Dakar 2021 Stage 11 has seen Brit Sam Sunderland (KTM) win the penultimate special with Chilean Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) taking second place and Kevin Benavides, third. Benavides remains in the first position in the overall rankings; Ricky Brabec came in fifth today leaving him third overall. Brabec had to open the stage after winning yesterday and went toe to toe with Benavides for the first two hundred kilometers of the special, Benavides finally taking the lead.
Joan Barreda, Brabec’s teammate, had to retire from the race today when he ran out of fuel during the special after missing a refueling station. Benavides commented he was feeling unwell after his crash earlier and completely missed the refueling point; in the end, he had to withdraw. It’s rumored KTM rider Matthias Walkner commented Barreda’s withdrawal was a tactical move rather than an honest mistake which Brabec called “talking crap behind our backs”; Walkner later apologized to the Honda team.
“We did a really good job with Ricky. It was a really hard day, very long with plenty of navigation, a lot of sand and dunes. I opened for about two hundred kilometers, so I think I did a good job. With Ricky, we pushed together on the dunes. We tried to do our best. Today was really hard to be in front, but we are okay and this is a really good point. I think I did a nice job and tomorrow we will see, on the last day. Why would Joan make a mistake on purpose? For sure, no, Joan just made a mistake. Tomorrow we will push like every day, no other strategy than that. There are no team orders and yes, the race is still open”, Kevin Benavides said later today.
(GBR) SAM SUNDERLAND
|RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM||04H 33′ 18”|
(CHL) PABLO QUINTANILLA
|ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING||04H 35′ 53”|
(ARG) KEVIN BENAVIDES
|MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2021||04H 38′ 47”|
(AUS) DANIEL SANDERS
|KTM FACTORY TEAM||04H 41′ 50”|
(AUT) MATTHIAS WALKNER
|RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM||04H 42′ 46”|
(USA) RICKY BRABEC
|MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2021||04H 45′ 09”|
(ESP) LORENZO SANTOLINO
|SHERCO FACTORY||04H 48′ 22”|
(SVK) STEFAN SVITKO
|SLOVNAFT RALLY TEAM||04H 49′ 57”|
(FRA) ADRIEN VAN BEVEREN
|MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA RALLY TEAM||04H 52′ 55”|
(ESP) ORIOL MENA
|FN SPEED – RIEJU TEAM||04H 53′ 27”|