DAKAR STAGE 9: TOBY PRICE OUT

Stage nine started and finished at the coastal city of Neom, covering a total distance of 579km. It was a rough day for Red Bull KTM rider Toby Price, who started second on the stage following overall leader Jose Ignacio Cornejo. Two kilometers from checkpoint five, price went down hard. Ricky Brabec was the first rider there–he stopped to be of assistence until Price could be airlifted out. Sam Sunderland, price’s KTM teammate, also stopped and waited. According to ASO rules, both riders had their times adjsuted at the end to the day to compensate for the time they spent with Price. In the mean time, HRC Honda’s Kevin Benavides rode well to collect the win only to discover that his brother Luciano had also been airlifted out with a should injury. After the scores were adjusted, Brabec was second and Sunderland was fourth. Cornejo remains in first overall with a third n the day.  Skyler Howes continues to ride well despite a navigational error today. He remains in seventh overall.

Sam Sunderland is the only KTM rider remaining in the top five among the Monster Energy HRC riders.

Kevin Benavides: “We can say that today was a really hard special stage. Today, it is a year ago since the death of my friend Paulo Gonçalves. I aimed to do the best possible stage and this victory is dedicated to him. I’m happy with the job done, but I also have a mixed emotions as at the end of the stage I found out that my brother had fallen and got injured. I found out that he’s fine, so that has calmed me down, but it’s been a strange day nevertheless. There are three more days left and everything could change, so you have to be focused and give your all on a day-to-day basis.”

Ricky Brabec: “Today was definitely tough. We started third. We all had a long day today – there were 465 kilometers – that’s a long day for the navigation and it’s a long day in the desert. Unfortunately, Toby had gone down and I stopped for him for about 20 minutes. I was just waiting for the helicopter to get there. It’s a shame. He was definitely up there, fighting for the win. It happens. Every morning when we put our gear on, things like this can happen and we know it. It’s just the risk that we are willing to take. Unfortunately, the second week is going to be brutal. Last year we came here first, then we ended in the sand dunes. It was smooth. But this year we are starting in the dunes and finishing in the rocks and the rough, bumpy traces and river-beds. This week you don’t want to sleep too much. You want to stay focused. There’s three days left, but look what happened today with a few riders. Three days left and a lot can happen still. We are just going to try and stay focused and make it to the finish-line.”

Skyler Howes: “Trying not to be hard on myself, but I really messed up the navigation today. I reckon I spent 20 minutes going in wrong directions. BUT I am really happy with the riding today, I enjoyed the stage, it was high speed, lots of washes, tons of rocks, some sand, and the bike felt great. Just need to learn my lesson and follow the dang roadbook.”

For extended coverage of the 2021 Dakar Rally, click here.

Toby Price was airlifted out after a fall today. He was in second overall.

STAGE 9

1 BENAVIDES Kevin 47 ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 04:49’15
2 BRABEC Ricky 1 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +00:01’18
3 CORNEJO José Ignacio 4 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +00:01’34
4 SUNDERLAND Sam 5 GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +00:10’11
5 VAN BEVEREN Adrien 42 FRA Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team Yamaha +00:13’52
6 WALKNER Matthias 52 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +00:14’19
7 BARREDA Joan 88 SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +00:14’29
8 SANTOLINO Lorenzo 15 SPA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +00:16’43
9 SANDERS Daniel 21 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +00:17’17
10 HOWES Skyler 9 USA BAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM KTM +00:22’39

 

Provisional Standings after stage 9

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 CORNEJO José Ignacio 4 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 36:51’00
2 BENAVIDES Kevin 47 ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +00:11’24
3 SUNDERLAND Sam 5 GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +00:14’34
4 BRABEC Ricky 1 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +00:17’26
5 BARREDA Joan 88 SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +00:29’00
6 SANDERS Daniel 21 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +00:38’23
7 HOWES Skyler 9 USA BAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM KTM +00:40’25
8 SANTOLINO Lorenzo 15 SPA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +00:42’08
9 QUINTANILLA Pablo 2 CHI Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna +01:00:37
10 VAN BEVEREN Adrien 42 FRA Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team Yamaha +01:02’48

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