because the race in front of him is still wide open. The big winner of the day was Adrien Van Beveren, who was rewarded for his consistency with a new spell in the overall lead. Last time he occupied this position was four years ago, when he ended up crashing out of the race in stage 10. The Yamaha rider has failed to finish the Dakar ever since. Five stages stand between the Frenchman and glory. He holds a margin of 5′12″ on the restrained yet formidable Matthias Walkner. No fewer than seven bikers lie within 10 minutes of the leader. One of them, Kevin Benavides, is back on the provisional podium (third) thanks to his runner-up finish in today's special, while Sherco's Lorenzo Santolino fought gallantly amid the big favourites and even moved up one spot (fifth).
The new boss of the quad race, Alexandre Giroud, could afford to let Marcelo Medeiros slip away as the Brazilian cruised to his second career Dakar stage win.
Compared with VBA, Nasser Al-Attiyah has enjoyed a much wider margin at the top of the car table since the opening special. Try as he might to turn the tables on his rival, Sébastien Loeb is still 45 minutes behind the Qatari, although he did net his 17th stage win and blasted past Yazeed Al-Rajhi in the general standings without looking back.
In the T3 race, Seth Quintero almost let the stage slip away due to a series of navigation errors that played into the hands of his teammate Cristina Gutiérrez, but he snatched victory from the jaws of defeat to make it seven in this edition. Even a streak as impressive as this one cannot stop the relentless march of Can-Am's "Chaleco" López, still comfortably in the lead with 1h20 to spare over his South Racing stablemate Sebastian Eriksson.
In contrast, the SSV competition was turned on its head as Rodrigo Luppi de Oliveira slumped down the standings as a result of a mechanical less than 100 kilometres into the special. Austin Jones is now in the hot seat.
Meanwhile, the Poles continue to rack up one stage win after another. Today was Aron Domżała's turn to stand on top of the podium, his second triumph in this year's Dakar.
Finally, there is no room for envy at Kamaz as Anton Shibalov picked up his first stage win of the season, with Dmitry Sotnikov in command of the overall.
Performance of the day
The Polish posse continues to turn in a spectacular collective performance in the SSV category. Aron Domżała's second stage win in the 2022 Dakar extended an almost unbroken run of victories for Poland and brought him level with compatriot Michał Goczał, who in turn is one triumph shy of his older brother Marek's tally. Only Rodrigo Luppi de Oliveira, victorious in stage 5, has managed to deny the Poles so far.
The new race leader, Austin Jones, is not the only one who benefited from the Brazilian's off day. The American will have to keep a close eye on Michał Goczał, who has slashed his deficit to the South Racing driver to just 5′11″ as he surges up the standings. Fourth in 2021, the voracious Pole could well close the gap in the coming days.
We were watching his career with great interest. As soon as he wrapped up the 2021 edition with top rookie honours in fourth place overall, Daniel Sanders faced a barrage of gushing comparisons with his older compatriot Toby Price, who had finished third in his debut in 2015 before going on to win the next edition. Australia's next big star, dispatched to GasGas by KTM to bolster its Spanish cousins, kicked off the 2022 rally with an auspicious performance. "Chucky" picked up three stage wins and gave up a fourth en route to completing the first week in third place in the general standings, a mere 5′35″ behind his teammate and overall leader Sam Sunderland.
It barely even registered as a concern when the Australian explained how he had face-planted on his navigation instruments, an episode that caused his lower lip to double in size four days ago. Yet the Victorian now knows that danger lurks around every corner in the Dakar.
Sanders was heading to the start of the special, in which he was due to open the road, when he hit a pavement right after exiting Riyadh, a mere 10 kilometres into the liaison! A fractured left elbow put paid to his hopes and dreams of shining in the rest of the Dakar. As collateral damage, GasGas, which seemed poised to finish the first round of the FIM Constructor Championship at the top of the leader board, has also seen its prospects blighted, although Sunderland continues to fly the bright-red flag for the maker.
Photo: Florent Gooden / DPPI
Quintero impresses with another stage win as Sanders crashes out.
Frenchman Sébastien Loeb gained more than five minutes on car leader Nasser Al-Attiyah after Stage 7 of the 2022 Dakar Rally as teenager Seth Quintero maintained his incredible form with another stage victory. Here is all you need to know:
- Nobody was in a bigger rush to reach the Al Dawadimi bivouac than Loeb as the Frenchman claimed his second stage win of the rally to climb to second overall in the general classification.
- Securing his 16th stage win at the Dakar, Loeb seems set on doing all he can to make life as uncomfortable as possible for race leader Al-Attiyah (QAT) in the second week of the Dakar.
- However, Al-Attiyah is a cool customer even under the glare of the desert sun and the Toyota Hilux T1+ driver still leads Loeb by 45 minutes.
- The second week of the Dakar also proved much more successful for the three Audi RS Q e-trons, with Carlos Sainz (ESP) setting the day’s third-fastest time and team-mate Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) just one place further back. Mattias Ekström (SWE) also came home in the Top 10 on the stage, placing eighth today.
- In the T3 category, history could well be made as Quintero (USA) maintained his impressive winning streak. The 19-year-old Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team driver made it a total of seven stage wins at this Dakar.
- The current stage win record for a single edition of the rally stands at 10 and that was set when the Dakar ran for 17 stages.
- Chaleco Lopez (CHI) looks on course to win the overall T3 category after another strong showing, However, the battle for runner-up got a lot more interesting as third-placed Cristina Gutiérrez (ESP) was able to make up an hour on second-placed Sebastian Eriksson (SWE).
- In the bike category, the second week of the Dakar was over before it got started for GasGas Factory rider Daniel Sanders (AUS). Last year’s best-placed rookie was third overall at the Rest Day, but he didn’t make it to the start line of Stage 7.
- Sanders crashed during the liaison route to the special stage and fractured his left elbow and wrist, bringing his Dakar to a premature end. Team-mate Sam Sunderland (GBR) was also out of luck on Stage 7 as the 2017 Dakar winner lost his overall lead on the stage and now lies fourth overall.
- Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Matthias Walkner (AUS) maintained his spot in second overall, while team-mate and reigning champion Kevin Benavides (ARG) catapulted himself up to third overall.
- In the truck race, things tightened up with the three leading Team Kamaz Master drivers all bunching up at the top of the rankings. Stage winner Anton Shibalov (RUS) is still third overall but closer to the lead than he was on the Rest Day.
- Second place on the stage keeps Eduard Nikolaev (RUS) in second overall, now just five minutes behind race leader and team-mate Dmitry Sotnikov (RUS).
- Monday’s Stage 8 will be a 394km timed special stage, with more than half of that distance being raced over sand dunes.
Sébastien Loeb: “Only half of the rally is done so we’ll keep pushing. We were able to make some time up on Nasser today even though we were forced to slow down at the end. I’ll keep doing my best on each stage and we’ll see what this gets us.”
Nasser Al-Attiayh: “The second week of the Dakar is a different race altogether. We didn't really try to attack this morning, we left it for later in the stage. I don't know whether we won the stage, many of our rivals started behind us, so we have to wait to find out. I'm not following any strategy. If we're in a position to win a special, we won't let it slip away, but our priority is to give it our all day after day and hope that it will pay off at the end of the Dakar.”
Carlos Sainz: “We got lost three or four times at least. You can be just 30m away from a hidden waypoint and you still don’t catch it.”
Matthias Walkner: “Navigation was super tricky, especially one waypoint. It was also a very tiring stage, but we got it done. We’ve five more long days still to go.”
Sam Sunderland: “It was a rough day. First off my team-mate Daniel crashed out on the liaison. Then it was a really difficult stage to open. Rain has washed away so many of the tracks. It’s like a casino out there, you just flip a coin and hope you choose the right path.”
Seth Quintero: “That was quite a day. We started up front and ended up getting lost quite a few times. We got here to the finish and it looks like we got the win again today. That’s seven wins for us now so we’re keeping pace with the record.”
Cristina Gutiérrez: “I think everybody had at least some trouble with navigation today because it was so tricky. Then near the end we had a puncture so that cost us some more time.”
2022 Dakar Rally Standings after Stage 7
CAR RACE TOP 5
1. N. AL-ATTIYAH (QAT) TOYOTA 23:52:22
2. S. LOEB (FRA) BRX +44:59
3. Y. AL RAJHI (SAU) TOYOTA +53:31
4. L. ALVAREZ (ARG) TOYOTA +1:15:09
5. K. PRZYGONSKI (POL) MINI +1:30:04
BIKE RACE TOP 5
1. A. VAN BEVEREN (FRA) YAMAHA 23:45:02
2. M. WALKNER (AUT) KTM +05:12
3. K. BENAVIDES (ARG) KTM +05:23
4. S. SUNDERLAND (GBR) GAS GAS +05:38
5. L. SANTOLINO (ESP) SHERCO +06:34
TRUCK RACE TOP 5
1. D. SOTNIKOV (RUS) KAMAZ 26:05:54
2. E. NIKOLAEV (RUS) KAMAZ +05:14
3. A. SHIBALOV (RUS) KAMAZ +31:25
4. A. LOPRAIS (CZE) PRAGA +1:07:25
5. J. VAN KASTEREN (NLD) IVECO +1:36:51
LIGHTWEIGHT PROTOTYPE (T3) TOP 5
1. F. LOPEZ CONTARDO (CHL) CAN-AM 28:17:24
2. S. ERIKSSON (SWE) CAN-AM +1:24:05
3. C. GUTIERREZ (ESP) OT3 +2:12:40
4. F. ALVAREZ (ESP) CAN-AM +2:38:19
5. S. NAVARRO (ESP) CAN-AM +4:31:52
Source Red Bull
Photo: DPPI / Red Bull Content Pool
After a well deserved rest on the rest day in Ryadh, the Dakar started the second week heading south west to Al Dawasir. This journey of exploration began with about 100 km of dunes in a magnificent succession of ergs. After this intense dune-surfing exercise, the handling and driving got easier, but the labyrinth of tracks was quiet challenging both for drivers and navigators. In total it was 295 kms of liaison and 401 kms of special stage.
For the first time the Cinotto and Pla families drove for a part of the stage together with the French Jean Claude and Jerome Pla finishing 27th, in front of Michele Chinotto and Maurizio Dominella, 28th , and Pietro Cinotto and Alberto Bertoldi in 29th position.
The provisional overall classification sees Pietro Cinotto in P21, followed by Jean Claude Pla in P26 and Michele Cinotto in P33.
“We finished the stage and we are happy because this is our priority but unfortunately we missed two waypoints so the final classification may change”, said Pla sr.
It was a challenging day for Pietro and Alberto, CST Polaris Xtremeplus Team as they were doing very well but they damaged the right front arm and they had to slow down. Despite this issue, they were very good to manage to finish the stage in 29th position behind the second CST Polaris Xtremeplus Team Cinotto-Dominella.
“It was quiet demanding stage because after the first part of chain of dunes the landscape changed and there was a maze of tracks which tricky navigations and so much dust that complicated everything”, said Michele Cinotto, today 28th.
As this press release is posted, Shinsuke Umeda is still on the stage with CAP the bivouac of Al Dawadimi.
Source Polaris Xtremeplus Team
The break in Riyadh appears to have benefited the Monster Energy Honda Team riders – as can be seen in the seventh stage results – with riders bound for the Saudi Arabian capital and the new Al Dawadimi bivouac. Chilean ‘Nacho’ Cornejo won today’s stage with Barreda the third fastest.
To kick off the second and decisive week of racing, the opening kilometres of the seventh stage – after a liaison section – were battled out over fast tracks, some peppered with stones, followed by a hundred kilometres of dunes. There was plenty of sand and navigation in store over the timed 402 kilometres which took in valleys featuring some parallel tracks that proved the undoing of more than one rider.
Young Chilean José Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Cornejo took advantage of a good starting position this morning to set a lightning pace throughout the stage. With the terrain in optimal conditions, the rider from Iquique registered the quickest times at almost every waypoint en route, reaching the finish-line with the top marker after taking three-and-a-half hours to complete the special. Nacho now lies in ninth in the general standings, 26’37” behind the leader.
Joan Barreda once again pulled off an epic performance and was able to finish the stage amongst the frontrunners in spite of a shoulder injury – an arduous feat given the demanding terrain. Bang Bang reached Al Dawadimi to the applause of the entire Monster Energy Honda Team, gritting his teeth throughout the entire stage, with surprising speed, to eventually post third. The Spaniard now occupies seventh in the Dakar, 8’30” behind the leader.
A positive stage not only for Cornejo and Barreda, but also for Ricky Brabec and Pablo Quintanilla. In addition to pulling back precious minutes in the general standings, their starting positions for tomorrow’s stage will allow a more gung-ho approach as they attempt to claw back even more time in the rankings. On the day Ricky finished seventh and Pablo eleventh, with the pair now holding thirteenth and sixth respectively.
With a total of 830 kilometres by the end of the day, tomorrow will be the lengthiest stage of the 2022 Dakar Rally. After setting off the Al Dawadimi bivouac, there will be a liaison to reach the start of the special. Awaiting will be “just” 395 kilometres of special stage with a lot of sand and dunes through the valleys of the south of the country, arriving at the Wadi Ad-Dawasir bivouac after another very long liaison by road.
Ricky Brabec 2 - STAGE: 7TH OVERALL: 12TH - It was a good day for the team. It was long and rocky, but it was good. Some mistakes by other drivers allowed Pablo and I to open the last part of the special. It was a good team effort. We made up a good amount of time and we just have to keep pushing. The results are crazy, there are five days left and hopefully we can stay this strong and make it to the finish line. I'm outside the top ten, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can get on the podium in Jeddah.
Pablo Quintanilla 7 - STAGE: 11TH OVERALL: 6TH - It was a very good day for the team, and I want to congratulate Nacho for the stage victory. For me, personally, it was a good day to pull back some minutes in the overall standings. It was not easy. After refuelling I realised that Sam and Mathias were lost and we took the opportunity to attack. The navigation was super-complicated and the roads were not visible, so we had to be very precise with the distances. I didn't lose much time and I made up a few minutes on the guys in front. I'm very pleased.
José Ignacio Cornejo 11 - STAGE: 1ST OVERALL: 9TH - Today was a good day. I started from a nice position, so I hoped to take the opportunity to attack, make up some time in the general classification and maybe even the stage victory. In the end, I achieved both of them. I tried to stay calm, to keep my concentration and not get lost with the navigation and that’s the way it worked out. I'm happy for my fourth victory in the Dakar, the first of this 2022. The bitter taste of the first days is behind us and we are highly motivated for the week to come. We will fight until the end.
Joan Barreda 88 - STAGE: 3RD OVERALL: 7TH - I tried to start with some pace. At the beginning it was hard, with a rocky terrain that made me suffer a lot. I got a bit stiff when I was forcing my arms until I was able to relax a bit more in the faster sections. From the 100th kilometre onwards, I was able to push. I realised that the harder I pushed, the more confident I felt physically. I had some good feelings and I couldn’t have asked for anything better considering all I’ve been through.
Source Monster Energy Honda
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Kevin Benavides has placed second fastest on the long stage seven of the Dakar Rally. In doing so the Argentinian moves himself up to third overall in the provisional overall standings, one place behind teammate Matthias Walkner, who led out most of today’s special to claim an eventual 24th place finish. Toby Price finished ninth quickest, with Danilo Petrucci successfully completing the arduous stage in 30th.
Leaving the Saudi capital of Riyadh, competitors made their way west towards Al Dawadimi on stage seven, but first they faced a challenging 402-kilometer timed special that comprised a mixture of seemingly endless dunes followed by more tricky-to-navigate canyons and riverbeds. Finding the mixed terrain very much to his liking, reigning Dakar Champion Kevin Benavides made the very best use of his 13th place start position to work his way up through the field to ultimately complete the stage in second. The result gives the number one plate holder a huge boost in the overall standings, moving him from eighth up to third, just over five minutes behind the leader.
Kevin Benavides: “I really pushed today, and it feels good to have that hard work pay off with a strong result. Navigation was tricky, especially later on, and I did make a couple of mistakes that cost me some time, but I was able to fix them quickly and keep a good rhythm going to the finish. I’ll be up near the front tomorrow, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Putting in a solid day seven performance from his eighth-place start position, Toby Price knew the special would throw up a few surprises and so focused on accurate navigation for the entirety of the stage. Completing the initial dune section as one of the fastest riders, Toby showed more caution as the terrain got technical in the latter half of the stage. Bringing his KTM 450 RALLY home in ninth place, Price moves up one more place in the overall rankings to 11th with five stages left to contest.
Toby Price: “Not a bad stage for me today, there was one really tricky bit of navigation in the middle there, so I took my time through that section to make sure I got through ok. I’m here safe in one piece, so can’t complain at all. On the whole, it’s been a really good day today, so we’ll focus on tomorrow now and hopefully more of the same.”
After catching and passing the one rider setting off ahead of him, Matthias Walkner soon found himself opening the technically demanding stage. The Austrian was able to maintain a good pace through the 100-kilometer dune section at the beginning of the special, keeping the chasing pack at bay. But when the terrain changed to the slower, rocky tracks later in the stage, a couple of small errors resulted in several minutes being lost for the KTM 450 RALLY rider. Despite finishing in 24th place, just over 10 minutes down on the stage winner, Matthias remains in second overall and will now enjoy an advantageous start position for Monday’s long 830-kilometer stage eight.
Matthias Walkner: “It was a super tricky to navigate stage today. I think with the rain that we had here last week it’s washed a lot of the pistes away, so it’s difficult to know exactly where you are sometimes. There was one waypoint that was especially hard to find, and I know I lost a lot of time on that one alone. Other than that, the stage went well, I was opening for a lot of the first half until I got lost a little and I’m happy with my pace. Stages like that are especially tiring, it takes a lot out of you, so I’m looking forward to getting some rest now and attacking again tomorrow.”
Successfully completing another stage at his debut rally, Danilo Petrucci finished 30th, 27 minutes down on the day’s winner. Still a little hurt from his stage six crash, Danilo continues to tick off each stage with solid rides on his Tech3 KTM machine, and now has his sights set firmly on the finish line in Jeddah on January 14.
Provisional Results Stage Seven (overall) – 2022 Dakar Rally
1. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (CHI), Honda, 3:28:46
2. Kevin Benavides (ARG), KTM, 3:29:30 +0:44
3. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 3:31:37 +2:51
4. Luciano Benavides (ARG), Husqvarna, 3:36:36 +7:50
5. Lorenzo Santolino (ESP), Sherco, 3:37:15 +8:29
9. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 3:39:23 +10:37
24. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 3:51:36 +22:50
30. Danilo Petrucci (ITA), KTM, 3:55:53 +27:07
Provisional Standings – 2022 Dakar Rally after 7 of 12 stages
1. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 23:45:02
2. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 23:50:14 +5:12
3. Kevin Benavides (ARG), KTM, 23:50:25 +5:23
4. Sam Sunderland (GBR), GASGAS, 23:50:40 +5:38
5. Lorenzo Santolino (ESP), Sherco, 23:51:36 +6:34
11. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 24:14:31 +29:29
Source KTM Factory Racing
Photo: A.S.O./ Florent Gooden / DPPI
Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team’s Adrien Van Beveren has kicked off the second week of racing at the 2022 Dakar Rally in style by moving into the provisional overall lead after successfully completing a challenging stage seven. Continuing what has been an incredibly promising race for the Frenchman so far, his 10th place finish moves him to the top of the leaderboard with a healthy five-minute advantage over his nearest rival. Andrew Short was the team’s fastest rider through the 401-kilometre special, finishing eighth to move into 10th in the provisional standings. Ross Branch re-joined the race and posted the 12th fastest time.
Consistency, speed, and a focused approach throughout the Dakar Rally is certainly paying off for Adrien Van Beveren who now leads the 44th edition of the event. Delivering a masterclass in navigation today when many of his rivals struggled with some of the tricky notes found in the roadbook, Van Beveren delivered a strong result on stage seven to put himself on top of the provisional overall classification with five days of racing remaining.
As the 16th rider to enter stage seven, Andrew Short was focused on securing a strong finish, riding his way to an eventual eighth fastest time. After posting impressive results since day two of the event, the Yamaha WR450F Rally mounted rider has continued to work his way up the overall leaderboard day-by-day, and now lies 10th in the provisional standings.
Ross Branch returned to action today after crashing out on stage six. Able to re-join the race and gain vital Dakar experience, despite riding in pain he enjoyed the 401-kilometre stage despite its navigational challenges to place 12th.
Adrien Van Beveren – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team - 10th Stage 7
Today was a great day for me. There was some really tricky navigation and I didn’t make any big mistakes, which was good and where I felt I could push, I really pushed where it was possible to do so. It feels great to be leading after everything that has happened to me over recent years but I know all too well that the race is far from over. I’ll continue to focus on each day and keep fighting to the end.
Andrew Short - Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team - 8th Stage 7
It took a while to get going today after having a day off yesterday with the rest day, but I started getting back into the swing of it as the stage went on. There was a lot of tricky navigation today, especially with some valleys and canyons thrown in there as well as a lot of sand that had been washed into them. But overall, it’s great to tick another stage off and play a part in a positive day for the team with Adrien now leading and Ross back in the race as well.
Ross Branch -12th Stage 7
It’s nice to be able to line-up again and gain some more experience at the Dakar. My leg is pretty painful but with the team we decided to give it a go today and I’m glad I did. It was a fun stage but pretty difficult with navigation and I made a couple of small mistakes out there. It’s great to be back racing and I hope my leg is a little less sore tomorrow.
Stage 7 Provisional Classification
1. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 3:28:46
2. Kevin Benavides (KTM) 3:29:30 + 0:00:44
3. Joan Barreda (Honda) 3:31:37 + 0:02:51
4. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 3:36:36 + 0:07:50
5. Lorenzo Santolino (Sherco) 3:37:15 + 0:08:29
6. Joaquim Rodrigues (Hero) 3:37:43 + 0:08:57
8. Andrew Short (Yamaha) 3:39:01 + 0:10:15
10. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 3:41:20 + 0:12:34
12. Ross Branch (Yamaha) 3:41:50 + 0:13:04
Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 7)
1. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 23:45:02
2. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 23:50:14 + 0:05:12
3. Kevin Benavides (KTM) 23:50:25 + 0:05:23
4. Sam Sunderland (GASGAS) 23:50:40 + 0:05:38
5. Lorenzo Santolino (Sherco) 23:51:36 + 0:06:34
6. Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 23:53:17 + 0:08:15
10. Andrew Short (Yamaha) 24:13:12 + 0:28:10
Source: Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
Note: Automatic translation
After a day of rest, diving into the heart of the matter is not a worry for Christian Lavieille and Johnny Aubert. The Champions that they are used to this exercise have regained concentration and motivation to resume the normal course of their mission.
Today in this 7th stage of the Dakar, which counts 12, the total kilometers between special and liaison amounted to 701km.
"The day was not very good until the neutralization, when we were not too bad overall. When we restarted after the neutralization, we let some chasers pass but, after about 15 km, we realized that we had missed a way-point" admits Christian.
And what do you do in this case? "A U-turn and a flat tire on the right rear!
And what do we do in this case? "We stop, we change the wheel, we get back in the car and we go back to the way-point! The competitors took advantage of it to pass and while leaving, the dust complicated our ascent. Nothing was easy. Peterhansel (Mr. Dakar, very unlucky on this edition) took the opportunity to overtake us and then it was the turn of our MD Rally teammate, Mika (Pisano) who was a little bit faster than us...".
Powerless observers of this merry-go-round, Christian and Johnny did not appreciate looking forward to tomorrow's stage: "The dunes are coming back tomorrow, I hope we will be able to remake ourselves and that the special stage ahead of us will be clearer!"
Christian and Johnny finished in 28th place on the stage and lost three places overall.
Source Christian Lavieille Racing
Automatic translation from the original French version
Note: Automatic translation
"We drive over a big camel grass tussock and came off balance and grabbed the next one. I didn't dare to tell him to brake either, because then it would definitely go wrong. Unfortunately there is helicopter footage of it. So then we can see for ourselves what went wrong. We have it running now. Now to fix some air leaks and then maybe we can drive to the finish."
At about 15 kilometers before the finish of the seventh stage, there was a probable end to the Dakar Rally 2022 for Dakarspeed. A hump of camel grass on the fast track gave the truck a swerve. The Scania started bouncing and flipped over twice, coming to a stop on the tires. Maurik van den Heuvel, Wilko van Oort and Martijn van Rooij could get out unharmed.
Van den Heuvel was just on his way to a fine result in the seventh stage, well into the top 10, when things went wrong. The truck became unbalanced when he drove at full speed over a hump of camel grass and through the next hump got another swing. "We started to sway and I couldn't hold it any longer," reacts Maurik van den Heuvel.
That the truck landed on its wheels was a blessing in disguise. The crew immediately set to work to get the truck moving again. They succeeded and were able to reach the finish under their own steam, with more than two hours delay. "We are driving, but everything is broken. The rear bar is bent, the whole cabin is bent. The roll bar seems to be intact, as far as I can see now, but we'll look at that further in the bivouac. But even if it is repairable, it will probably be too much work to start again tomorrow," Van den Heuvel fears. "With us, fortunately, everything is fine, but of course we are not happy."
Source Dakar Speed
Note: Automatic translation from the original Dutch posts.
Three MINI desert racers in the overall top ten
Tomorrow will be a long day for the Dakar caravan
The 2022 Dakar entered its second week with leg seven, which saw the route leave the Saudi capital Riyadh and continue to Al Dawadimi. Jakub “Kuba” Przygonski (POL) and Timo Gottschalk (GER) ended the stage in 14th place in their MINI JCW Buggy. Their team-mates Sebastian Halpern and Bernardo “Ronnie” Graue (both ARG) finished 16th in the MINI JCW Buggy, one place ahead of Vaidotas Zala (LTU) and Paulo Fiuza (POR) who were 17th in a MINI JCW Rally. All three crews held onto their positions in the overall standings.
The Dakar picked up today where it left off on Friday: with difficult navigation. This time it was Przygonski and Gottschalk who lost a few minutes looking for the right way. Having been on course for a place in the top ten, they eventually had to settle for 14th place. They remain fifth overall.
Kuba Przygonski: “That was a really fast stage today. It was very stony at first, then we had a dune field, and finally tough terrain with lots of wadis and valleys. We had an opportunity to make up some time today, but we did not find the way immediately and so lost time. These things can happen on the Dakar. We must now look ahead and try to catch our rivals over the coming days.”
Halpern made it through today’s stage without any major issues, and his co-driver Graue’s navigational skills were virtually flawless. The two Argentineans are ninth overall, meaning they have been in the top ten for the entire Dakar so far.
Sebastian Halpern: “Today was a good day – no punctures and only minimal issues with navigation. We lost two minutes at most. We are a long way behind our opponents. We will continue to push hard and are determined to reach the finish in Jeddah.”
Krotov and Zhiltsov produced a magnificent fightback in the MINI JCW Buggy. After encountering problems on Friday, they were 43rd onto the route. However, they put pedal to the metal and reached the finish line in 24th place.
Denis Krotov: “That was not an easy day for us. We started well back and had to overtake a lot of trucks. However, we are very happy with our time and our result. Unfortunately, we had to stop once to change a tyre. We hope we can work our way further towards the front tomorrow.”
Spaniard Sanz is improving every day. Having switched from motorcycle to car, she has now found her rhythm and is able to go on the attack. She has also been able to slowly and surely work her way up the overall standings, and currently lies 23rd.
Laia Sanz: “We did a good job. However, the stage was very stony and we had to drive cautiously, in order to avoid risking any punctures. Navigation was also difficult, but we only lost a little time. Unfortunately, we still picked up two punctures just a few kilometres from the finish.
The drivers have a long day ahead of them tomorrow, as they head to Wadi ad Dawasir. The special stage itself is 395 kilometres long, but there are also 435 kilometres of liaison stage. The competitors will again be faced with a lot of sand and dunes, as well as faster sections.
Dakar Rally – Result of SS7
1. S. Loeb / F. Lurquin – BRX – 3h 09m 32s
2. N. Al-Attiyah / M. Baumel – Toyota – 3h 14m 58s
3. C. Sainz / L. Cruz – Audi – h 17m 15s
4. S. Peterhansel / E. Boulanger – Audi – 3h 19m 12s
5. Y. Al-Rajhi / M. Orr – Toyota – 3h 19m 35s
14. J. Przygonski / T. Gottschalk – MINI JCW Buggy – 3h 28m 37s
16. S. Halpern / B. Graue – MINI JCW Buggy – 3h 30m 57s
17. V. Zala / P. Fiuza – MINI JCW Rally – 3h 32m 32s
24. D. Krotov / K. Zhiltsov – MINI JCW Buggy – 3h 37m 46s
26. L. Sanz / M. Gerini – MINI ALL4 Racing – 3h m 27s
Overall standings after SS7
1. N. Al-Attiyah / M. Baumel – Toyota – 23h 52m 22s
2. S. Loeb / F. Lurquin – BRX – 24h 37m 21s
3. Y. Al-Rajhi / M. Orr – Toyota – 24h 45m 53s
4. L. Alvarez / A. Monleon – Toyota – 25h 07m 31s
5. J. Przygonski / T. Gottschalk – MINI JCW Buggy – 25h 22m 26s
9. S. Halpern / B. Graue – MINI JCW Buggy – 25h 50m 46s
10. V. Zala / P. Fiuza – MINI JCW Rally – 26h 21m 13s
23. L. Sanz / M. Gerini – MINI ALL4 Racing – 28h 36m 25s
32. D. Krotov / K. Zhiltsov – MINI JCW Buggy – 30h 03m 42s
The seventh stage of the Dakar Rally 2022 was not the day of Tim and Tom Coronel. Due to Tim’s sore back, the brothers couldn’t get through the 402-kilometer stage to Al Dawadimi at full speed. As a result, they came to the finish in 37th place, and had to give up a few places in the general standings.
“We were not in race mode today,” confirms Tom Coronel at the finish. “Tim still has back pain and is about 75 percent. He is usually very good in the dunes, but we drove through them calmly – perhaps too calmly. At every compression, so when the car sinks into the suspension, we took it easy. Then you lose a lot of speed. That cost us at least fifteen minutes, I estimate.”
And there were quite a few dunes in the stage, small ones in the beginning and some bigger ones a little further. At the very beginning and at the end there were fast tracks and wadis with stones. On one such stone, already 3 kilometers into the stage, Tim and Tom had the first puncture of this rally. “The first setback, a small one. Maybe we took off a little too enthusiastically, or it was just bad luck we hit a stone,” says Tom. “It was quite a lot of stones, hidden under a layer of sand, so a lot of drifting and sliding. We missed a few bends here and there, but the car just held up well. It hasn’t flinched.”
At the finish, the difference to stage winner Sébastien Loeb’s time was 42 minutes. Tim and Tom dropped to nineteenth place in the standings. “That’s a shame, but it is what it is”, says Tom. “Health is of course the most important. Tim is back with the masseur tonight, we hope it gets a little better every day.”
Source Coronel Dakar Team
- Dakar Future: The new wave of rally raids picks up momentum
- Dakar 2022: Gasgas Factory Racing dominate stage six at the Dakar Rally
- Dakar 2022: Macik continues to fight for a place among the TOP 10. Soltys had rough two days
- Dakar 2022: Luciano Benavides looks ahead to second half of 2022 Dakar Rally
- Dakar 2022: Tim and Tom Coronel ready for second Dakar week
- Dakar 2022: Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team Enjoys Official Dakar Rally Rest Day
- Dakar 2022: Destination Jeddah
- Dakar 2022: Rest day for the Monster Energy Honda Team
- Dakar 2022: Rui Gonçalves takes stock of the first week at Dakar 2022
- Dakar 2022: South Racing's Lopez and Luppi de Oliveira hold rest day leads in T3 and T4 categories