It was a troublesome day for Ricky Brabec, who was forced to abandon the race while still holding top spot in the general standings. “It was a shame, but I will go away happy with the good pace that I have set in this Dakar. I will return with even more motivation next year,” stated the American as he arrived back at the Pisco bivouac.
The eighth stage, the ‘Super-Ica’, got underway this morning with a mixed car and bike start which saw Nacho Cornejo and Ricky Brabec head out onto an open track with the pair both intent on obtaining crucial results in the special. Nacho was forced to open the way after Sam Sunderland–the winner of Stage seven–declared to have a bike issue and consequently started later. As has been the case throughout the rally, he soon lost time to the riders behind.
Last Year’s Winner Matthias Walkner of the Red Bull KTM team had the best score of the day, with Pablo Quintanilla and a wounded Toby Price close behind. Price has been struggling with a wrist injury for days, and now finds himself in the position of overall leader. Andrew Short had an excellent day, finishing fifth. Now he has climbed up to seventh in the overall standings.
Tomorrow Wednesday sees the penultimate stage of this 2019 Dakar Rally which will once again be held on a looping circuit, this time from Pisco. There race will include 313 kilometres of timed special stage out of a total of 410 kilometers on the day.
“It was a really hard day. There was nothing really positive about my day, especially for the race. The coolest part was getting a helicopter ride along the beach and back. It’s heart-wrenching. Not easy. We have to go home, take a break and come back. I’m at a loss for words. It was amazing to be on the top for the previous days. It’s really nice to have the team support me and the whole team. It felt like the vibes and the confidence in me were good. That helped me to achieve so many great days.”
“It was interesting to start the stage alongside the cars. A few kilometres into the stage I got passed by Nani Roma’s car and he was going really fast on the roads. But then once it got bumpy I was able to pass him and do my own race. After the fuel stop we entered the dunes and they were massive. I got to ride alongside a few other riders and our pace was good. Today there were lots of riders struggling with bike issues or making mistakes in navigation. For me personally I felt really good. I was going as hard as I could for most of the stage and for the last 30 kilometres I felt fatigued so decided to keep it steady. I’m trying to get better on every stage and every day and that’s what matters the most for me.”
DAKAR STAGE 8
1 WALKNER Matthias 1 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team 03:55’25
2 QUINTANILLA Pablo 6 CHI Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing +00’45
3 PRICE Toby 3 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +01’13
4 SUNDERLAND Sam 14 GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +06’21
5 SHORT Andrew 29 USA Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing +09’51
6 VAN BEVEREN Adrien 4 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team +11’48
7 BENAVIDES Luciano 77 ARG Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +12’51
8 CORNEJO José Ignacio 10 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team +13’48
9 BENAVIDES Kevin 47 ARG Monster Energy Honda Team +15’07
10 DE SOULTRAIT Xavier 18 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team +15’50
1 PRICE Toby 3 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team 28:53’08
2 QUINTANILLA Pablo 6 CHI Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing +01’03
3 WALKNER Matthias 1 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +06’35
4 SUNDERLAND Sam 14 GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +06’38
5 VAN BEVEREN Adrien 4 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team +09’54
6 BENAVIDES Kevin 47 ARG Monster Energy Honda Team +21’41
7 SHORT Andrew 29 USA Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing +39’27
8 DE SOULTRAIT Xavier 18 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team +46’17
9 BENAVIDES Luciano 77 ARG Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +01:04’24
10 CORNEJO José Ignacio 10 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team +01:05’44