Editor’s note: This update was supposed to go live yesterday but due to a technology problem it didn’t.
Dakar 2021 is seeing an unprecedented number of elite racers retiring from the rally, either because of high-speed crashes like Toby Price yesterday or bike failures. So far, Andrew Short, Jaimie McCanney, Franco Caimi, Toby Price, Luciano Benavides, Ross Branch, Xavier du Soultrait, and Maurizio Gerini (Malle Moto) have withdrawn from the race, and today, Chilean Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) who was close to possibly winning the rally had to retire because of a bad crash. Cornejo finished the race but was forced out because of a severe concussion.
“I’m sure Nacho (Cornejo) has a lot of pressure. Leading the Dakar is not easy. I don’t think there’s a lot of pressure from the team, but for a personal goal, I think he had a lot of pressure. He’s a young kid, he’s been riding well all week, he’s been surprising everybody. He’s the best navigator at this rally. We all know we all want to win. Winning is the best thing there is in life. There’s no real team orders”, Ricky Brabec commented today. Brabec is now gaining momentum: after a rocky start, the American has won the stage today and is now second overall. His teammate Joan Barreda came in second, which places him fourth overall; Argentinean Kevin Benavides is now first overall, and American privateer Skyler Howes is in the top five.
Toby Price is still in the hospital having suffered a broken collarbone and severe bruising, but the Aussie is doing fine and says he’s grateful to Ricky Brabec and other riders who stopped to help him. “Well, I’ve finally broken my 30th bone! I don’t remember much but I’ve got a pretty sore collarbone, shoulder, and hand and will need surgery for that… Disappointed to not make the finish and let down the KTM Factory Racing team and my sponsors, but that’s racing unfortunately this time around. Thank you, Sam Sunderland and Ricky Brabec for stopping to help me. I was off with the fairies that day but I heard you took good care of me!”, Toby said today.
Highlights from yesterday’s stage:
Today’s stage rankings:
(USA) RICKY BRABEC
|MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2021||03H 12′ 33”|
(ESP) JOAN BARREDA BORT
|MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2021||03H 15′ 48”|
(ARG) KEVIN BENAVIDES
|MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2021||03H 17′ 44”|
(USA) SKYLER HOWES
|BAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM||03H 18′ 21”|
(AUT) MATTHIAS WALKNER
|RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM||03H 18′ 29”|
(AUS) DANIEL SANDERS
|KTM FACTORY TEAM||03H 21′ 40”|
(FRA) ADRIEN VAN BEVEREN
|MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA RALLY TEAM||03H 23′ 42”|
(GBR) SAM SUNDERLAND
|RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM||03H 25′ 10”|
(ESP) LORENZO SANTOLINO
|SHERCO FACTORY||03H 27′ 41”|
(PRT) JOAQUIM RODRIGUES
|HERO MOTOSPORTS TEAM RALLY||03H 28′ 57”|