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Dakar Rally

Dakar 2021: Honda registers back-to-back win in motorcycle class

By General Posts

from https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Argentine Kevin Benavides, riding a Honda, on Friday won the motorcycle category of the 2021 Dakar Rally becoming the first South American to achieve the feat.

Ricky Brabec, the 2020 champion in the motorcycle class, finished second to teammate Kevin Benavides to clutch the first one-two Dakar Rally finish for Honda since 1987. Sam Sunderland, the 2017 champion in the category, finished third riding a KTM.

Benavides clinched the title on the 12th and the final stage of the category held on Friday. Honda has now registered a back-to-back win in the motorcycle class.

The finish of the final stage was completely overshadowed by the death of the French rider, Pierre Cherpin, who had been in an induced coma since his crash on the 7th stage.

“On stage five I was worried because I crashed so fast and hit my head and my ankle and felt a lot of pain. On that day I said maybe the Dakar is finished for me. But I continued pushing. I still have some pain, but at the moment I am more happy than in pain,” said Kevin Benavides after the finish.

Sainz wins Dakar for third time as Brabec takes motorcycle title

By General Posts

from Reuters

Spaniard Carlos Sainz became a triple Dakar Rally champion with the Mini X-Raid team on Friday while American Ricky Brabec took the motorcycle crown for Honda and ended KTM’s 18-year dominance.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz became a triple Dakar Rally champion with the Mini X-Raid team on Friday while American Ricky Brabec took the motorcycle crown for Honda and ended KTM’s 18-year dominance.

Both are the first winners in Saudi Arabia, a country making its debut as host of the grueling endurance event, but have to reach the formal finish in Qiddiya before the results are official.

Brabec is the first American to win the Dakar in any category since it started as a race from Paris through the Sahara desert to the Senegalese capital in West Africa in 1979.

Two times world rally champion Sainz, whose son and namesake races in Formula One for McLaren, ended the final timed stage with a six-minute and 21 seconds advantage over Qatar’s defending champion Nasser Al Attiyah.

Sainz, 57, also won in 2010 and 2018 when the rally was held in South America. His three victories have been with different car manufacturers, the first coming with Volkswagen and the second in a Peugeot.

Triple champion Al Attiyah won the final stage to finish as overall runner-up for Toyota with Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel, a 13 times winner on two and four wheels, completing the top three in his 31st Dakar.

Sainz, 57, also won in 2010 and 2018 when the rally was held in South America.

His three victories have been with different car manufacturers, the first coming with Volkswagen and the second in a Peugeot.

Hero Motosports rally rider Paulo Goncalves dies at Dakar Rally

By General Posts

from https://auto.economictimes.indiatimes.com
from https://www.theguardian.com/

Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves made his Dakar debut in 2006 and finished four times in the top 10 including a runner-up finish in 2015.

Riyadh: Tragedy struck Hero MotoSports Team on Sunday as its Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves met with a fatal accident during the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally. Paulo, aged 40, passed away from a fall sustained 276 kilometers into today’s special zone.

“The organisers received an alert at 10:08 and dispatched a medical helicopter that reached the biker at 10:16 and found him unconscious after going into cardiac arrest. Following resuscitation efforts in situ, the competitor was taken by helicopter to Layla Hospital, where he was sadly pronounced dead,” Hero Motosport said in a release.

Fondly known as ‘speedy Goncalves’, it was 13th Dakar for the Portuguese, one of the most experienced riders on the field.

He made his Dakar debut in 2006 and finished four times in the top 10 including a runner-up finish in 2015

He has had an illustrious journey in the rally-racing world, including a series of remarkable performances at the world’s most prestigious rallies. He was crowned 2013 FIM Cross Country Rally World Champion.

“Words cannot describe our shock and loss at this moment. It isn’t just a team, it is a family for us and we are devastated with the passing away of one of our members, Paulo Goncalves,” Wolfgang Fischer, Head of Hero MotoSports Team Rally said.

“He joined the Team in April last year and within no time became an integral part of the Hero MotoSports Team family. He will be dearly missed and always be fondly remembered by us.

“Paulo was a true champion, gentleman, reliable friend to everyone in the racing world and a role model as sportsman and personality. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” he said.

The Portuguese motorcycle rider Paulo Gonçalves died after a crash in the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, organisers said.

The 40-year-old Hero Motosports entrant, taking part in his 13th Dakar Rally since making his debut in 2006, fell after 276km of the special stage from the capital Riyadh to Wadi al-Dawasir.

“The organisers received an alert at 10:08 and dispatched a medical helicopter that reached the biker at 10:16 and found him unconscious after going into cardiac arrest,” organisers said in a statement.

“Following resuscitation efforts in situ, the competitor was taken by helicopter to Layla Hospital, where he was sadly pronounced dead. The entire Dakar caravan would like to extend its sincere condolences to his friends and family.”

Gonçalves was the first competitor to die in the gruelling endurance event since the Polish motorcycle rider Michal Hernik in Argentina in 2015.

The Portuguese finished in the top 10 at the Dakar Rally four times and was runner-up in 2015 to the Spaniard Marc Coma, who is competing this year as co-driver to the double Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Gonçalves suffered mechanical problems on Friday, having to change his bike’s engine to stay in the race, and dropped to 46th overall after the sixth stage.

“The target now is to do my best, because the result at the end … there is no way to get a good result. Instead I’ll try to do good stages every day possible and that’s what I’m looking for,” Gonçalves said then.

The experienced Portuguese had competed in the Dakar on three continents, from its origins in Africa to South America and this year’s debut in the Middle East.

The 2013 cross-country rallies world champion was representing the Indian Hero Motosports team, along with his brother-in-law Joaquim Rodrigues, after five years racing with Honda.

Gonçalves crashed out on the fifth stage in Peru last year. Rodrigues broke his back in a Dakar crash two years ago but returned after extensive surgery and was 27th after stage six.

Sunday’s 546km stage, the longest of the event, was won by the Spaniard Joan Barreda with the American Ricky Brabec extending his overall lead in the category.

The Australian Toby Price, the defending champion, finished an hour and 20 minutes behind Barreda but organisers said he stopped to try to help Gonçalves and will have his position recalculated.

The Spaniard Carlos Sainz, a two-times Dakar winner driving a Mini buggy, took his third stage win of the event in the cars category to extend his lead over Toyota’s reigning champion, Nasser al-Attiyah of Qatar, to 10 minutes. Mini have now won six of the seven stages.