Last year’s Dakar champion Matthais Walkner was the winner today with American Ricky Brabec in second, just 22 seconds back. The stage proved to be a fast one with 90% of the special off-piste and just 20% in the dunes. The motorcycles started out behind the cars and side-by-sides, but the potential problems that the top riders had expected failed to materialize. All the bikes made it safely back to the bivouac at San Juan de Marcona after a long link section, on a day that had included 342 kilometres of timed special out of a total of 554 km.
Joan Barreda, who opened the special alone, posted third, 1’41” seconds behind Walkner. and still holds the overall lead. For Andrew Short, it was another good day in the saddle of his FR 450 Rally machine. Further improving his speed on Tuesday, the American racer posted the ninth best time for the day to bring himself even closer to the leading group of riders in the provisional overall standings.
Three other Americans are in the rally this year. Skyler Howes is having an excellent ride so far. He finished 35th on the day and sits in 36th place. Nathan Rafferty was 92nd today, while Howes’ teammate and sponsor Garrett Poucher was 120th
Tomorrow, the third stage of the Dakar will take all the participants to Arequipa where they will contest the longest stage in the opening half of the rally. The day will be made up of 331 kilometres of timed special out of 799 total kilometres which will take the competitors from San Juan de Marcona to Arequipa. Riders are scheduled to arrive at the bivouac around 16:00 hrs local time.
Ricky Brabec: “The second stage was awesome. More or less like what I’m used to at home. Lot’s of fast track, lots of rocks, fesh fesh and some dunes. I had a fun day, and rode most of the day with Quintanilla. It was great so we’ll see what happens tomorrow. Third overall is not that good. We’ve got to be in front. So we are going to try tomorrow.”
Andrew Short: “I had a lot of fun on my bike today. The stage was familiar to me from the previous Dakar. I raced most of the stage by myself. Today we were following the cars and I had to pass many side-by-side vehicles in the dust and that was sketchy. But I really enjoyed the landscapes and to ride full gas next to the ocean. It was something pretty special and I sure made some memories to keep forever. Overall, I’m really happy with where I’m at and I hope I can maintain a decent pace in the stages to come.”
Results Stage 2
1 WALKNER Matthias 1 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team 03:21’57
2 BRABEC Ricky 15 USA Monster Energy Honda Team +00’22
3 BARREDA Joan 5 SPA Monster Energy Honda Team +01’41
4 PRICE Toby 3 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +03’06
5 QUINTANILLA Pablo 6 CHI Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing +03’24
6 SUNDERLAND Sam 14 GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +06’03
7 VAN BEVEREN Adrien 4 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team +09’03
8 BENAVIDES Kevin 47 ARG Monster Energy Honda Team +09’59
9 SHORT Andrew 29 USA Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing +12’25
10 CORNEJO José Ignacio 10 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team +13’43
PROVISIONAL STANDINGS AFTER STAGE 2
1 BARREDA Joan 5 SPA Monster Energy Honda Team 04:23’14
2 WALKNER Matthias 1 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +01’31
3 BRABEC Ricky 15 USA Monster Energy Honda Team +01’33
4 QUINTANILLA Pablo 6 CHI Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing +03’17
5 PRICE Toby 3 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +04’33
6 SUNDERLAND Sam 14 GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +07’18
7 VAN BEVEREN Adrien 4 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team +10’19
8 BENAVIDES Kevin 47 ARG Monster Energy Honda Team +12’18
9 CORNEJO José Ignacio 10 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team +17’24
10 SHORT Andrew 29 USA Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing +17’37
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