Dakar 2022: Pablo Quintanilla to fight nail and tooth for the overall Dakar 2022 win

Monster Energy Honda Team’s Dakar Rally battle will go down to the wire. After the penultimate stage, Pablo Quintanilla holds second overall place with a chance of victory. There are still over 150 kilometres left to go, with the Dakar often producing final stage surprises.
Today’s special stage, as expected, was an intriguing one. The strategy of the previous day, which saw some riders managing to lose time, yet drop many positions, in order to benefit in today’s starting order, dictated for the most part, what happened on the route today. Some 346 kilometres of sand and dunes, on a total stage of just over 500 kilometres, helped define how the podium is likely to look at the end. The Bisha loop caused a few losses, but many riders were able to make up for time they had lost yesterday.
Ricky Brabec was the best-placed Monster Energy Honda Team rider on the day. The American finished in fifth place, moving up into six place overall, a position which he hopes to consolidate tomorrow. Brabec finished just one place ahead of team-mate Pablo Quintanilla. Pablo, sixth, performed well today – well enough to be in contention tomorrow and could improve on his current second place in this 2022 Dakar. The Chilean biker is less than seven minutes behind the overall race leader. If the full length of the final special stage goes ahead as planned tomorrow, the rider could well spring a surprise and stand a chance of scooping the world’s toughest rally.
Chilean José Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Cornejo also had a good day in spite of a minor mistake in the opening kilometres of the special. Today’s seventh place also puts him into the same position in the general rankings. Lastly, Joan Barreda was lumbered with opening the track today as the riders ahead forced him to carry the stage’s main burden. The conditions were not ideal for Joan who struggled to make progress in the soft dunes of Bisha. With a fall included, the Spaniard finished sixteenth in RallyGP and is fifth in the general standings, nearly half an hour behind the race leader.
Tomorrow’s stage
Bisha-Jeddah. The final stage of the Dakar Rally 2022 will be decided over a total of 676 kilometres, including just 163 against the clock. Leaving the dunes behind, the race will be fought over hard tracks with some sand. A lot of technical complexity is expected before the riders reach the shores of the Red Sea, with the final podium set to take place on the Bisha street circuit.
Ricky Brabec  2 - STAGE: 5TH  OVERALL: 6TH -This year's Dakar has been difficult for me personally, to get back into the fight after a bad start. The team didn't let us down, so we can't let them down.... We have tried very hard to do our best and give it our all. On this stage 11 we tried very hard to do a good job; I would have liked to make up a lot more time than I did. I'm happy with the way I'm riding and I'm happy with the team, I've learned a lot. Our team-mate Pablo can do it tomorrow. Unfortunately, I heard that the stage will be shortened, which in my opinion is unfair.
 Pablo Quintanilla  7 STAGE: 6TH  OVERALL: 2ND - It was a difficult stage. One of the hardest we've done on this Dakar, with a lot of wind, with sectors of very soft dunes. It was very difficult to make progress. I tried to push as hard as I could from the first kilometre; it wasn't easy. I really let rip but without losing my concentration. In the end, it was a good day, I gave 100% and I think that's what's important, that I gave my best every day. There is still one day left and the race is not over until you cross the finish-line. Tomorrow we will attack again from the first kilometre.
 José Ignacio Cornejo  11 - STAGE: 7TH  OVERALL: 7TH
It was a good stage; not the best, but not the worst either. I made a small mistake at the start, where I lost a few minutes. Mathias passed me and we ended up riding together until the end. I think it was a solid stage. We also moved up in the overall standings, which makes me happy because we have managed to overcome a bad first stage. We are not where we wanted to be. Tomorrow the rally will be over, so we will draw our conclusions afterwards.
 Joan Barreda  88 - STAGE: 16TH  OVERALL: 5TH - Today was a very difficult stage, I could say it was one of the most difficult I've ever done. I had to open the track from kilometre 4. I tried to keep a good pace, but I encountered some tough situations, with very soft sand that made it almost impossible to move forward; the bike got stuck about ten times, including one where I was thrown off completely and Toby and Luciano helped me to get the bike back upright. I want to say thanks to both. We opened the track all day long. I'm happy because I gave 100%. Some days go well and others not so well. But the best thing is to be satisfied with yourself.


Source: Monster Energy Honda Team

Dakar 2022: SS11 Dakar enters the finish straight


Even before the start of day eleven, the leg around Bisha was regarded as one of the most difficult of this year’s Dakar. Unfortunately, the X-raid drivers were unable to exploit their strengths. Jakub “Kuba” Przygonski (POL) and Timo Gottschalk (GER) ended the stage in 15th place in the MINI JCW Buggy. Their team-mates Denis Krotov and Konstantin Zhiltsov finished 16th in their MINI JCW Buggy. Argentineans Sebastian Halpern and Bernardo “Ronnie” Graue had to settle for 29th place in another MINI JCW Buggy, just ahead of Laia Sanz (ESP) and Maurizio Gerini (ITA) in a MINI ALL4 Racing.

Lady Luck deserted Przygonski and Gottschalk on Thursday. Having had to stop twice for punctures early on in the stage, they had to take a more cautious approach for the rest of the day. The regulations state that only two spare tyres may be carried on the Buggy. As such, they had to settle for 15th on the stage and dropped back to sixth place in the overall standings.

Kuba Przygonski:
 “We wanted to push today, but we then had two punctures in the first 70 kilometres. After that, we had to take our foot off the gas a little, as we were afraid of suffering a third flat tyre. Anyway, we made it to the finish. Let’s see what we can achieve tomorrow.”

It was not a successful day for Halpern either. Hampered by the dust whipped up by another car, he spotted a small dune too late and got stuck. It took roughly a quarter of an hour to free the car. He reached the finish in 29th place and tenth overall.

Sebastian Halpern: “The stage was difficult, as the dunes were very soft. We got stuck on a small but very soft dune, which cost us about 15 minutes. Unfortunately, we lost eighth place in the overall standings as a result.”

The dust also made life difficult for Sanz, who also found herself stuck in the sand as a result of the poor visibility. Apart from that, she came through the stage without any issues and remains 23rd overall.

Laia Sanz: 
“We were really fast in the dunes. Unfortunately, a slower car in front of us did not let us pass and we had to drive through all the dust on the sandy surface. As we could hardly see anything, we ended up getting stuck. Unfortunately, that cost us a few minutes. That was a tough stage today, so I am still happy with the result.”

Tomorrow’s twelfth leg brings the 2022 Dakar to a close: The drivers will tackle a final 164 kilometres against the clock on the 680-kilometre route to Jeddah. The terrain remains sandy, but there are no more dunes to negotiate.


Source: X-raid Team

Dakar 2022: VIDEO - Extended highlights of the day presented by Gaussin - Stage 10


Source Dakar/ASO
Published on Rally-Raid Network via Dailymotion

Bike stage winner: TOBY PRICE

Dakar 2022: Another notch on Peterhansel and Price's belts

The competitors left Wadi ad-Dawasir this morning to tackle a 759 km stage. They headed due south, initially towards Najran Province for the start of a 375 km special that wove its way around the Wajid and Hejaz plateaus, whose peaks top out at 1,770 masl in landscapes found nowhere else on Earth. In contrast, those in 'Asir Province have rocky outcrops that jut out from the sand. Two thirds of this fast course were on sandy terrain, following a north-westerly direction leading to Bisha, where the caravan set up camp for two nights before the closing stage. It was enough to break the backs of several machines whose odometers were due to reach 6,500 km today, such as KTM no. 1 (see A crushing blow), but also to crown a new winner with two days to go, such as Peterhansel, who pounced on the opportunity to grab his 49th special in a car.


Just like in Stéphane Peterhansel's Audi, sparks are flying at the summit of the motorbike race, which is still wide open. Today's special, won by Toby Price, turned the competition on its head despite failing to create large gaps. Adrien Van Beveren put in a gallant performance to seize the overall lead, but this honour could be a poisoned chalice because it gives his direct rivals for the title, Pablo Quintanilla (+ 5′15″) and Sam Sunderland (+ 5′59″), the advantage of starting further back. Having no choice but to go on the attack, the Yamaha biker will find himself in charge of opening this sandy stage soon after starting in third place. This is bad news for the Frenchman, who will have to pull a rabbit out of his hat to keep his foes at bay. To make matters worse, his rivals' interests are increasingly aligned. For example, GasGas, KTM and Husqvarna are all racing under team manager Jordi Viladoms.

The future seems more certain in Toyota and BRX's paddocks, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Sébastien Loeb's home away from home. 33 minutes separate the top two drivers in the car standings, but the Frenchman only managed to cut the deficit by 1′25″… At this rate, the only way that he is going to overtake the Qatari is if the Dakar goes on until mid-February! Behind this duel at the summit, the battle for stage wins rages on. The Audi RS Q e-tron cars have had an impressive campaign so far and even landed a few specials. After Carlos Sainz and Mattias Ekström, today was Stéphane Peterhansel's turn to get a taste of success. It was his 82nd career win, but only the first in a hybrid 4×4.

Quad rider Pablo Copetti's engine troubles mirrored those of KTM's Kevin Benavides (see A crushing blow) and cleared Alexandre Giroud's path to victory in the general standings, which he now leads by 2 h 36. "Chaleco" López is only marginally less comfortable at the top of the T3 classification. The Chilean continues to make good progress without breaking a sweat thanks to his margin of just under an hour over Sebastian Eriksson, unfazed by American prodigy Seth Quintero's tenth stage win of the year. 22-year-old Lithuanian Rokas Baciuška, close in age, is making his Dakar debut in the SSV category… and claimed his first special. Austin Jones has yet to open his account this year, but with 11′54″ to spare over Gerard Farrés, he is the odds-on favourite to take the title.

Dmitry Sotnikov and his truck are fighting on every front. The Russian's fourth stage win increased the size of his overall lead to ten minutes or so over Eduard Nikolaev.

Performance of the day

Seth Quintero's 10 stage wins in the T3 race are the talk of the town, but a fierce battle rages on behind the American. Dania Akeel is one of his rivals. One of only two Saudi women in this edition, together with Mashael Alobaidan, she is a fast-learning prodigy… which is not surprising! Two years ago, the Saudi Federation invited her to the Dakar and she jumped on the opportunity to surf a couple of dunes at the wheel of a car. That left her hungry for more and instilled in her the ambition to enter the toughest rally raid on Earth. She signed up for the World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas in the T3 category, which she won on her first attempt in a Can-Am. Her feat earned her a ticket to the 44th Dakar. Sixteenth in the opening stage in her birthplace of Jeddah, she scored her first top 10 finish in stage 4.
Two specials later, she was sitting in sixth place overall as the second top-ranked rookie, behind Sebastian Eriksson. Unfortunately, her rise was cut short by a stroke of bad luck in stage 7, when she was hit by a mechanical in the finale and lost over four and a half hours fixing it. Akeel, paired with a former Olympian, Sergio Lafuente, did not give up. After coming in 13th and 14th in the next two stages, today she posted her best Dakar performance yet with an impressive 6th place, just under 22 minutes down on Quintero.
Without that twist of fate in stage 7, she would probably be in the top 5 of the lightweight prototype classification right now. Not to worry: her goal of finishing the race seems increasingly within reach and, in the meantime, she will continue to blaze a trail for other Saudi women in rallies.

Crushing blow

The Dakar has given Kevin Benavides a hard time more than once. His trials and tribulations go a long way back. After his breakthrough performance in fourth place in 2016, he saw victory slip through his fingers in the closing stages of the rally several times before finally tasting glory in January 2021. This year, his title defence got off to a very wobbly start with a 36-minute loss in the opening stage, but the Argentinian made a show of talent and resolve to force himself back into contention. H
e started the special from Wadi ad-Dawasir to Bisha in fifth place overall, 10 minutes behind then-leader Matthias Walkner, with a viable path to the top of the leader board. Then, disaster struck when his KTM gave out on him at km 133. "Se rompió el motor", posted the devastated biker from Salta on social media right after a broken engine spelt the end of his comeback story. He will have to try again.


Source Dakar/ASO
Photo: Frédéric Le Floch / DPPI

Dakar 2022 : Seth Quintero storms to Dakar Rally stage win record with two days of racing remaining!


Seth Quintero (USA) has written yet another chapter of Dakar Rally history. The Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team driver has now matched the record number of stage wins on a single Dakar, 10! Quintero sealed the sensational feat by setting the fastest T3 time on Stage 10. Most remarkably of all, the 19-year-old still has two stages left at this Dakar to make the record his own.

“We haven't broken the record yet, we've just tied the record for most wins in a single Dakar. It's nuts! I'm mind-blown. I'm going to have a heart attack.” – Seth Quintero

The record of 10 stage wins at a single Dakar had stood since 1994 when Pierre Lartigue (FRA) dominated the car race in a Citroën ZX. Now Quintero and his co-driver Dennis Zenz (GER) have matched those 10 stage wins in Saudi Arabia at the controls of their OT3 by Overdrive.

When Lartigue set the record the Dakar ran for 17 stages, giving the Frenchman a stage win ratio of 58%. Quintero’s stage win percentage currently stands at 90%. At last year’s Dakar, while still only 18 years old, Quintero also made history as the rally’s youngest ever stage winner.

“I've got two more stages to go, so we'll try to go on ticking them off. To tie a record that was set 18 years before I was born is absolutely amazing. I really want to try and make everyone back home proud.”– Seth Quintero

The Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team can also pull off another historic achievement at this rally, the only team in the event’s storied past to win every single stage in their class. The only time so far that Quintero didn’t claim victory on a T3 stage at this rally, his team-mates Guillaume de Mevius (BEL) and Kellon Walch (USA) took the win.

Pushing Quintero hardest on Stage 10 was another team-mate, Cristina Gutiérrez (ESP). The winning driver in the T3 category of the 2021 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies is chasing an overall podium finish at this Dakar. Gutiérrez and co-driver François Calazet (FRA) were second on Stage 10 and sit fourth overall.

“On the rest of the stages we want to go out and give everything and try to climb until we give a podium to the OT3. We have two stages to go and we are separated by an hour and 15 minutes from the podium. I hope we can get it.” – Cristina Gutiérrez

The exciting performances of the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team at this Dakar highlight the program’s ethos of giving young talented drivers the chance to test themselves at the toughest rallies around the globe. It certainly looks like this crop of ambitious off-roaders have got what it takes to tame the world’s wildest terrain.

The 2022 Dakar Rally will finish in Jeddah on January 14 after competitors have completed over 4,000km of off-road racing spread over 12 stages.

Seth Quintero: “We haven't broken the record yet, we've just tied the record for most wins in a single Dakar. It's nuts! I'm mind-blown. I'm going to have a heart attack. You never know. We don't have our phones in the car, so we can't look at the times. We try to get a rough gauge at the fuel stops. We lost three or four minutes trying to find a waypoint that we missed.”

“It's kind of a mess today, but magically we're here, we've now tied the record for most amount of wins in a single Dakar, I'm stoked about it. I've got two more stages to go, so we'll try to go on ticking them off. To tie a record that was set 18 years before I was born is absolutely amazing. I really want to try and make everyone back home proud.”

Cristina Gutiérrez: “Since the rest day it has been a roller coaster of emotions. There have been very good stages where navigation was the main protagonist, we managed to climb to the P3 of the general standings but the next day we had to go on a stage full of dunes running on only two cylinders, it was a very hard stage where we lost three hours and fell to P6 of the general standings.”

“On the rest of the stages we want to go out and give everything and try to climb until we give a podium to the OT3. We have two stages to go and we are separated by an hour and 15 minutes from the podium. I hope we can get it.”

1. S. QUINTERO (USA)/D. ZENZ (GER) OT3 3:22:11

Source Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team
Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool

Dakar 2022 : Casale missed out on podium by 46 seconds, Macháček finished in 8th!

After two 5th place finishes in a row, the Chilean Buggyra driver has decided to push even harder and, in the end, he took 4th position in today’s special. It has also become the best Dakar result in Saudi Arabia in the Trucks category!
The tenth stage led from Wadi Ad Dawasir to Bisha (757 km / 374 km), and it was all about speed and precise navigation. It was easy to get lost in a web of crossroads, which are so common in this kingdom of oil.

Joyful stage

On the 85th kilometre, the Dakar veteran was sitting in 23rd place. However, in the later stages, he found more pace and set the 8th fastest time of the day. That has strengthened his 7th position in the overall standings. “It was a pretty long stage, with fast plains at the beginning. After that, the organisers sent us to the mountains, where the route led around dried up riverbeds. It was a joyful stage. At the end, it was about lots of dust and stones. Luckily, we didn’t have any punctures today, but we lost another belt again. It’s a mystery, but other than that, the Can-Am is working perfectly,” summed up Josef Macháček his stage.

Close to Kamaz

After he elegantly and in a charming way solved the dispute with Martin Macík, whose claims about blocking had proven to be false, Ignacio Casale started his stage in a big way. On the 231st kilometre, he was holding 3rd place, but in the end, he had to settle for 4th position. But he managed to beat at least one Kamaz of Anton Shibalov. “I never drove a truck at Dakar, and I don’t even want to try. But that was a consistent and great performance and that is a big promise for future races. Once again, big thanks to the mechanics who have saved the Dakar, which looked almost hopeless not so long ago,” said the team principal Martin Koloc.
According to Ignacio Casale, it was an easy-going and traditional fast stage. “We were fighting Macík and Shibalov, and we saw that it’s possible to battle Kamaz trucks. We got really close to our first podium. But that still can happen. I’m curious to see the data because the result suggests that this route’s profile is good for the Tatra trucks,” said the three-time Dakar winner.

“Up to the 100th kilometre, we were hitting the top speed of 140 kph, but there was so much dust. However, having a Kamaz right in front of us was a great motivation. Hopefully, it’s going to be happening much more often. Considering the trial route, we had to be very careful about the tyres. The second half of the Dakar is showing that we can match the fastest guys,” added Tomáš Šikola.

Results – Stage 10
T3 – Light prototypes: 1. Seth Quintero (USA/OT3) 3:22:11, 2. Cristina Gutierrez – Herrero (Spain/OT3) +2:22, 3. Sebastian Eriksson (Sweden/Can – Am) + 9:45… 8. Josef Macháček (Czech Republic/Buggyra Can-Am) +27:39
T5 - Trucks: 1. Dmitry Sotnikov (Russia/Kamaz) 3:14:15, 2. Eduard Nikolaev (Russia/Kamaz) +1:27, 3. Andrey Karginov (Russia/Kamaz) +1:49… 4. Ignacio Casale (Chile/Tatra) +2:35

Current standings after Stage 10
T3 – Light prototypes: 1. Felix Contardo (Chile/Can – Am) 39:43:03, 2. Sebastian Eriksson (Sweden/Can-Am) +55:56, 3. Fernando Alvarez (Spain/Can – Am)…7. Josef Macháček (Czech Republic/Buggyra Can-Am) +6:18: 26
T5 - Trucks: 1. Dmitry Sotnikov (Russia/Kamaz) 35:58:08, 2. Eduard Nikolaev (Russia/Kamaz) +10:18, 3. Anton Shibalov (Russia/Kamaz) +44:27… 29. Ignacio Casale (Chile/Tatra) + 74:05:51


Source Buggyra

Dakar 2022 :Team De Rooy like a train up to the finish

 Iveco drivers all rise in the classification.

The complete quartet of drivers from Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco and Mammoet Rallysport rode today in battle order through the wasteland of Saudi Arabia. The men of Team De Rooy stopped the Iveco-train in seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth place this afternoon.

"It was the most boring day of this rally for us," said Janus van Kasteren, who finished seventh. Behind three unbeatable Kamazzen, the rider from Veldhoven today also had to acknowledge the superiority of Ignacio Casale, who finished fourth (before Shibalov in the Kamaz) and can bear the title of 'best of the rest'. Martin Macík Jr. was sixth just ahead of Van Kasteren, Marcel Snijders and Darek Rodewald. “It was mostly fast and straightforward. Whoever has the most horsepower wins. We are still lacking in that area. Especially the torque of the Kamaz is very good. When they hit the throttle, something happens immediately. Response takes a little longer with us. We were able to detect this well during this rally and it is an area of improvement.”

A positive point was that Janus' team did move up a place in the standings. "We are past Loprais. It was a very good day for the team. We are now fifth, sixth and seventh in the classification. We stayed close to Martin and Vick for the whole day. Partly because of the dust we couldn't get past them. But I am still satisfied and looking forward to tomorrow," said Van Kasteren, who lost 5 minutes and 36 seconds to winner Sotnikov.

In addition to Janus and Martin, Vick Versteijnen also automatically moved up in the classification. “We gave it all today. It was a special stage with fast tracks with loose sand. It was full throttle all day," says the rally driver from Hilvarenbeek, who took over Hans Stacey's place in the Iveco Powerstar just before the start of the Dakar Rally. “We had no technical problems. We are happy with today's eighth place. Tomorrow will be exciting. Then we get serious dunes again. I hope tonight we can find something to fix the tyre deflating system problem. We really need that tomorrow. So far I am very satisfied with our seventh place overall. Two more days to go and I'm going to do everything I can to hold on to that."

It soon became clear to Martin van den Brink that a stage 'without doing crazy things' had to be ticked off. "We saw Loprais standing still at the very beginning of the stage and Huzink also stopped early.” Both the Czech Loprais and Gert Huzink, who broke his truck in two pieces on a dune, found their Waterloo today. Martin van den Brink and his teammates from De Rooy reaped the benefits. The experienced rally driver moved up to sixth in the overall standings. "This was the only way to win anything today. The bad luck of a competitor."

Martin van den Brink, Peter Willemsen and Bernard der Kinderen were part of the Team De Rooy convoy today. "We rode like a train over the special. It was fast and technical and there was a lot of dust,"

De Harskamper eventually finished ninth. Martin had to let pass Janus van Kasteren and Vick Versteijnen. "After about 100 kilometers we searched for a waypoint. Vick then passed us and Janus followed him. We then drove the entire special like a train.”

Behind the leaders of Team De Rooy, Mitchel van den Brink once again made an excellent impression. The fast assistant of Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco hooked up on the Iveco Powerstar train and today ranked 10th. "I am especially happy for Mitchel today," says Van den Brink senior. "A top ten ranking is great. I am really a proud father.”

After his special stage, Mitchel reacted modestly and realistically. Just like he's been doing the entire rally. “We had a nice day. After 500 meters we saw Huzink with his truck damaged. Then Loprais also had bad luck. We all move up a spot. Today we drove a lot behind the Tatra of Paskevicius. At one point we passed him, but we had to go back a bit to find a waypoint. Then I was back in the dust of the Lithuanian."

Nevertheless, Mitchel van den Brink, navigator Richard Mouw and Bert van Donkelaar can be very satisfied with their ranking. "We overtook Pascal de Baar on the special. We drove through the mountains for a while on tracks with lots of stones. It looked like some kind of trial, but it was fast. Yes, I thought that was very cool. In the final phase we didn't get past the Tatras, but we were a little faster in the end. I finished very close to my father today. Yes, that's nice to see too," said a very satisfied Van den Brink junior when he still had 150 km to go on his way to the bivouac in Bisha.

Tomorrow may still bring some changes. Leader Sotnikov, who also won the stage today and stayed ahead of his "КАМАЗ-мастер" teammates Nikolaev and Karginov, will not be too concerned. The 'loop' around Bisha does present the riders with some technical challenges. In addition, a series of dunes of all shapes and sizes await. According to the organization, on Thursday, in the 346 kilometer stage, dunes with the softest kind of sand that can be found in Saudi Arabia must be conquered.

Source Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco

Dakar 2022: Rainbow bumps and thumps over paths and stones

Note: Automatic translation

The tenth stage of the Dakar Rally 2022 had the innards of Gerrit Zuurmond, Tjeerd van Ballegooij and Klaas Kwakkel a little mixed up. The Rainbow Truck team got through the 375 kilometers of the test well, but it was, as navigator Van Ballegooij said, bumping and banging over the trails and stones.

There were not many dunes in the stage from Wadi Ad-Dawasir to Bisha, but on the first dune the men saw the truck of Gert Huzink already with pieces. A little further on was Ales Loprais' truck and two more ssv's lying on the side. "Then you're just 5 kilometers into the race," said Van Ballegooij after arriving at the bivouac. "That put us on edge for a while: pay attention, drive with intelligence, keep everything in one piece and bring it to the finish." A little further on, the team put another capsized ssv back on its wheels.

On the trails and stones, the main thing was to keep rolling and keep the tires in one piece. The navigation was not too bad in this stage. "But because of the holes and stones you have to endure quite a few blows that make reading the road book quite difficult," commented Van Ballegooij.
The Rainbow men still have a tough job tomorrow in the eleventh stage, where about 100 kilometers of level 3 dunes await them. "Keep your head up and keep paying attention. The dunes have now dried up and become soft. We still have to get through them properly. The finish is not until Friday."

Source Rainbow Truck Team
Automatic translation from the official press

Dakar 2022: Macik had ski goggles ready, and further improved his position

The last quarter of the Dakar Rally started today. The driver Martin Macik, navigator Frantisek Tomasek, and mechanic David Svanda from the Big Shock! Racing team set off into Stage 10 well-prepared and motivated after yesterday’s third place. Their truck, called Charles, was once again heading for the finish line with confidence. They finished in great 6th place, just three minutes and forty-six seconds behind the fastest of the Kamaz trucks. In the overall rankings, the Sedlcany crew moved up to 8th place.

The hard work does not stop after earning a podium

Yesterday’s third place in Stage 9, and being just three seconds away from the second place, immensely pleased all members of the Big Shock! Racing team. However, it did not distract them from the usual Dakar routine. There was certainly no time for celebrations. In the bivouac, immediately after the arrival of Charles, everyone got down to work and thorough preparations for today’s Stage 10. “Dan Stiblik and Martin Barton are checking the tires, preparing the cabins to be nice and clean for tomorrow. Lavor and Bob are working on the axles. Frantisek is on alert in case something needs welding. Everyone is still working incredibly hard,” the onboard mechanic David Svanda described. The team’s yellow truck entered today’s stage in perfect shape again and managed to deal with the difficult mountain terrain without any major problems.

A good chase

The first part of today’s course was hard and fast. “It was very a fast, but at the same time a very technical, dusty, rough track. It wasn’t easy, there was a lot of overtaking. It was a good chase, though,” Martin Macik said. The organisers also decided to test the navigators’ wits this time. Frantisek Tomasek managed to cope with the complicated navigation. We had to turn around only once because we were not sure if we got the checkpoint, even it showed we did. And we missed one point by about ten metres, so we went back for it. Other than that, it was smooth sailing,” Tomasek reported.

Ski goggles at the ready

The end of the stage took the crews into the mountains, where the drive was slower and much more technical. Such terrain suits the Sedlcany crew. “The last hundred kilometres were really rough. Narrow paths in the mountains, where the truck barely fits. We flew up and down between the rocks for about twenty kilometres, I really enjoyed that. For a while, we drove between the rocks behind one of the buggies – maybe four trucks and two buggies close behind each other in the mountains,” Martin Macik explained. “Plus, at one point, a branch hit our windscreen. We were mentally preparing to repeat last year’s driving in ski goggles, but, luckily, the window held up until the finish. So, everything was fine. It was a fun stage,” the mechanic David Svanda concluded.

There are only two more special stages left in this year’s Dakar. And the crew of the Big Shock! Racing will fight until the last kilometre. Nevertheless, they still want to reach the finish line safe and sound.

Big Shock! Racing team’s news, highlights and videos also on:

Source Big Shock! Racing Team

Dakar 2022: Tough day for Riwald Dakar Team

The second to last stage of the Dakar 2022 was dramatic for Gert Huzink and his team. The Renault C460 Hybrid truck fall in action in a dune after the truck plunged into it at high speed. The special chassis, developed by MKR Technology, tore right behind the front axle on both sides, leaving the rally for Gert Huzink, Rob Buursen and Martin Roesink over. Fortunately, the crew of the truck escaped unhurt.

Gert Huzink about the incident: “I just completely misjudged the situation, and we were completely blown away. It is incredibly special that we managed to get out of it without injury, which argues for the safety of the truck. This is very unfortunate, and we have shown that we can compete in the top, but that is now further away than ever.”

As far as a good classification of the Riwald Rally Team is concerned, the ball is now completely in the hands of Pascal de Baar: “The day started well for us, but the first part was tricky here and there. Gert Huzink fell victim to this, but he was not the only one. Ales Loprais also made a mistake with his Praga truck and for him it also seems like the end of the year. After that first part it went great with long strokes and beautiful landscapes. Gert had started behind us, and we had no idea that something had gone wrong with him. Actually, I expected that he would overtake us but instead of Gert, Janus van Kasteren passed us. We followed him for twenty kilometres until we chose a different route, unfortunately the wrong one, as it turned out. We missed a waypoint, so we had to go back. When we had reached that point, the Tatra of Fesh Fesh and Mitchel van den Brink also passed us, so we lost two places. I then tried to take them back, but unfortunately that was not possible.”

In the end Pascal de Baar managed to cross the finish line in 12th position with his Renault C460 with start number 518. Pascal: “Now we have to wait for Gert and his men with the truck. Help is on the way to get the broken truck out of the desert, but number 516 is out for this year. Very unfortunate, but let's try to keep the honour of the team high for the next two days with a nice classification."

For more information: see

Source Riwald Dakar Team

Dakar 2022: António Maio continues to improve

Note: Automatic translation

Yamaha pilot is now only five minutes away from the Top 20

António Maio concluded this morning another day in the Dakar Rally in a very positive way, registering the 17th time in the tenth stage, which took place between Wadi Ad-Dawasir and Bisha and included a selective sector of 375 km. The Yamaha rider climbed one more position in the general classification where he now occupies 23rd place, but above all he gained time to all his opponents who precede him in the fight for a position in the Top 20, which is now only 5 minutes away.

"Today's stage was very fast. We had almost 200km where we were always going hard. But, there were also some areas with a lot of driving on harder terrain. It was another day when everything went well and I did the stage without navigational errors which is very important for me. The motorcycle is still very good and we are getting ready to enter the final straight of this edition of the race" said António Maio upon arrival at the camp that is now set up in Bisha.

The 44th Dakar Rally enters its final straight, with tomorrow's 11th and penultimate stage of this great off-road competition. The 345km timed special around Bisha will be the biggest technical challenge of the final part of the rally. The vehicles will spend about half the journey on dunes of all shapes and sizes, including the softer ones that the desert reserves.


Source: Antonio Maio official press release
Automatic translation from the original press release in Portuguese, available on

Dakar 2022: Rui Gonçalves again in the "Top Ten

Note: Automatic translation

The tenth stage of Dakar 2022 was, once again, a long, fast stage, which required extra attention to navigation in the Saudi desert. Rui Gonçalves showed a very strong pace, ending the day in the group of the ten fastest.

Speed has been the watchword in this second week of the Dakar, with the specials varying in terms of pavement, but with the course demanding the maximum in terms of the Sherco FSE 450's motorization and a redoubled attention to the navigation instruments by Rui Gonçalves.

The Portuguese rider finished the 374 km in 3h12m, a final time that shows the absolutely fantastic pace of Rui Gonçalves in this tenth day of competition.

Rui Gonçalves: "The stage was very fast and, initially, I was going at a good pace but, very close to km 200, I found a waypoint that wouldn't open and I lost some minutes trying to validate this same WP.  After the neutralization I was able to attack and go fast until the end of the stage and, thus, recover some of the lost time and climb up to 9th place. The terrain varied a lot throughout the stage, from fast areas, dry rivers with stone and sand, it was a positive day, being back in the top ten. At this moment I am already concentrated and focused on the penultimate day of this Dakar Rally. I would like to thank all of you who have given me incredible support!  Today was a particularly difficult day for Joaquim Rodrigues and for all of us with the 2 years that have passed since the departure of our Paulo who we miss so much."

The penultimate stage of Dakar 2022 will make a loop around the town of Bisha for a total of 500 km, 345 km of which will be run on the clock.
It will be a very technical stage that could cause changes in the classification table of this race.


Source: Rui Gonçalves official press release
Automatic translation from the original press release in Portuguese, available on

Photos: Rally Zone

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