Red Bull Desert Wings are given wild ride on Stage Nine of 2021 Dakar Rally

RED BULL DESERT WINGS ARE GIVEN WILD RIDE ON STAGE NINE OF 2021 DAKAR RALLY

Everything can change in the blink of an eye at the Dakar Rally and that’s exactly what happened on Stage Nine. Leading contenders saw the route to victory vanish on the 465km loop stage around the Neom bivouac, while others continue to chase their dreams in the desert…

In the continuing tussle between Stéphane Peterhansel and Nasser Al-Attiyah at the front of the car race it was advantage Monsieur Dakar on Stage Nine. Race leader Peterhansel was able to increase the gap to second place Al-Attiyah by 12 minutes on today’s loop stage, putting the Frenchman’s overall lead at 17m50s. At the finish line Peterhansel was quick to praise his co-driver Edouard Boulanger who has been playing his part at this Dakar dominated by tricky navigation.

“It was always going to be a long day so we decided in the morning that we would not go full attack. We wanted to manage the tyres and be clean with the navigation. We overtook Carlos and Nasser. It was more a question of strategy than speed. My co-driver Edouard did a great job.” – Stéphane Peterhansel

A trio of flat tyres interrupted Al-Attiyah’s progress, but the Qatari will dust himself down and get back in the fight tomorrow.

“We had three punctures, three flat tyres. After that we didn’t have any spares so we just decided to go safely to the finish. I’m not disappointed because I know I did all I could today and still everything is possible on the final three days.” – Nasser Al-Attiyah

Early in the stage Carlos Sainz lost his brakes, he spent 21 minutes trying to fix it but could not. Sainz continued the stage, losing only 22m30s to the leader. Also getting to the finish line of the 465km timed special stage were Giniel de VilliersCyril Despres and Kuba Przygoński.

“It was a tough day. 465km full of rocks and full of riverbeds. It was an amazing landscape. We ate a stone and had one bad puncture a few kilometres from the finish, but we came through it.” – Cyril Despres

After the stage Despres and his co-driver Mike Horn took part in the Dakar Future presentation inside the bivouac. The pair showcased their innovative and ambitious project to compete at the 2023 Dakar in a hydrogen-powered vehicle named GEN-Z.

 

At the conclusion of Stage Nine at this Dakar there is a 45 minute advantage at the front the truck race, and it belongs to Dmitry Sotnikov. The rally could not be going much better for Team Kamaz Master. As well as having a driver well out ahead, they also occupy the remaining two podium spots in the general classification.

“We are very pleased with this day, we are happy that everyone returned to the bivouac with a good result. There are three days left before the end of the race, we have to prepare trucks and reach the finish of the Dakar.” – Eduard Nikolaev, deputy team leader of Kamaz

It’s a cruel end to the rally for Toby Price who crashed 155km into Stage Nine and suffered a broken collarbone and extensive bruising. Just yesterday Price had stunned the bivouac when he arrived back from the Marathon Stage with a rear tyre held together by cable ties and duct tape. The two-time winner had kept himself in the hunt for victory, but on today’s stage his race ended early. We wish him a speedy recovery from his injuries.

“It was a really bad day for our team today because of Toby’s crash. It’s really a pity because after yesterday’s stage when he repaired his wheel really good. During the rally he has been riding really well and for sure he had the chance to win this race. The positive side is that the injury is not bad, he’s well and hopefully he can recover fast.” – Jordi Viladoms, KTM Factory Racing Rally Team Manager

 

Fellow Red Bull KTM Factory Racing biker Sam Sunderland stayed with his team-mate at the site of the accident for 15 minutes before Price was airlifted to hospital.

 

“I saw my buddy Toby laid up in a river bed with Brabec already stopped with him. I went over there to help let out the air of the airbag.” – Sam Sunderland

 

The rally also continues for Matthias Walkner and rookie Daniel Sanders, who both moved up the general classification today. Despite suffering a crash of his own on Stage Nine, Sanders is sixth overall and has a chance to emulate Price by finishing his first ever Dakar on the podium.

 

“I had a big crash at 50km. I went off into the rocks at the side of the road, the airbag went off and I had a few tumbles in the rocks. That wasn’t a good start… Then I saw Toby down and that sort of the shook the brain a little bit more after my own crash this morning. Hopefully he’s all good and he’ll be back on it soon I’m sure.” – Daniel Sanders

 

Getting to the finish line and one step closer to Jeddah were the bikes of Laia SanzCamille Chapelière and Štefan Svitko.

 

“The stage was tough, long and really dangerous. I didn’t enjoy it so much, but I’m glad that I’m here in one piece.” – Laia Sanz

 

Taking the stage win today in the Lightweight Vehicles race and regaining the overall lead of the category was Chaleco López.

 

“The special was the most difficult stage of all the Dakar. There were lots of tracks and rocks, but on every special there’s been no problem thanks to good navigation from my co-pilot.” – Chaleco López

 

Gearbox trouble on Stage Nine has ended rookie Seth Quintero’s hopes for a podium finish in the Lightweight Vehicles race. The Dakar’s youngest ever stage winner was on to set another fastest time before his OT3 came to a standstill, eventually getting towed to the finish line by the team’s assistance truck.

 

Quintero’s fellow Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team driver Cristina Gutiérrez impressed on her return to the rally after reentering under Dakar Experience rules. Another racer taking advantage of the Dakar Experience is debutant Mattias Ekström.

 

Tomorrow brings the Dakar convoy to Al Ula, via a 342km timed special stage. The route promises landscape that’s both beautiful and tough to navigate.

STAGE NINE RESULTS & OVERALLS

CARS

 

Stage Nine Top 5
1. S. PETERHANSEL (FRA)   MINI  04:50:27

2. N. AL-ATTIYAH (QAT)   TOYOTA   +00:12:00

3. G. DE VILLIERS (ZAF) TOYOTA +00:12:19
4. Y. AL RAJHI (SAU)   TOYOTA   +00:12:44
5. B. BARAGWANATH (ZAF)   CENTURY   +00:13:51

Overall Top 5

1. S. PETERHANSEL (FRA)   MINI   34:26:16

2. N. AL-ATTIYAH (QAT)   TOYOTA   +00:17:50

3. C. SAINZ (ESP)   MINI   +01:02:25

4. J. PRZYGONSKI (POL)   TOYOTA   +02:16:30
5. N. ROMA (ESP)   PRODRIVE   +02:42:38

 

BIKES

Stage Nine Top 5

1. K. BENAVIDES (ARG)   HONDA   04:49:15
2. R. BRABEC (USA)   HONDA   +00:01:18
3. JI. CORNEJO FLORIMO (CHL)   HONDA   +00:01:34
4. S. SUNDERLAND (GBR)   KTM   +00:10:11

5. M. WALKNER (AUT)   KTM   +00:14:19



Overall Top 5

1. JI. CORNEJO FLORIMO (CHL)   HONDA   36:51:00
2. K. BENAVIDES (ARG)   HONDA   +00:11:24
3. S. SUNDERLAND (GBR)   KTM   +00:14:34
4. R. BRABEC (USA)   HONDA   +00:17:26
5. J. BARREDA (ESP) HONDA +00:29:00

 

LIGHTWEIGHT VEHICLES

Stage Nine Top 5
1. F. LOPEZ (CHL)  CAN-AM   05:31:41
2. K. AL ATTIYAH (QAT)   CAN-AM   +00:11:34
3. M. GOCZAL (POL)   CAN-AM   +00:16:46
4. JA. HINOJO LOPEZ (ESP)  CAN-AM   +00:21:55
5. R. VARELA (BRA)   CAN-AM   +00:25:36

Overall Top 5

1. F. LOPEZ (CHL)  CAN-AM   42:05:20
2. A. JONES (USA)   CAN-AM   +00:12:25
3. A. DOMZALA (POL)   CAN-AM   +00:38:03
4. M. GOCZAL (POL)   CAN-AM   +01:03:30
5. R. VARELA (BRA)   CAN-AM   +01:23:40

 

TRUCKS

Stage Nine Top 5

1. M. MACIK (CZE)   IVECO   05:05:54
2. A. MARDEEV (RUS)   KAMAZ   +00:02:27

3. D. SOTNIKOV (RUS)   KAMAZ   +00:02:37
4. A. LOPRAIS (CZE)   PRAGA   +00:03:41
5. A. SHIBALOV (RUS)   KAMAZ   +00:04:12

Overall Top 5

1. D. SOTNIKOV (RUS)   KAMAZ   37:42:49
2. A. SHIBALOV (RUS)   KAMAZ   +00:45:03

3. A. MARDEEV (RUS)   KAMAZ   +01:13:05

4. A. LOPRAIS (CZE)   PRAGA   +01:30:15
5. M. MACIK (CZE)   IVECO   +01:49:09

QUOTES

Stéphane Peterhansel: “It was always going to be a long day so we decided in the morning that we would not go full attack. We wanted to manage the tyres and be clean with the navigation. We overtook Carlos and Nasser. It was more a question of strategy than speed. My co-driver Edouard did a great job.”

Nasser Al-Attiyah: “We had three punctures, three flat tyres. After that we didn’t have any spares so we just decided to go safely to the finish. I’m not disappointed because I know I did all I could today and still everything is possible on the final three days.”

Cyril Despres: “It was a tough day. 465km full of rocks and full of riverbeds. It was an amazing landscape. We had one bad puncture a few kilometres from the finish, but we came through it.”

Carlos Sainz: “It was difficult for us today. One brake pipe came loose so we lost the brakes. Then we had to do the stage like that and it wasn’t easy.”

Eduard Nikolaev, deputy team leader of Kamaz: “We are very pleased with this day, we are happy that everyone returned to the bivouac with a good result. There are three days left before the end of the race, we have to prepare trucks and reach the finish of the Dakar.”

Jordi Viladoms, KTM Factory Racing Rally Team Manager: “It was a really bad day for our team today because of Toby’s crash. It’s really a pity because after yesterday’s stage when he repaired his wheel really good. During the rally he has been riding really well and for sure he had the chance to win this race. The positive side is that the injury is not bad, he’s well and hopefully he can recover fast. We also had Sam crashing and losing some time in the overall and also Sanders crashed. All in all, today is a bad day. We lost our biggest contender and a lot of time with the others. For the remaining three days we need to keep focused because the rally is not yet done. We’ll push until the end.”

 

Sam Sunderland: “It was a pretty rough day. It started off quite positive in the morning and things were going good with the tricky navigation. Then, I can’t remember which kilometre it was exactly, I saw my buddy Toby laid up in a river bed with Brabec already stopped with him. I went over there to help let out the air of the airbag. It was a sad situation. After that I tried to get my head down and concentrate on the roadbook. Then after about 100km more I was opening up for the group. I was looking down at the roadbook and I hit a rock, it was my turn to crash. I went over the handlebars quite fast and had quite a big impact. Unfortunately I broke the roadbook and all of the GPS so after that I couldn’t navigate. Then I had to follow the dust of other guys for the rest of the day which was quite scary. It was a rough day for us, but it’s the Dakar and it’s tough. We’ll fight another day tomorrow.”

Daniel Sanders: “I had a big crash at 50km. I went off into the rocks at the side of the road, the airbag went off and I had a few tumbles in the rocks. That wasn’t a good start. Then I caught up to Barreda and we were cruising through some really technical parts of the stage. Then I saw Toby down and that sort of the shook the brain a little bit more after my own crash this morning. Hopefully he’s all good and he’ll be back on it soon I’m sure. It wasn’t the best day, but I’m happy to be at the finish line after a tough, long stage.”

Laia Sanz: “The stage was tough, long and really dangerous. I didn’t enjoy it so much, but I’m glad that I’m here in one piece. I hope tomorrow we have a better stage.”

Camille Chapelière: “The navigation was really hard today, you really had to take your time to avoid mistakes. I did one mistake which cost me a lot of time. Then in the last part of the special I was in the dust and it was really hard to make the difference. One more day done.”

 

Chaleco López: “The special was the most difficult stage of all the Dakar. There were lots of tracks and rocks, but on every special there’s been no problem thanks to good navigation from my co-pilot. I’m very happy, it was good work.”