Sam Sunderland will join Daniel Sanders under the GASGAS Factory Racing awning in 2022. Undoubtedly a pair of heavy hitters on the rally scene, having finished third and fourth respectively at the 2021 Dakar Rally, the dynamic duo are ready to chase glory in the upcoming 2022 event in January before taking on the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.
Norbert Stadlbauer – GASGAS Rally Team Manager
“It’s great to have two very talented riders racing for GASGAS next season. They are at different stages of their careers, yet they both have the talent to win. Sam is very experienced, and his career achievements speak for themselves. He knows everything there is to know about rally and this will help him to succeed in 2022. Daniel only has one full season of rally racing under his belt, but he has picked things up really quickly. He doesn’t have the experience that Sam has but he’s a very quick learner as we have seen in 2021. They’re both fast, motivated, and capable, so we fully expect to see them battling for success at the Dakar and then in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship next year.”
Former Dakar Rally winner Sam Sunderland needs no introduction. The Brit has dedicated much of his life to the sport of rallying, lifting the Dakar winner’s trophy in 2017. Since then, Sam has been crowned FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Champion in 2019 and continues to fight for that coveted second title at the Dakar. Sunderland was back to his best at the 2021 edition of the event where he remained in contention for victory until the very last day. With a focus on adding another Dakar win to his resume, the Brit has all the tools needed to get the job done.
Sam Sunderland – GASGAS Factory Racing
“It’s super exciting for me to be joining the GASGAS Factory Racing team. It’s a relatively new team but with strong foundations and a lot of expertise behind the program. For sure it’s a new challenge and a new opportunity for me and it gives me a lot of confidence being within similar surroundings, so I can focus on the job at hand. So far, everything has been really positive. I’ve been fortunate enough to have spent some time on the bike recently and I can’t wait to start racing. My goal is to win the Dakar again and claim the first win for GASGAS too, so I’m really motivated and excited for the future. It’s cool to be racing in new colors and I’m looking forward to coming out swinging at the Dakar on the red bike.”
Daniel Sanders strengthens the team for what will only be his second full season of rally racing. Beginning the year with a seriously impressive fourth-place finish at the 2021 Dakar, the Aussie then went on to claim the bronze medal in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. Not bad by anyone’s standards, especially for a rookie! We really can’t wait to see what he can do next year with all the experience that he’s gained throughout this season.
Daniel Sanders – GASGAS Factory Racing
“Being able to be one of the faces of GASGAS for another year, especially alongside Sam, is really cool. I’ve just finished up my first full season of racing rally and I’m certainly looking forward to another! It’s not all that long until the Dakar starts and with the world championship coming up pretty soon after that, it’s going to be another busy year. I’ve learned so much in 2021 and I’m excited for the future, the opportunity that I have, and I can’t wait to get started again. Let’s go!”
Both riders are now busy preparing themselves ahead of the 44th edition of the Dakar Rally, which kicks off on January 1, 2022. They’ll then take a short break before gearing up once again for the opening round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, which is scheduled to start sometime in the spring.
Pit Beirer – GASGAS Motorsport Director
“It’s a huge moment for GASGAS to have both Sam and Daniel on the Rally team. What started off as a small project with Laia, and then with Daniel, has now become a much bigger effort. Signing a former Dakar winner in Sam, and having quite possibly the best young talent in rally at the moment in Daniel, really shows a clear statement that the brand is ready to compete for victories and grow its presence further in rally. It’s really exciting for GASGAS to have two great riders that are both capable of winning in 2022 and I wish them both the best of luck for the Dakar Rally and 2022 season.”
Pablo Quintanilla had not raced for eight months since seriously injuring his ankle on the Dakar Rally. But, racing in his desert, the Chilean came back stronger than ever and crossed the finish line as the winner of the Atacama Rally on the final stage, with Sam Sunderland closing out the Cross-Country Rally Championship a round early with his runner up position.
Going into the final day with a narrow 54-second advantage, Quintanilla knew he would have to make the final 184.59-kilometre timed special count. As the fifth rider to enter the stage, the Chilean star immediately set about chasing down the riders ahead. After soon catching and passing Matthias Walkner, Pablo was free to navigate his way through the sand dunes of the Atacama Desert.
Maintaining good speed while making the minimum of mistakes on the short, but tricky, final stage, the former Cross-Country Rallies World Champion crossed the line with a close-to-two-minute advantage over the second-placed rider. His pace on the timed special was enough for him to increase the gap at the top of the standings to almost four minutes – an incredible achievement considering the event marks the local hero’s return to competition following the injury he sustained at the Dakar Rally earlier this year.
Pablo Quintanilla – P1 Overall
“I’m really, really happy. I never expected to win the race here in Chile. It’s been five very tough days but I’ve done it and feel over the moon right now. I couldn’t have hoped for a better come back – after eight difficult months off the bike I have come back and won my home race. I am so happy for the team – they have stood by me the whole time and I couldn’t have done this without them. Also, a big thank you to all the fans for the support they have given me over social media – it really does mean a lot. After such a tough time after Dakar, this victory feels very special.”
Sunderland 2019 Cross-Country Rally Champion
Sam Sunderland finished second in the race and also eased into an unassailable 39-point lead in the championship over Andrew Short. With only one event remaining in the series, the Briton cannot be caught and is the new FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Champion!
Sunderland had carried an unbeaten record into the 2019 championship leading into round three, following wins at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and the Silk Way Rally. Delivering a mature and calculated performance, the 2017 Dakar Rally Champion put in a superb ride throughout the challenging five-day event in and around Copiapó to finish second overall, earning himself enough points to claim the title.
Racing with incredible consistency, Sunderland finished inside the top three in all five stages of the Atacama Rally. On the final day the Brit did exactly what was needed of him, bringing his KTM 450 Rally home safely and in turn secured his first ever world championship title.
Sam Sunderland – P2 Overall, World Champ
“I’m so happy to win the world championship, I couldn’t have done it without my KTM team. I have to thank Toby as well for his help – I bent my disc on the marathon stage and Toby was kind enough to swap, so that kept me in the chase. It was always in the back of my mind that I could take the title here in Chile, but I tried not to think about it too much as the race went on, I just tried to focus on getting through each day safely and in a good position. It’s been a really tough event here in Chile as always but it feels great to be standing here now as world champion. I have come so close in the past having finished as runner-up twice in 2015 and 2016, but this title makes all the hard work worth it.”
Joan Barreda head out for the morning of Stage 5 hell bent on hunting down the two riders who had set off ahead in the starting order. The Spaniard’s intention was to make up time on the two riders and secure a final podium place. Monster Energy Honda Team’s rider from Castellón set a fine pace to eventually finish the stage second fastest and, in doing so, seal third spot on the final rostrum.
Joan Barreda – P3 Overall
“I am happy. Today was a day where I had to push and really give it everything. It was a stage with a lot of sand, but a fast one. It was necessary to match the speeds with the hazards. I kept a good, fast pace, and I am happy because in the end I finished in the third overall position in the race. It’s always nice to finish on the podium!”
The third round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship calendar had also marked return of three major riders injured at the Dakar and who had been absent all season – Matthias Walkner, Toby Price and Pablo Quintanilla.
Price was making his first rally outing of 2019 since the Dakar Rally in January, and TP soon found his rhythm on the fast, rocky pistes of Chile and is now looking forward to another strong result at the final round in Morocco.
Toby Price – P4 Overall
“Stage five has gone well, it was only about 180 kilometres, so not too long. Sam caught me up and we led the entire stage from start to finish. It’s always tough to lead out especially through the sand dunes but I think we did a good job. Overall, I’m really happy, it’s been a good rally and a good one to come back to. I know I still need to do a little work on my wrist – it’s not quite right yet, but the plan is to be in slightly better shape for Morocco and then training in Spain before we gear up for the Dakar in Saudi Arabia next year.”
Kevin Benavides had likewise held an outside chance of finishing the Chilean rally on the podium. The winner of last year’s edition, who began further down the starting order, went all out to reduce the deficit with the riders ahead on the leader board, but did not succeed in making contact with the frontrunners. The Argentinean came home 5’42” behind Quintanilla.
Kevin Benavides – P5 Overall
“Today was a day to attack, but my day turned out to be a complicated one. I felt great, ready to fight to the fullest, but I had a problem and I couldn’t sort it out. It was difficult to try to get ahead in the dunes and more so when you have it clear in your head but the rest doesn’t respond. It’s a pity to finish fifth here, but we will continue fighting towards the next race.”
Ricky Brabec acquitted himself well on the stage, finishing the day in fifth and sixth in the overall final standings.
Ricky Brabec – P6 Overall
“Stage five was good. It was a fast track with a little bit of sand dunes. Today I tried to push and catch the guy in front of me. But the stage was so fast that I don’t think that anyone caught anyone else. I’m happy to have finished and now I’m looking forward to some testing. Then I hope we pick it up again in Morocco and then on to the Dakar.”
Also making his return to rally competition in Chile, Matthias Walkner showed great pace on the mixed terrain of the rally. The Austrian, feeling more comfortable as the event progressed, put in his best performance on the final stage to finish third fastest and claim seventh in the overall standings.
Matthias Walkner – P7 Overall
“It feels great to finish third on the last stage. I really enjoyed it today, I just rode my own race and tried to concentrate on my rhythm and navigation. Pablo caught me around kilometre-90 and I was able to follow him for the last half of the special. It’s been a really good race to come back to and I know now where I need to improve a little bit, so I’ll work on that before the next race in Morocco.”
Feeling more confident as the rally progressed, Andrew Short was able to find a good rhythm and increase his pace. Eighth on stage five, the American rider was satisfied with his overall result of eighth and now looks ahead to the final round in Morocco, where he hopes to close his 2019 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship with another strong finish.
Andrew Short – P8 Overall
“Today’s stage didn’t go too well for me. I made some mistakes in the first half and that ended up costing me a lot of time. The second half went better and I was able to enjoy it more. This race is so fast, and with the different types of terrain it can really test your focus the whole time. Overall, the race went well, I was hoping for a slightly better result, but I’m safe and looking forward to Morocco now.”
2019 Atacama Rally Stage 5 Result
QUINTANILLA, Pablo (CHL)
BARREDA, Joan (ESP)
WALKNER, Matthias (AUS)
SUNDERLAND, Sam (ENG)
BRABEC, Ricky (USA)
CORNEJO, Ignacio (CHL)
TOBY PRICE (AUS)
SHORT, Andrew (USA)
BENAVIDES, Kevin (ARG)
BENAVIDES, Luciano (ARG)
MARE, Aaron (SOU)
PROHENS, Felipe (CHL)
CABRERA, Patricio (CHL)
GUZMAN, Enrique (CHL)
DE GAVARDO, Tomas (CHL)
CARBONI, Giorgio (CHL)
ROJAS, David (CHL)
VELARDE, Gianna (PER)
NIETTO, Ismael (CHL)
NASER, Cristian (CHL)
2019 Atacama XC Rally Result
DE GAVARDO, Tomas
2019 FIM Cross-Country Rallies Championship Standings
Australia strong in 2019 FIM Junior Motocross World Championship
Team Australia fourth in U21 Speedway World Championship
AORC final Rounds 10 & 11 move to Hedley, Victoria
Briar Bauman dominates New York Short Track
Images by Scott Hunter
Briar Bauman rebounded from his worst result of the 2019 American Flat Track season at the Lima Half-Mile, where a mechanical DNF took a bite out of his championship lead, by scoring a dominant victory at the 2019 New York Short Track held at Weedsport Speedway.
Rather than allow the pressure to cause additional difficulties to escalate following the disappointing previous round, the championship leader responded with perhaps the most convincing performance of his standout ‘19 campaign.
At the start of the 30-lap Main Event, the recently rejuvenated Jeffrey Carver Jr. squeezed past Bauman and his brother, Bronson Bauman, to lead the opening lap. But before Carver could even contemplate the possibility of completing his career Grand Slam with a maiden Short Track win, Bauman blasted back by and ripped open a gap at the front.
Smooth and in control throughout, Bauman took the win with 3.589 seconds in hand. Despite the result representing his eighth podium (and seventh top two) in nine Main Events this season, the victory was Bauman’s first since his triumphant season opener.
“I’ve got to thank my team — they bust their butts during the week. The bike was insane… today we showed up and didn’t change a thing and we were good all day. It just feels good. It feels like it’s been a whole season since I got a win. Seconds are really cool… ‘I know there’s nothing’s wrong with silver’ — said the great Ricky Bobby — but I’m just glad to get a win again.”
Carver backed up his first podium of the year with a second consecutive runner-up result. He was followed to the stripe by Short Track standout Henry Wiles in third. Bronson Bauman extended his streak of top fives to three with a fourth-place finish, while Robert Pearson secured his best result of the season in fifth.
Meanwhile, multi-time time defending AFT Twins champ Jared Mees could manage just seventh on the night. As a result, Bauman stretched his advantage back out to 26 points (170-144) as the title fight reached its halfway point.
AFT Twins Main Event – New York Short Track 2019
Briar Bauman, 30 Laps, 0:18.795
Jeffrey Carver Jr. +3.589
Henry Wiles +4.983
Bronson Bauman +7.111
Robert Pearson +8.734
Davis Fisher +12.466
Jared Mees +14.310
Brandon Robinson +15.296
Brandon Price +15.498
Bryan Smith +16.911
2019 American Flat Track – AFT Twins Standings
Briar Bauman 170
Jared Mees 144
Brandon Robinson 119
Bronson Bauman 116
Henry Wiles 113
Jeffrey Carver Jr. 110
Jarod Vanderkooi 93
Robert Pearson 92
Sammy Halbert 81
Jake Johnson 79
Dalton Gauthier claims AFT Singles win
Images by Scott Hunter
Dalton Gauthier took maximum advantage of the opportunity before him in the 20-lap AFT Singles Main Event. Pre-race title leader Mikey Rush was forced to watch from the fences after he failed to make the Main, finishing 0.135 seconds short of a qualifying position in his semi. And since Rush competed in the premier AFT Twins class in 2018, he earned no AFT Singles points and thus had no provisional start to call upon.
As a result, Gauthier fully capitalized. The ‘Comeback Kid’ dropped down the order early despite starting from pole, but he quickly demonstrated the speed he used to earn that starting slot in the first place.
He exploded through a tight, back-and-forth pack contesting the lead and escaped from that early chaos to power to his second victory of the season and reclaim the AFT Singles championship lead in the process.
“I picked up a lot of confidence tonight, and it’s definitely going to help us with this championship. The day went off so good. I was fast in practice and qualifying and felt really comfortable. I can’t thank Jimmy Wood at Öhlins enough for helping us out with our shock and our suspension. He was a gamesaver, and I felt so much more comfortable than I had before on this bike. And my mom’s here for her first National ever – it’s awesome to win in front of her.”
Morgen Mischler put in a late charge, slashing his way through the same talented pack Gauthier diced through earlier in the race, to work up to second position. Mischler even managed to dramatically close down the gap to Gauthier but ultimately ran out of laps, coming up 0.413 short of the victory at the checkered flag.
He was followed home by reigning class champion Dan Bromley. Just behind, Kevin Stollings finished fourth while Bromley’s teammate, Shayna Texter, completed the top five.
As a result of Saturday’s pivotal outcome, Gauthier now leads Rush in the AFT Singles championship chase 169-156. Defending champ Bromley remains in close contention at 151 points thanks to his remarkable consistency, despite still seeking the first Main Event victory of his title defense.
AFT Singles Main Event – New York Short Track 2019
Dalton Gauthier, 20 Laps, 0:18.888
Morgen Mischler +0.413
Dan Bromley +1.953
Kevin Stollings +3.593
Shayna Texter +3.706
Andrew Luker +4.431
Cole Zabala +5.548
Tanner Dean +6.026
James Rispoli +7.527
Jesse Janisch +8.616
2019 American Flat Track – AFT Singles Standings
Dalton Gauthier 169
Mikey Rush 156
Dan Bromley 151
Jesse Janisch 138
Ryan Wells 111
Shayna Texter 108
Chad Cose 91
Morgen Mischler 90
Kevin Stollings 79
Max Whale 72
Andrew Short wins Silk Way Rally Stage 9 Sam Sunderland leads into final
Stage 9 of the 2019 Silk Way Rally has just been won by Andrew Short, while Sam Sunderland heads into the final in the lead, with a 23-minute lead over Short, but it’s been a long journey to get this far.
Sam Sunderland looks like a shoe-in for the win, following strong performance throughout the nine stages so far, while Andrew Short and Adrien Van Beveren are only separated by a minute heading into the final stage. Kevin Benavides is a further two-minutes behind Beveren, ensuring he’s well within reach of a podium position.
Here’s a quick recap of the action so far…
The Silk Way Rally kicked off in Serbia, where heavy rain ensured challenging conditions for the opening stage, with Honda’s Kevin Benavides claiming the stage win from Luciano Benavides and Xavier de Soultrait.
Stage 2 was held in Russia to the south-east of Lake Baikal, featuring a 212km timed special and saw Sam Sunderland close down the lead on Kevin Benavides with a stage win.
Stage 3 saw the Silk Way Rally cross into Mongolia with the finish close to Ulan Bator, with 691km travelled including a 243km timed special, reaching altitudes of 1500m and mixed terrain of forested foothills and open mountain passes. Kevin Benavides claimed the stage win, from Joan Barreda and Luciano Benavides, with Sam Sunderland fourth.
It proved to be KTM’s stage for the fourth iteration marking the first of a two-part marathon with only riders able to work on their bikes overnight, with Sunderland and Luciano Benavides taking the 1-2, propelling them into the same positions in the standings.
Sunderland opened Stage 5 on the back of his Stage 4 victory, leading riders across the plains of Mongolia to extend his lead to 13-minutes. Luciano Benavides and Kevin Benavides held onto second and third in the standings.
Sam Sunderland further extended his lead in Stage 6, covering 411km across fast, open gravel roads which criss-crossed the stage, with many riders getting caught out by a tricky waypoint. Sunderland had to settle for fourth, with Oriol Mena taking the stage win and moving into second in the standings.
Stage 7 saw the Silk Way Rally arrive in China, with just three more stages to go following Sunderland’s win from Oriol Mena and Luciano Benavides.
Heading into Stage 8 Sunderland was confident in the lead with a 785km distance to travel, including a 326km timed special which included the dunes of the Gobi Desert. It proved Kevin Benavides who would take the stage win however, from Adrien Van Beveren and Paulo Goncalves, with Sam Sunderland settling for eighth despite an early crash, and retaining a 25-minute lead.
It was Andrew Short however, who rode a faultless Stage 9 of the 2019 Silk Way Rally to post the fastest time and elevate himself to second in the provisional overall standings. Mastering the rough and physical timed special while navigating accurately through the stage, Short completed the 290.3-kilometres in less than four hours. The stage covered rough, sandy roads and camel grass covered dunes, with navigation proving a challenge for many riders.
“Stage nine was really good for me today. I knew it would cover really similar terrain to yesterday so I had a little better idea of what to expect. With my start position I had a lot of tracks laid down ahead of me but at times those tracks would split up. I navigated well and always chose the right direction. My pace to the refuel was really good and then after that I was able to keep to a good speed and again, where other people had made mistakes, I was able to make the right choices and push on to the finish. I’m happy with how the day has gone and really happy with my performance.”
Enjoying a comfortable motorcycle class lead as the rally entered China due to his dominant performance through Russia and Mongolia, Sam Sunderland knew he had to simply maintain a strong but steady pace to stay ahead. Keeping things safe, the British rider controlled the race from the front, doing exactly what he had to do to defend his lead. Finishing fourth, Sunderland now leads the overall standings by close to 23 minutes.
“I think they definitely saved the toughest till last because the two days in China so far have been super physical. The tracks have been really technical with a lot of broken rivers and washes coming through the piste. It makes it really difficult to find a good rhythm and of course the temperature here is much hotter. For me personally, after a good run through Russia and Mongolia these last few days were about just managing my pace. Obviously yesterday I got caught out which was frustrating, with a lead like I have the goal should be to take things easy and not take any risks, but I clipped a rock and got thrown off. Today I kept a cool head, in fact I saw Andrew just before the refuel and he was riding really well. I tagged onto him for a bit but in the end just decided to keep my own pace and bring it home at the end of the day.”
Benavides, after the Stage 8 win, was forced to open the track. The Argentinean was making swift progress until he was caught by other riders who arrived back at the Jiayuguan bivouac in a group. Barreda, meanwhile, sought to maintain a fast pace in spite of not feeling very much at ease on the terrain, and sits 2.5-minutes off third placed Adrien Van Beveren heading into the final.
“Today was a hard day, more than yesterday. There was a lot of navigation and offroad until kilometre 130. Opening the stage was a tough task in the stage with the most navigation of all. I felt good, I liked the terrain and I pushed hard throughout. The others didn’t catch me up until the end of that navigational phase. I let Van Beveren pass in front of me to be able to push hard again after the refuelling. I think it was good for both of us and we ended up happy with each other after having pushed the whole stage. And for tomorrow? Well, let’s go for it. In rally you never know what could occur. Until the final kilometre everything can happen.”
Provisional Standings After Stage Nine – 2019 Silk Way Rally
Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 23:27:27
Andrew Short (USA), Husqvarna, 23:50:18 +22:51
Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 23:51:09 +23:42
Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 23:53:35 +26:08
Luciano Benavides (ARG), KTM, 24:01:45 +34:18
Provisional Standings After Stage Nine – 2019 Silk Way Rally
Sam Sunderland (KTM) 23:27:27
Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 23:50:18
Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 23:51:09
Kevin Benavides (Honda) 23:53:35
Luciano Benavides (KTM) 24:01:45
Toni Bou claims 2019 Portuguese TrialGP victory
Toni Bou has repeated his 2018 efforts, claiming the 2019 Portuguese TrialGP victory, where last year he took his 100th TrialGP World Championship victory. 2019 sees Bou increase that figure to 110, with teammate Takahisa Fujinami coming home in fifth, a point shy of fourth.
The fifth round of the TrialGP world championship, held today in Gouveia, Portugal was marked by roasting temperatures and very demanding sections located amongst the boulders of the Parque de Nostra Senhora los Verdes.
Repsol Honda Team ace Toni Bou suffered considerably in the gruelling Portuguese trial. In spite of a first lap which saw Bou make several mistakes and pick-up a penalty for exceeding the lap time limit, the champion was nevertheless able to stage a comeback on lap two to take his win tally to 110 out of 210 world championship participations. This, the fifth victory of the season increases Bou’s overall lead to 22 points over the nearest second-place rival.
“Today was a very tough trial. It was a very positive weekend, with the type of terrain that we like a lot. We rode a very good second round through the sections, so we leave here with a very good taste in our mouths. We will try to be fully recovered for France to be able to have a good trial. We know that, if we win, I will be champion, something really impressive, but the important thing is to have a great trial. I am very happy and I want to thank the whole team because this week they have done a great job.”
The next TrialGP world championship outing, the sixth points-paying round, will be held next weekend in Auron, France, July 20-21.
Round 7 of the 2019 MX Nationals kicked off over the weekend, with Luke Clout claiming a double-win in the opening motos, with Brett Metcalfe and Kirk Gibbs completing the top three over the combined results, while the final moto of the weekend for full points saw Kirk Gibbs claim victory. Clout was runner up in the final moto but, secured 67-points for the weekend and the round win, while Gibbs was two points in arrears and Hayden Mellross was third overall on 58-points.
The result sees Clout leave Round 7 with a nine-point lead from Mellross, who is three-points ahead of Todd Waters. Kirk Gibbs sits in fourth with 312-points, to Clout’s leading 397.
“The team did a great job today and the bikes were awesome. It showed in the results with Kirk and I winning all three races and going 1-2 for the day that CDR Yamaha really do the work. Looking forward to the next round at Moree in a couple of weeks and want to keep this momentum rolling all the way through to the final corner at Coolum.”
MX1 Round 7 Overall – Top 10
MX1 Standings – Top 10
In the MX2 class it was Nathan Crawford who claimed the moto 1 win from Kyle Webster and Jay Wilson, while the final moto saw a turn-around as Kyle Webster came out on top, with championship leader Wilson Todd crashing and having to fight his way back to sixth. The result saw Webster and Crawford tied on 67-points for the weekend overall – while Webster took top honours, with Jay Wilson third on 58-points.
Wilson Todd continues to lead the standings despite disappointment in moto 2, with 397 championship points. Kyle Webster is just 10-points behind, while third places Jay Wilson likewise has a 10-point decificit.
“I’m stoked I got the race win and that gave me the overall round win on a tie-breaker, which is awesome. It’s the best feeling to get another overall win, and the best way to thank everyone on the Penrite Pirelli CRF Honda Racing team and all the sponsors for their support. With three rounds to go, it’s going to be an exciting finish to the Championship and I’m just going to keep doing what I have been doing. I don’t want to change anything.”
MX2 Round 7 Overall – Top 10
MX2 Standings – Top 10
Weekly Moto News Wrap proudly brought to you by Dunlop
Tim Gajser won the MXGP of Asia in Indonesia with another perfect performance and 1-1 race results, marking his seventh Grand Prix win in a row, making the red plate owner has become the most successful Honda rider of all time for GP wins in a row. He also extended his points lead to 173 points over Jeremy Seewer who is now second in the points. Second overall was Arnaud Tonus and third place went to Jeremy Seewer.
“Unbelievable, I was enjoying that second race so much and that is the most important thing. I took the FOX Holeshot and I controlled the second race. I had a big crash yesterday and I got a lot of help with that from people around me. After the crash yesterday in time practice I was struggling a little bit, I had a good start in the first race, made a gap and I was enjoying it out there. I am very happy to go home safe, that is the most important thing.”
“We had a tough time last week in Palembang, but we rebounded today with a second place and I didn’t have a good feeling yesterday, so it is amazing for the team and it feels even better when you have struggled. I really like coming to these races, the people are so excited to see us, and we are always welcomed very well.”
“It is safe to say that I am now second in the championship, I saw some sketchy crashes and I didn’t want to take risk and I knew I would have been on the podium and got a lot of point. I told my practice mechanic I would bring back the black plate (holeshot award) and I did that. I look forward to the next Grand Prix’s now.”
MXGP – GP Classification Top 10
Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 50 points
Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 42
Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 38
Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 32
Max Anstie (GBR, KTM), 29
Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 28
Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 26
Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 25
Ivo Monticelli (ITA, KTM), 23
Pauls Jonass (LAT, HUS), 22 …14. Lewis Stewart (AUS) 16 …16. Adam Coles (AUS) 11 …17. Joel Milesevic (AUS) 9
MXGP Championship Standings Top 10
Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 538 points
Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 365
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 358
Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 346
Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 343
Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 299
Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 288
Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 271
Pauls Jonass (LAT, HUS), 268
Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 243 …26. Lewis Stewart (AUS) 29 …29. Adam Coles (AUS) 22 …40. Joel Milesevic (AUS) 9
Jorge Prado won the MX2 class overall at the MXGP of Asia in Indonesia, with the Spanish rider scoring 1-1 results and extending his championship points lead over Thomas Kjer Olsen to 78 points. Second overall at Semarang was Tom Vialle and third overall was Calvin Vlaanderen.
“I am happy about the weekend. I went first in every single session. It is a good feeling to come to Indonesia and win both races. I felt good and I enjoyed today. It is good to be on the podium, on the top step of the box. I had a very good jump out of the gate in the first race, but I braked too much and two guys passed me. I made a pass early on Olsen and I am enjoying the track way more today. I was looking forward to the second race and it was a good one, I pulled away and put it in cruise control. I had some sketchy moments so I took it easy as I felt a little dizzy.”
“It is good for the team and all the hard work. Second again on the podium, it is fantastic, and I am very happy. The first race was good for me following Jorge, but then I made a mistake. The second race I didn’t have a good rhythm and I just tried to control myself to be sure to be on the podium.”
“First podium of the year. It feels good to be back and I didn’t expect it as it is just my second race back. I recovered well during the week. Renaux was riding really well and he was catching me, then I started thinking of the podium and he passed me. I want to thank the team for being behind me and also my girlfriend and everyone back home. We spent some time in Bali between the races and I got to do some surfing and really enjoyed that. I enjoy coming to these races, but am looking forward to heading back to Europe too.”
MX2 Grand Prix Top Ten
Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 50 points
Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 40
Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, HON), 36
Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 35
Henry Jacobi (GER, KAW), 28
Mathys Boisrame (FRA, HON), 28
Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 28
Brent Van doninck (BEL, HON), 26
Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 26
Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 23
MX2 – World Championship Top Ten
Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 544 points
Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 466
Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 366
Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 360
Henry Jacobi (GER, KAW), 335
Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 246
Adam Sterry (GBR, KAW), 242
Mitchell Evans (AUS, HON), 228
Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 227
Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 220
2019 FIM Junior Motocross World Champions crowned
The 2019 FIM Junior Motocross World Champions were crowned at the Italian track of Il Ciclamino where Italians Mattia Guadagnini and Valerio Lata were the 125cc and 85cc World Champions respectively, while Vitezslav Marek from Czech Republic was the best in the 65cc class. Team Italy dominated the Nations classification, followed by France and UK.
Dutch rider Lotte Van Drunen took the first FOX Holeshot of the day while the Australian Ky Woods dominated the first laps ahead of the Dutch rider Lotte Van Drunen, the Czech Vitezslav Marek, Gyan Doensen, Salvador Perez and home rider Edoardo Martinelli. The young Australian rider dominated the 8 laps of race one and crossed the finish line five-seconds ahead of Marek and Van Drunen. Martinelli was forth and Boughen completed the top five.
It was the British rider Ashton Boughen who was first at the start of race two, closely followed by Perez and Van Drunen. The winner of race one Ky Woods did not have a good start, but was already third by the end of the first lap. The Czech rider Marek had an unfortunate start but gave his best to move from seventh to the lead after five laps, and he kept the first position until the end followed by Minear and Woods.
The huge effort of Vitezslav Marek in race 2 paid off as the Czech rider won the 65cc World Title with Australian Ky Woods on the second step of the podium and Lotte Van Druden from the Netherlands completing the top three.
65cc Junior World Cup Overall Top Ten
MAREK Vitezslav – CZE KTM – 47
WOODS Ky – AUS KTM – 45
VAN DRUNEN Lotte – NED KTM – 38
MINEAR Kayden – AUS KTM – 35
MARTINELLI Edoardo – ITA Husqvarna – 34
DOENSEN Gyan – NED KTM – 29
PEREZ Salvador – SPA Yamaha – 27
BOUGHEN Ashton – GBR Husqvarna – 26
RYBAKOV Semen – RUS Ktm – 20
MARTORANO Paolo – ITA KTM – 18
Latvian rider Karlis Alberts Reisulis took the FOX holeshot of the first 85cc race, ahead of home riders Matteo Luigi Russi and Valerio Lata, Lucas Bruhn, Maximilian Ernecker, Edvards Bidzans and American Nicholas Romano. After a few turns there was a change of leader and Valerio Lata commanded the 13 laps to win the first 85cc race, followed by his compatriot Matteo Luigi Russi and Karlis Alberts Reisulis.
A very motivated Lata started at the front in race 2, followed by his compatriot Russi, who crashed in the second turn; Grau was then second and the Bruhn was third. Once again home rider Lata kept the lead with an amazing determination until the end of the race and claimed the 85cc World Title with superb authority. Bidzans was second and Prugnieres third.
Valerio Lata was on the top of the 85cc podium to collect the gold medal, while Edvards Bidzans from Latvia and Matteo Luigi Russi from Italy received the silver and bronze medals respectively.
85cc Junior World Championship Overall Top Ten
LATA Valerio – ITA KTM – 50
BIDZANS Edvards – LAT Husqvarna – 40
RUSSI Matteo Luigi – ITA KTM – 38
PRUGNIERES Quentin – FRA KTM – 35
REISULIS Karlis Alberts – LAT KTM – 33
GRAU Maxime – FRA KTM – 32
ROMANO Nicholas – USA KTM – 30
CANET Edgar – SPA KTM – 27
HEYMAN Charlie – GBR Husqvarna – 20
GUILLEMOT SCHEID – David FRA KTM – 19
Race 1 of the 125cc saw Joel Rizzi taking the holeshot followed by Simon Langenfelder, the Meico Vettik, Max Palssson, Mattia Guadagnini and Samuel Nilsson. However, after just one lap the current leader of the EMX125 Championship Mattia Guadagnini took the lead and kept it until the end. Tom Guyon from France did not have a good start but managed to finish second and Mike Gwerder ended third.
Guadagnini was determined to win the second and final race of the 125cc class and he managed to have a perfect start claiming the FOX holeshot and taking the lead, but Guyon was right after the Italian wheel. Behind them there were Gwerder, Osterhagen, Rizzi and Langenfelder. Half way through the race Guyon succeeded in overtaking Guadagnini, but after a few meters the Italian bounced back taking advantage of an error of the Frenchman and took the lead which he kept until the chequered flag.
Mattia Guadagnini became the 125cc Junior World Champion with a 1-1 result, and Tom Guyon and Mike Gwerder completed the podium.
125cc Junior World Championship Overall Top 10
GUADAGNINI Mattia – ITA Husqvarna – 50
GUYON Tom – FRA FFM KTM – 44
GWERDER Mike – SUI FMS KTM – 40
LANGENFELDER Simon – GER DMSB KTM – 33
RIZZI Joel – GBR ACU KTM – 29
MC LELLAN Camden – RSA KTM – 28
WADE Eddie Jay – GBR KTM – 28
NILSSON Samuel – SPA KTM – 24
PALSSON Max – SWE KTM – 21
MIOT Florian – FRA Yamaha – 20
Australia strong in FIM Junior Motocross World Championship
Team Australia put on a strong showing in the World Junior Motocross Championship (WJMX) in 2019, which was held in Pietramurata, Italy over the weekend. The green and gold riders fared particularly well in the 65cc World MX Junior Cup, with KTM riders Ky Woods and Kayden Minear finishing second and fourth respectively.
Boasting some of the world’s best junior motocross riders, the FIM Junior Motocross World Championship saw Aussies represented across all three classes (65, 85, and 125cc). Although they were unable to successfully defend Australia’s Team of Nations trophy won on home soil at Horsham in Victoria, the team that traveled to Italy acquitted themselves brilliantly, finishing ninth overall.
Mark Willingham – Team Australia Team Manager
“Really happy with the effort from all the riders. Similar to some previous years our 65cc class riders were amazing, and then we see the strength of the European racing program really shine through in the 85 and 125 classes. “From my perspective, Team Australia had one of the best set ups we’ve ever provided on site to ensure the riders had everything they needed. With our main section arranged under the Diga Racing truck we had a full catering service for our meals along with their experience and guidance. On top of this our Yamaha riders were provided services from Yamaha Europe’s official race trucks, which was a result of all the effort the Aussies arranged last year welcoming the European riders at Horsham. In the end Team Australia finished up 9th in the standings, and were the first team home that was unable to score points in all three classes.”
Ryder Kingsford (Yamaha) and Campbell Williams (KTM) also made it to the finals, finishing in 13th and 24th places in the 85cc class. Also representing Australia were Alex Larwood (Yamaha,125cc), and Blake Fox (KTM, 125cc).
Team Australia fourth in U21 Speedway World Championship
Team Australia have claimed fourth in the 2019 FIM Team Speedway Under-21 World Championship final over the weekend, which was held in Manchester, England. The Joeys came in behind Poland, Great Britain and Denmark, with 21-points. Poland was crowned World Champions with 41-points, to take their sixth consecutive gold medal.
Great Britain and Denmark battled it out for the runner-up position, with the UK coming out ahead by two-points, with 33 to Denmark’s 31-points.
The Joey’s lack of international experience turned out to be their ‘chink in their armour’, while a late flurry of points in the closing stages on the meeting came with some relief as Captain Jaimon Lidsey and Jordan Stewart won their remaining races proving they have the abilities to compete with best of their age brackets.
Mark Lemon – Team Australia Team Manager
“A podium place was always going to be big ask for the young speedsters. However, ultimately, they did themselves and their country proud, gaining invaluable experience that will serve them well in the future. They can be very proud of efforts in reaching the final. We would like to thank everyone who sent messages and showed their support, and special mention to CBS Bins from Adelaide for their continued and generous sponsorship the team, our travel partners ATPI, Motorcycling Australia and Sport Australia,”
Great Britain 33: Robert Lambert 20, Dan Bewley 11, Drew Kemp 2, Kyle Bickley 0, Leon Flint 0
Denmark 31: Mads Hansen 11, Fredrik Jakobsen 8, Patrick Hansen 6, Jonas Jeppesen 6
Australia 21: Jaimon Lidsey 12, Jordan Stewart 5,Kye Thomson 2,Matthew Gilmore 1, Zach Cook 1
AORC final Rounds 10 & 11 move to Hedley, Victoria
The Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship has announced that the final rounds originally scheduled to be held in Penshurst, in Victoria have been moved due to council and agricultural restrictions.
Instead Rounds 10 & 11 will be co-hosted by the Geelong Motocross Club and Corner Inlet Motorcycle Club in Hedley, Victoria over September 14-15 (2019).
Special consideration for the location was made to minimise disruption and ensure minimal additional travel distance, while retaining a Victorian round.
Hedley will feature a Cross Country racing format for Round 10, followed by Sprints for Round 11. Further information on the final rounds and accommodation can be found at the AORC website – www.aorc.org.au (link). Entries will open shortly for Rounds 10 & 11.
Nashville hosted the 14th round of the AMA Supercross Championships last weekend and on a night that saw a series of ups and downs for the green team, it was Kawasaki riders Eli Tomac and Martin Davalos who won the 450SX and 250SX East main events respectively.
The first blow for Kawasaki was when 250 East Coast championship leader Austin Faulkner took his traditional practice crash but this time the Pro-Circuit Kawasaki pilot was forced to sit out the night with a knee injury while Eli Tomac was forced to the LCQ after his KX450 ground to a halt while leading his heat race.
Heat race winner Ken Roczen was in a class of his own leading into the main event while championship leader Cooper Webb looked far from convincing during qualifying and his heat.
Eli Tomac found his mojo and raced by Wilson, Baggett and Webb to take the lead and just a few laps later Baggett move to second ahead of Webb. Savatgy was carted off the track with what looked like a broken collar bone, while Musquin worked his way through to field in a desperate attempt to salvage points.
It ended up being another 26-lap main event and Tomac took the chequered flag well ahead of Baggett, who had Webb right on his back wheel all of the way to the line.
Webb now has a 21-point lead over Tomac and Musquin with three rounds remaining so no matter the winners, three top four finishes would hand Webb the championship but there is plenty of mouth-watering racing to come.
“It was tough, you can use it (going to the LCQ) to your advantage or not, I actually felt that I kept warm and found some rhythm but it was pretty wild, the truck was a mile away so when we had the mechanical I had to push it all the way back which made it a time crunch (to get back in time for the LCQ) so I just poured it on in the main, got back to our old self and it felt good to do that.”
450SX Main Event Results
…19. Justin Barcia
…20. Justin Hill
…21. Joshua Grant
…22. Joey Savatgy
450SX Points after 14 of 17 Rounds
Cooper Webb – 309
Eli Tomac – 288
Marvin Musquin – 288
Ken Roczen – 267
Blake Baggett – 238
Dean Wilson – 220
Cole Seely – 176
Joey Savatgy – 174
Justin Barcia – 154
Chad Reed – 151
250 East Coast Report
Chase Sexton and Justin Cooper came into Nashville 26 and 28 points behind Faulkner respectively so this was as good a chance to make up serious ground on the championship leader.
Unfortunately for both riders Cooper had a complete brain fade in the second corner to not only dive bomb Sexton but then run the Honda rider so high they locked bikes and fell into each other. While Cooper and Sexton went through the traditional frantic bike pick up scenario Davalos inherited the lead and the eventual win, to do his teammate in Austin Forkner a massive favour.
“I was forced to recover from a myriad of injuries during the off-season and my neck was one of them that I didn’t think would be an issue but I had problems with my arms and hands locking up so I spoke to Mitch and we got a heap of doctors in California to check me out and find solutions, as far as tonight goes the guys made a mistake and I took advantage of it, put myself in the right position and what we did with my neck a week ago definitely calmed my neck a little bit but all up, I am pumped to be here and this is awesome. I am looking for a 450 ride next year, I feel that would suit me better.”
250 East Coat Main Event Results
1. Martin Davalos
2. Chase Sexton
3. Justin Cooper
4. Kyle Peters
5. Brandon Hartranft
6. Mitchell Oldenburg
7. Kyle Cunningham
8. Ryan Sipes
9. Mitchell Falk
10. Alex Martin
250 East Coast Points after 7 of 9 Rounds
Austin Forkner – 151
Chase Sexton – 148
Justin Cooper – 144
Martin Davalos – 115
Mitchell Oldenburg – 105
Alex Martin – 105
Brandon Hartranft – 100
Kyle Peters – 98
Kyle Cunningham – 97
Jordon Bailey – 76
250 West Coast Points after 8 of 10 Rounds
Adam Cianciarulo – 182
Dylan Ferrandis – 177
Colt Nichols – 142
RJ Hampshire – 126
Shane Mcelrath – 123
James Decotis – 112
Chris Blose – 111
Cameron Mcadoo – 111
Michael Mosiman – 110
Garrett Marchbanks – 99
Gasjer and Prado double up at Trentino GP
On one of the most picturesque motocross circuits in the world, Tim Gajser has won a huge battle with championship leader and local Italian hero Antonio Cairoli to win the MXGP of Trentino. Jorge Prado completely dominated the MX2 class to move closer to the championship leader Thomas Kjer Olsen.
Cairoli holeshot the first race with Gajser a few spots back but the Honda rider has definitely found some serious mojo. He moved to the lead a few laps later and over the next 30 minutes he and Cairoli went toe-to-toe with Gajser getting the win by just 1.08 seconds from Cairoli, while third placed Gautier Paulin was almost a minute further back.
Moto two saw Gajser earn the holeshot but once again it was a war between Cairoli and Gajser with some of the most hard-core racing one will ever see. Finally Cairoli over-committed going into a left hand corner and threw his KTM into the ground allowing Gajser to go through for a well-earned win and GP overall ahead of Cairoli.
Paulin earned another third for third overall and has moved to third in the points while Gajser has narrowed the championship point deficit to Cairoli by six points, to now sit just 16 points with 14 rounds remaining.
“It is just unbelievable and it is my first win in more than a year. To be here in Arco is always special, to race in front of so many people, so many fans. Today we had two great races with Tony battling, we were both pushing. I’m just so happy and thankful that we won that overall. The fans, they just push you on because every lap you can hear them cheering for you, it’s just an unbelievable feeling here.”
“The level was very, very high, we were on the limit every lap, pushing and pushing. I did my best lap time in the race faster than the time practice even with the track rougher, so it’s not often that you have this. I was trying to win the GP but Tim was better this time and he won so congratulations to him.”
“It’s always great to be on the podium, I’m actually happy about the riding and being on the box at the end of the day, but definitely, Tim and Antonio were faster today. So, we need to improve, we need to step up to the challenge and ride with them, be in that fight because as a racer when you fight for a win like that is unbelievable, it’s nice, it’s fun. The crowd was awesome here in Italy, the fans were crazy and I wasn’t in the battle but I was hearing the crowd from everywhere, actually every corner, so it was kind of special but congrats to these guys today!”
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten
Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 34:13.822
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:01.081
Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:53.919
Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +1:00.314
Ivo Monticelli (ITA, KTM), +1:03.786
Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), +1:05.635
Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +1:06.887
Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +1:07.631
Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +1:13.322
Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +1:20.698.
MXGP Race 2 Top Ten
Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 34:11.454
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:24.305
Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:53.333
Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:57.384
Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +0:58.712
Ivo Monticelli (ITA, KTM), +1:18.314
Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +1:18.657
Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:25.075
Brian Bogers (NED, Honda), +1:31.843
Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), +1:36.522.
MXGP Overall Top Ten
Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 50 points
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 44
Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 40
Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 36
Ivo Monticelli (ITA, KTM), 31
Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 28
Alessandro Lupino (ITA, KAW), 26
Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 24
Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 21
Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 20
MXGP Championship Top Ten
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 191 points
Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 175
Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 142
Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 120
Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 113
Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 112
Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 98
Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 88
Julien Lieber (BEL, KAW), 79
Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 71
Prado’s domination was impressive with the defending champion scoring three holeshots, the Qualifying race win and the two GP race wins all by substantial margins. The hard charging Jago Geerts put together 2-2 moto results to put him on the podium for the second round in a row while young Tom Vialle’s 3-6 took the French rider to the final podium position, his second this season as well.
Red Plate holder Thomas Kjer Olsen seemed to be a little wild on his way to 5-4 moto results for fifth overall and now holds a 20-point lead over Prado and 23 points over Henri Jacobi, who went 4-5 for sixth overall on the day.
Mitch Evans battled through the pain of a qualifying race knee injury to finish 7th overall in his first visit to the iconic Italian venue to now sit eighth in the championship and has over a month to heal up before the next round on May the 12th in Mantova for the MXGP of Lombardia.
Jed Beaton is still struggling with the lack of bike time, but battled on to earn 12th and 13th for 12th outright and now sits 13th in the championship.
“I love racing here, the fans are just crazy. When you’re on the bike riding just the atmosphere makes you feel comfortable, this is what we like to see. We love to see this atmosphere at the track and when people are cheering during a Grand Prix like this, it is always very nice.”
“It was a really good weekend for me, I had top five starts so that was a really positive and the riding was good, I felt good on track all weekend and ended up second overall. I’m really up with the results…I’ve been working hard at getting better on hard pack tracks.”
“It was a really great weekend, the season so far is going very well. Im having fun, everything is going well in both training and the races so far. It’s not easy as a rookie to deal with the pressure but I’ve had good starts so this gives me the opportunity to stay in front. This weekend again I had two good starts and the opportunity to race at the front for a solid result.”
“It’s not been the perfect weekend here, but I’m still leading the MX2 championship and I think I showed some good speed. Everyone knows this track is really difficult to pass on and I experienced that in the first moto. The second race was better, but after running third for so many laps it’s tough not getting a top three result. But finishing 5-4 gives me good championship points. I’ll keep working hard during the weeks off to be 100% ready for the next GP.”
“I’ve not raced at Trentino before but it’s a cool track. It just took me a while to learn it. I tweeked my knee in the qualifying race and that made it a struggle to come through the pack as it was a little one-line out there. But no excuses, I know what I need to do to improve. For the races, I strapped up my knee and pushed through the pain and got good starts. From 24th in the qualifying race to seventh overall today, I couldn’t be any happier and really pleased with how Sunday went.”
“I feel like it’s been an ok weekend for me. Things started off a little slow on Saturday and certainly not how I wanted it to go. But Sunday was much better. Two poor starts held me back in both motos though. I felt like my riding was good, but I have to get out the gate better. We have a good break now in the championship, so it gives me plenty of time to keep working and to focus on improving ahead of the re-start of the series.”
MX2 Race 1 Top Ten
Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 35:17.013;
Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:12.125;
Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:14.130;
Henry Jacobi (GER, Kawasaki), +0:31.658;
Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:33.302;
Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +0:38.284;
Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:39.054;
Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:44.903;
Michele Cervellin (ITA, Yamaha), +0:47.005;
Bas Vaessen (NED, KTM), +0:50.563.
…12. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS).
Michele Cervellin (ITA, YAM), 21 p.
…12. Jed Beaton 17 p
MX2 Championship Top Ten
Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 170 points
Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 150
Henry Jacobi (GER, KAW), 147
Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 129
Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 125
Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 121
Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, HON), 107
Mitchell Evans (AUS, HON), 89
Adam Sterry (GBR, KAW), 89
Davy Pootjes (NED, HUS), 76
…13. Jed Beaton 54
Locals win EMX rounds at Trentino
The second rounds of the EMX250 and EMX125 Championship took place at the Trentino circuit where Italy’s own Alberto Forato and Mattia Guadagnini took the respective wins in front of a very vocal crowd.
Incredibly, last weekend’s two EMX Championships had a combined list of 193 entries so Saturday’s qualifying sessions were split into two groups where only the top 20 of each qualified to line up in the Championship points paying races.
After winning both races at the opening round, Forato carried on his dominant and perfect season to Trentino while Stephen Rubini was next best with two distant second place with Giuseppe Tropepe taking the final podium spot.
“For sure I feel very good because the home GP is always fun. Here there is a lot of fans and a lot of friends came too. I got 1st and 1st so it couldn’t be any better.”
EMX250 Overall Top Ten
Alberto Forato (ITA, HUS), 50 points
Stephen Rubini (FRA, HON), 44
Giuseppe Tropepe (ITA, YAM), 36
Pierre Goupillon (FRA, HON), 33
Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 31
Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KTM), 31
Karlis Sabulis (LAT, KTM), 28
Ruben Fernandez (ESP, YAM), 28
Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, KAW), 28
Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 18
EMX250 Championship Top Ten
Alberto Forato (ITA, HUS), 100 points
Stephen Rubini (FRA, HON), 80
Pierre Goupillon (FRA, HON), 67
Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, KAW), 63
Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 59
Ruben Fernandez (ESP, YAM), 57
Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KTM), 53
Giuseppe Tropepe (ITA, YAM), 51
Karlis Sabulis (LAT, KTM), 50
Josh Gilbert (GBR, HON), 33
Guadagnini basically led every lap on the way to the overall with 1-1 finishes and he extended his points lead in front of the home fans while Tom Guyon and Kay De Wolf rounded out the podium going 2-2 and 3-3 respectively.
“It was a perfect weekend, I had two good starts and then took the lead in the first lap. I had a good feeling on the bike and the track plus there are a lot of friends here and to win in Italy is something special, it was so good!”
EMX125 Overall Top Ten
Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, HUS), 50 points
Tom Guyon (FRA, KTM), 44
Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 36
Guillem Farres Plaza (ESP, KTM), 33
Jorgen-Matthias Talviku (EST, HUS), 31
Oriol Oliver (ESP, KTM), 27
Alberto Barcella (ITA, KTM), 27
Matias Vesterinen (FIN, KTM), 26
Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 24
Mike Gwerder (SUI, KTM), 22
EMX125 Championship Top Ten
Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, HUS), 93 points
Tom Guyon (FRA, KTM), 83
Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 74
Jorgen-Matthias Talviku (EST, HUS), 73
Oriol Oliver (ESP, KTM), 61
Mike Gwerder (SUI, KTM), 48
Guillem Farres Plaza (ESP, KTM), 43
Simon Laengenfelder (GER, KTM), 40
Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 37
Alessandro Facca (ITA, KTM), 30
Milner and Sanders shine at Dungog AORC
The NSW country town of Dungog hosted rounds 3 and 4 of the AORC and despite the Sunday results not being official yet nothing is surer that Daniel Milner and Daniel Sanders were the fastest riders over both days with Milner posting the fastest overall time on Saturday before getting pipped my Sanders on Sunday.
Milner dominated the E2 class while Luke Styke got the nod in the E1 class and predictably Daniel Sander won the E3 class.
Motorcycling Australia has announced that Sunday’s results are being tallied manually and will be available as soon as possible.
2019 AORC Round 3 E1 Top 10 Provisional Results
Luke STYKE 42:04.943
Michael DRISCOLL 42:35.031
Fraser HIGLETT 42:39.572
Lyndon SNODGRASS 42:52.364
Jonte REYNDERS 44:05.529
2019 AORC Round 3 E2 Top 10 Provisional Results
Daniel MILNER 40:57.420
Joshua GREEN 41:48.814
Scott KEEGAN 43:20.579
Jeremy CARPENTIER 43:30.164
Broc GRABHAM 43:32.914
2019 AORC Round 3 E3 Top 10 Provisional Results
Daniel SANDERS 41:09.640
Beau RALSTON 44:02.716
Jesse LAWTON 45:33.445
Matt MURRY 46:02.060
Timothy LONSDALE 48:46.117
2019 AORC Round 3 EJ Top 10 Provisional Results
Kyron BACON 1:03:32.667
Joshua BRIERLEY 1:03:47.912
Korey MCMAHON 1:07:10.894
Riley NANCARROW 1:08:08.863
Nathan HOWE 1:08:18.808
2019 AORC Round 3 J4 Provisional Results
Blake HOLLIS 36:29.379
Mackenzie JOHNSON 38:12.209
Oscar COLLINS 39:27.318
Cody CHITTICK 39:33.392
Kobe CONLEY 39:48.993
2019 AORC Round 3 J3 Provisional Results
Riley MCGILLIVRAY 38:14.406
Kodi STEPHENS 38:52.922
Will DENNETT 40:01.809
Jethro CARRIAGE 42:01.306
Maxwell LIEBEKNECHT 42:20.174
2019 AORC Round 3 J2 Provisional Results
Billy HARGY 39:33.675
Max PHILLIPS 39:51.370
Jett YARNOLD 40:03.587
Cody KILPATRICK 41:15.609
Campbell HALL 41:26.716
2019 AORC Round 3 Women’s Top 10 Provisional Results
Jessica GARDINER 49:08.717
Emelie KARLSSON 50:23.125
Emma MILESEVIC 53:09.863
Ebony NIELSEN 54:23.041
Danielle FOOT 54:45.531
2019 AORC Round 3 Masters Top 10 Provisional Results
Kirk HUTTON 46:38.371
Brad WILLISCROFT 46:40.374
Timothy MARTIN 47:55.218
Peter RUDD 50:16.811
Michael WIDDISON 51:46.765
2019 AORC Round 3 Veterans Top 10 Provisional Results
Lee STEPHENS 47:46.798
Scott DUNN 48:17.805
Chris THOMAS 49:19.009
Ben LINDSAY 50:31.995
Paul CHADWICK 51:01.346
Smith wins fifth Condo 750
53 riders hit the small country town of Condoblin, NSW for the 31st running of 750km navigational event known as the Condo 750, and for the fifth time in his career Jacob Smith managed to win the event with an overall time of just under nine hours.
Smith didn’t have it his own way and was sitting third after the opening day behind Lachlan Manwarring, and Sam Davie while Rod Faggotter was not far off the pace in fourth. On the second day Smith and his Husqvarna found form to run away with the fastest time to overtake Manwarring and Davie for the win,with Faggotter maintaining fourth.
Smith wrote this on his FB page
“Stoked to come away with my 5th @condo750 win. Had to work for it but got it by a little over 4 minutes. Huge thanks to everyone that supports me and the team, but a special thanks to the best mechanic in the business @youngcobba wouldn’t be doing without him!!”
From all accounts the 31st Condo 750 was once again a huge success with the whole town and local land owners getting behind the event. However one has to ask how it came about that two NSW country towns, Condoblin and Dungog, just six hours from each other, both host national off-road events on the same weekend?!?!
Haaker wins SuperEnduro Championship
Bizkaia Arena in Bilbao, Spain hosted a controversial final round of the Maxxis FIM World SuperEnduro Championship. The round saw Cody Webb celebrating the final moto win and what he thought was the championship win before blowing up when Colton Haaker crossed the finish line in a championship winning third place thanks to his teammate Alfredo Gomez’s disqualifiable actions.
There were three finals on the night and here is a recap:
SuperEnduro Final 1
While Webb stormed his way to the front in the opening final, Haaker appeared to have crumbled under the pressure and was dropping valuable positions.
He was handed a life line when this first race was red-flagged due to track conditions, but in the restart it was Webb who was a fastest to take the win ahead of Taddy Blazusiak and a thankful Haaker so just 6 points separated Haaker from Webb going into race two.
SuperEnduro Final 2
The second ‘reverse grid’ race saw Haaker ruthlessly slice his way to the lead after just three laps then go on to take the win over Webb and Blazusiak. Heading to the final race of the season Haaker had to finish fourth or better to wrap up the title.
SuperEnduro Final 3
Webb was fastest out of the gate, snatching the holeshot from Blazusiak while Haaker momentarily lost his concentration and made a small mistake in the rock garden. The Husqvarna rider nevertheless managed to maintain good pace and he focused on the title to stay in third. Blazusiak dropped out of the early running after quite obviously trying to hinder Haakers progress on one of the log jumps.
It all turned to poo for Haaker on the last lap with several crashes seeing the Husky rider drop to fifth place and as Webb crossed the line for the win he could actually see Haaker struggling on the previous straight so it seemed that KTM rider would therefore have enough points to win the 2019 title.
But that is when Alfredo Gomez, the teammate of Haaker, stepped in to not only block pass third placed Pol Terres in the final corner, he basically stopped them both long enough to hand Haaker the two positions for third and the Maxxis FIM SuperEnduro World Championship title.
Webb was obviously infuriated with the outcome and it was little consolation that Gomez was later disqualified for this action. In a final shocking twist, Haaker suffered a huge crash over the finish line and knocked himself out.
Colton Haaker was therefore crowned 2019 Champion by just 4 points in front of Webb and Blazusiak.
“I’m a little bit lost for words right now, it’s been an eventful night but to end it as the world champion is an incredible feeling. I can’t thank the guys at Husqvarna enough for the support they’ve given me, not just tonight but throughout the entire series. This title is very much a team effort as it is mine. Tonight was tough. I’m not quite sure yet what it was but it certainly wasn’t my best night on a bike. The track wasn’t good and I had some serious arm pump issues, which is something I never really get. I made so many mistakes in race one and was riding too tight. Then I got it together in race two and felt more like I should. It was all on the line for the final and I did what I needed to do on the first few laps. But then the arm pump kicked in again and I stalled my bike so many times. With about a lap to go I got things together again and put everything I had left into that lap and won the title. It wasn’t pretty, but it doesn’t matter, we’re world champions and it feels awesome.”
Webb was obviously disappointed not to retain his title and felt the championship should have been his after the controversial night.
“Obviously I’m disappointed with the final championship result tonight, I felt I rode really good out there today and deserved the title. The night started off well with a good time in superpole and then in the restarted first final I took my time, rode smooth and took the win by a good margin. I am kicking myself now for the mistakes I made in the second final, I got caught up in traffic a few times, but still got second – I knew then I would have to really go for it in the last one. I got off the line well in the third final and set about catching Colton. After I got past him, I just stayed smooth and could see he was struggling. I’m happy because I did my best, won that third final and believe the championship should have been mine. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but I’ll learn from it, and come back even stronger next time.”
Taddy Blazusiak finished the night in third and also concluded the championship in the same position.
“This was always going to be a tough one. I am happy with how I rode today and feel I did a good job. My pace over the whole season has been good, there have just been a few instances where luck simply hasn’t been on our side. I have had some amazing events this year, I obviously still have the speed – overall race wins in Hungary and Poland show that. The track here was tight and I feel the championship should be decided on more of a flowing track that lets us really race. But this is SuperEnduro, I know I can still improve in a couple of areas – Superpole for one is something I need to work on. I’ll come back swinging next year for the title, I would love to get a seventh!”
Colton HAAKER 263pts
Cody WEBB 259pts
Taddy BLAZUSIAK 234pts
Pol TARRES 155pts
Alfredo GOMEZ 145pts.
Diogo VIEIRA 124pts
Blake GUTZEIT 121pts
Kevin GALLAS 119pts
Xavi LEON SOLE 100pts
David LEONOV 74pts
Sam Sunderland wins Abu Dahbi Desert Challenge
Sam Sunderland has won the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge which was also round one of the 2019 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship while Luciano Benavides and Jose Ignacio Cornejo rounded out the podium.
Sunderland bookended the event with wins in the first and fifth day to end up with an 8 plus minute gap back to Benavides.
“Things went perfectly today, we knew coming into today’s final stage that we would have to stick to our planned strategy. The stage brought us closer to Abu Dhabi and as such, the tracks towards the end were a lot faster away from the dunes. I knew I would have to push really hard right from the start of the special. I arrived at the refuelling and the team let me know everything was good, so from there it was just a case of bringing it home safely to the finish. I’m really happy with the job done by the team all week and myself in the way I rode. It’s great to get my 2019 championship off to the perfect start with a win.”
The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge marks Benavides’ maiden podium in an FIM Cross-Country Rallies event.
“It’s been an incredible day for me, I knew I had to push a lot to make up the difference to the guys in front, gain some minutes and take second place. I tried my best to go fast, but stay on the bike and not go too crazy. The bike was feeling super-good so I decided to attack and it worked out, I got second place and the team got the first two places. I am really happy and now it’s time to celebrate.”
Andrew Short placed fifth overall showing impressive speed in the dunes of the Liwa Desert the American overcame several challenges to secure a well-deserved top-five result.
“This last day has been good for me, I felt really good all day and had a good pace. Just near the end I had a small issue but I was able to quickly get going again and complete the stage. Overall, I have really enjoyed the race here in Abu Dhabi, it’s been a great experience and fun to be here with the crew. I feel my riding has improved here, each rally I do it feels like I move up another level and it’s very important to keep that momentum going. Real race experience is so valuable and it’s good to leave here healthy and even faster. Admittedly, it’s not quite the result I was hoping for but we had to play the cards we were dealt and I think we handled it perfectly. I’m now really looking forward to the next race.”
The second round of the 2019 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship – the Silk Way Rally commences on July 6 in Russia.
Provisional Results Stage Five
Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 2:39:59
Luciano Benavides (ARG), KTM, 2:43:25 +3:26
Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 2:46:42 +6:43
Jose Ignacio Cornejo (CHL), Honda, 2:49:40 +9:41
Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 2:53:34 +13:35
Provisional Overall Results – 2019 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 17:46:42
Luciano Benavides (ARG), KTM, 17:55:02 +8:20
Jose Ignacio Cornejo (CHL), Honda, 17:56:41 +9:59
Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 18:21:33 +34:51
Andrew Short (USA), Husqvarna, 18:48:22 +1:01:40
Adrien Van Beveren wins Merzouga Rally 2019
Yamalube Yamaha Rally Team rider Adrien Van Beveren has won the motorcycle class at the five-day Merzouga Rally 2019 ahead of Ross Branch and Oriol Mena.
Focused on using the 10th running of the Merzouga Rally as the start of his preparation towards the 2020 Dakar Rally, Van Beveren’s winning result was valuable navigational experience thanks to several long and challenging stages.
Adrien Van Beveren
“I’ve had a great feeling with my bike throughout the week and I have to say a huge thanks to all the team, who have worked so hard to support me. The Merzouga Rally was all about improving. Improving my navigational skills, and generally starting our preparations ahead of Dakar 2020. We came here focused on improving and I absolutely feel that we did that. The navigation here is very tricky, so to be opening the tracks as much as I did, that gives me a lot of confidence. This is a great team result. Next, we have the Silk Way Rally, but before then there’s more testing and training to do. We keep working…”
Stage 5 Provisional Classification
Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 55:01
Jamie McCanney (GBR), Yamaha, 55:02 +0:01
Joaquim Rodrigues (PRT), Hero, 55:04 +0:03
Jaume Betriu (ESP), KTM, 55:18 +0:17
Ross Branch (BWA), KTM, 56:40 +1:39
Maurizio Gerini (ITA), Husqvarna, 57:36 +2:35
Provisional Overall Final Classification
Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 15:28:02
Ross Branch (BWA), KTM, 15:52:39 +24:37
Oriol Mena (ESP), Hero, 16:01:03 +33:01
Joaquim Rodrigues (PRT), Hero, 16:02:23 +34:21
Alessandro Botturi (ITA), Yamaha, 16:15:43 +46:41
Maurizio Gerini (ITA), Husqvarna, 16:23:53 +55:51
MXGP calendar updates
With the 2019 MXGP season well underway Youthstream regretfully announces that the previously anticipated 2019 MXGP of Hong Kong scheduled to take place on the 22nd of September has been cancelled so the revised calendar will now see the MXGP of China in Shanghai as the final stop of the now 18-round FIM Motocross World Championship season.
The cancellation comes as a request by the organizer who is eager to refocus on holding an MXGP in March 2020. Due to the timing of the cancellation no replacement will be made giving riders and teams an additional week prior to racing the final event of 2019, the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations.
The updated 2019 Calendar can be viewed below:
AUS-X moves to Melbourne
November 30 will see the AUS-X Open and all that it encapsulates run under the roof of Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium in what is set to be the largest international Supercross and action sports event ever seen in Australia, with Supercross, Freestyle Motocross, live music, pyrotechnics and non-stop entertainment.
AUS-X Open Chairman – Tony Cochrane (Founder of V8 Supercars), states a move to Melbourne will open up a world of opportunity as this exciting event looks to expand and build on its already popular foundations.
“Since its inception, the AUS-X Open has grown from strength-to-strength to a point where we’ve found ourselves in the fortunate situation of needing to expand to cater for the growing appetite of Supercross racing and more broader sports fans across the country. The AUS-X Open Melbourne will be bigger, faster, louder, featuring more entertainment and greater accessibility to these international megastars than ever before, and I can’t wait for November 30 to showcase this amazing spectacle to the people of Melbourne. It really has to be seen to be believed.”
The AUS-X Open is now part of a partnership with the Victorian Government via its tourism and major events agency, ‘Visit Victoria’ and it has the full support of the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula.
“Victoria is unmatched as the sporting and event capital of Australia and we’re so excited to bring the AUS-X Open to a world-class venue like Marvel Stadium,” said Mr Pakula. “Melbourne’s sporting calendar continues to be the envy of cities across Australia and around the world. We’re thrilled to add AUS-X Open to the list, this November.”
As we have come to expect, the Monster Energy AUS-X Open Melbourne will double as the Grand Final round to the 2019 Australian Supercross Championship and Peter Doyle, the CEO for the sanctioning body for Supercross racing, Motorcycling Australia (MA) had this to say of the move.
“The Australian Supercross Championship is Australia’s premiere off-road motorcycle racing Championship. To have the grand finale here in Melbourne, at an incredible event like the AUS-X Open, is a huge positive for the sport and fans alike.”
Tickets start from $39.99*. For more information and the exclusive opportunity to sign-up to access tickets during the pre-sale before they’re on sale to the public, you must ensure you sign up to an exclusive Pre-Sale ticketing opportunity at www.ausxopen.com.
Pre-Sale tickets will be available from May 15 via Ticketmaster.com.au and stay tuned to @SXOpenSupercross on social media for further announcements.
MX Nationals return to Broadford this weekend
With the Victorian State Motorcycle Complex in Broadford hosting the third round of the Pirelli MX Nationals this weekend the local communities will benefit from an estimated $350,000 coming into the region. A myriad of businesses are set to host and serve not only the hundreds of racers converging on the region but also the thousands of spectators.
On top of the MX1, MX2 and MXD championship classes and the Rising Star Rookies, there will also be a demonstration in between races to highlight the new Enduro-X track. This will feature world class riders in Chucky Sanders and Daniel Milner on hand doing double duties as they also race the MX Nationals.
MX Nationals Series Promoter Kevin Williams today explained that the venue is well equipped to welcome thousands of motocross fans and the track will be prepared to a world class standard.
“With Broadford again hosting a national event of this size it is sure to keep venue on the radar, and provides the sport in the area with fantastic national exposure, riders and teams alike are excited to see the new revamped track after Josh Proctor from Pro Traxx has rebuilt the track to GP spec,” shared Williams
The Broadford layout is very spectator friendly with a plethora of great viewing areas but if you are unable to make it to the track itself you can watch all the action live for free at http://www.nrgtv.com.au
After a tough weekend at the Wonthaggi round of the MX Nationals, Penrite Honda Racing’s Brett Metcalfe has sustained several injuries which has left the veteran battling the clock to be ready to line up at Broadford, Victoria on April 14, which is the third round of the 10-round series.
“My sole goal is to line up at Broadford, brave the pain and get as many points as we can to stay in the Championship. The biggest concern right now is the spiral fracture I have in my finger. I will head back to the clinic next Monday and we will make a decision following the second round of results.”
Metcalfe felt he was on track for a top three finish at Wonthaggi.
“Qualifying was good, I made a few changes in practice and I knew I could run a strong pace during the races. I felt fast but it was hard to pass, I lost a lot of time throughout the race being stuck behind riders as the track was very one lined. In the end, I settled for 5th and I was able to make up 18 seconds on the winner so we certainly had great pace. I felt the changes we made were perfect for the conditions. The bike felt amazing during the siting lap and I believed we could race for the win, so I am really bummed but that is motocross, anything can and usually does happen. No matter what, we will come back and win races.”
Monson/Summerhayes earn sidecar double at Gillman
After winning all but one race on their local track, Warren Monson and Andrew Summerhayes have spectacularly won the 2019 FIM Speedway Sidecar 1000cc World Cup and 2019 FIM Oceania Speedway Sidecar Championship over two nights of action at Gillman Speedway.
The FIM Speedway Sidecar 1000cc World Cup final saw the Mark Plaisted/Ben Pitt fly to the fastest lap, but that wasn’t good enough to best Monson/Summerhayes while defending champion Darrin Treloar and Blake Cox earned third ahead of Shane Rudloff and Scott Morris.
On the very next night the final of FIM Oceania Speedway Sidecar Championship required six restarts and two exclusions to finally leave Monson/Summerhayes and Cohen/Egan to battle it out, with Monson/Summerhayes on top once again to leave them FIM Oceania Speedway Sidecar champions as well as World Cup winners.
Monson was thrilled to add the FIM Oceania Speedway Sidecar Championship to his trophy collection from the weekend.
“Just as happy as last night! It was very hard for us tonight, the track was very hard to read, and we just had to push through it. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a final that had that many restarts! But we came through on top, so we’ve got to be happy with that.”
A double FIM World Cup and FIM Oceania Championship winner (2017 and 2019), Monson remarked after the event that he’d only ever won four events at Gillman Speedway – his two World Cups and two Oceania Championships. “I can’t even win a club night at Gillman!” he laughed.
Defending champion Darrin Treloar had a day to forget, after finishing third, second and first in his first three heats he was struck with mechanical issues and took no further part in the event.
The 2019 Dakar Rally was staged over 10 days and produced some extremely close racing and results, with KTM Factory Racing putting on a dominant performance, led by Australian Toby Price.
The majority of the timed special stages were held on the soft sand dunes of the Peruvian desert, while good navigation and overall strategy were unquestionably of equal importance. A start position further down the field would allow a rider to ‘push the tracks’ and make up time on the riders ahead. In contrast, a stage win would mean opening the next day’s route and invariably losing time to the competitors behind.
With his participation initially in doubt following a training accident just weeks before the event, Toby Price arrived in Peru with the modest goal of simply completing the rally and backing up his teammates as best as he could. As the race progressed, the physical strain was obvious with his injured wrist becoming more painful with each passing stage.
Gritting his teeth, the 2018 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Champion nevertheless made the start of each stage and put in solid performances to lie in an impressive fourth overall at the rest day, halfway through the rally. Going into the second week, the tough and testing conditions started to take their toll on the competition and their machines as Price moved up the order.
Going into the final day, Toby had a one-minute lead over the then second-placed Pablo Quintanilla. The two friends and rivals would both have to ride their absolute best on the short 112-kilomtere special to be in with a chance of the win. Unfortunately for Quintanilla a crash just 10 kilometres into the stage ruled him out of contention while Price, after stopping to check his fellow competitor was OK, went on to win the stage and ultimately the rally.
Clinching his second Dakar title, Toby attributed his win to the support of both his fans and the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team.
Toby Price – 2019 Dakar Champion
“It’s crazy knowing I have won the rally – I didn’t even think I would make the rest day. My bike has been amazing, the team has been amazing, honestly without the help and support of everyone around me I wouldn’t be standing here as winner of the Dakar. It all came down to the final day and I knew I had to push to be in with a chance of taking the win. The wrist has been getting worse and worse each day but I had to grit my teeth for one final time and go for it. Thankfully, all the hard work was worth it and the pain doesn’t matter anymore – I’m stood here as the 2019 Dakar Champion.”
With Toby’s victory handing KTM their 18th consecutive Dakar Rally win, success earned in Peru was, as in previous Dakars, the result of a true team effort.
Pit Beirer – KTM Motorsport Director
“For us it’s another special moment, especially going into the new season, as all the racing world is looking at the Dakar. It was a very, very tough race – listening to the riders so far it was the toughest they ever went through. It’s just such a long fight, and we always prepare and hope with our riders. We struggled with their pain, but at the end of the day we could turn the race around another time and to win it with such a dominating result is just incredible. Toby has defied the odds – while it was looking like it may not be possible for him to start this year’s Dakar, winning together was something we could only have dreamed of. His fighting spirit to the final kilometre with the injury he has is remarkable.
“The one-two-three may look easy on paper, but if you follow the Dakar and how difficult it was to reach this result it’s amazing what our people are doing – the bike preparation, logistics, trucks, physiotherapy and everything behind the scenes are all important. I really want to thank our fantastic team, it really is the number one team in the world – how the guys prepare for the Dakar, how the engineers build the bike, how the riders do such a fantastic race.
“Matthias fought so hard for second, which is a great achievement especially as many riders struggle the year after winning the Dakar, and Sam’s race was not easy for his hard-fought third place. We are looking forward to hearing all of their stories. Luciano, who has so far been classed as our team junior, also had a fantastic race. As did Laia Sanz, who yet again put on an outstanding performance. We are so proud of our rally achievements in KTM – we are happy that we are at the finish line and we now look forward to our team returning home so we can celebrate this moment together.”
2018 Dakar winner, Matthias Walkner rode to an excellent second place overall, despite injuring himself during the early stages of the event. A hard landing from a dune resulted in a painful, swollen ankle but it didn’t slow the Austrian’s pace as he went on to claim two stage wins at the gruelling event.
Following nine days of racing, covering 5,000 kilometres, Walkner was just six minutes down going into the final stage. A third-place finish on stage 10 secured Matthias the runner-up position in the final rally standings.
“The race was so close this year, I truly believe I rode my best Dakar ever. The whole 10 days went well and I made the minimum of mistakes. There were a couple of times where the start position was tough or we had trouble with the road book, but overall, I feel really happy with my performance. After hurting my ankle so early on, my goal was just to complete the rally safely. To take second place on the podium feels incredible. It’s such an emotional race for me – to put so much into something, so much hard work, and to get something back at the end is an amazing feeling.”
In what was an up-and-down rally for Sam Sunderland, the Brit kept his composure and kept on battling right to the end. Stopping to assist a fallen rider on day five, Sunderland went on to win the stage after having the time lost reallocated to him at the end of the day.
With the following day’s stage being long and especially tricky to navigate, Sam put in an amazing ride opening the stage but ultimately placed 12th, losing 22 minutes to his rivals. Fighting back, the 2017 Dakar winner never gave up and, with his persistence paying off, secured an overall third place result at the chequered flag.
“I’m happy to have finished the Dakar, it has been really difficult both mentally and physically this year. I want to thank my mechanic Grilly and the whole team for their support. Third position is a little bittersweet though after seeing my friend Pablo crash on the final stage. I need to mention the penalty I received for missing my start time on stage six, thankfully it was rectified at the end of the event but it put both myself and the team in a difficult position as we didn’t know exactly where we stood right up until the final moment. Overall, I’m happy with how I rode and I’m already looking forward to the next race.”
Arguably putting in the ride of his career, Luciano Benavides justified his position within the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing squad with a superb eighth place in what is his first ever Dakar finish. Showing increasing speed and maturity throughout the rally, the young Argentinian became a regular top-10 finisher and in doing so, a great asset to the team.
“It has been a very tough year to get to this point. After my crash at last year’s event I put in so much work over the following 12 months, not just on getting fit again but also on my road book skills and navigation. I am happy to say it all paid off – I felt more and more confident as the rally went on and made fewer mistakes. It feels great to get eighth place, my goal was to hopefully finish inside the top 10 and now I have done it, I can’t describe how it feels.”
Laia Sanz, ‘Queen of the Desert’, once again put in an awe-inspiring display as she rode to 11th place overall in what is her ninth consecutive Dakar finish. Halfway through 2018, Sanz was diagnosed with the Epstein Barr virus, making it extremely difficult to do any training at all, on or off the bike.
Coming into the event, the Spaniard’s goal was simply to successfully complete the rally with no thought about her overall position. Day by day, the KTM Factory Racing rider’s consistency, mental strength and navigational skills rewarded her with one strong result after another. Narrowly missing out on a top-10 overall position, Laia was over the moon with her performance.
“This year has been a very special Dakar for me, partly because I didn’t have time to prepare for the rally and because the format this year didn’t suit me or my style so well. There were times when I didn’t enjoy the event as much as I would have liked but I kept on going and now to stand here after placing 11th feels amazing. I am very proud to be able to ride the best machine for the best team.”
Mario Patrao did a fantastic job for the KTM Factory Racing team, especially aiding the other riders at the halfway stage of the event’s marathon stage where no outside assistance is allowed to competitors. Unfortunately, a fall on stage six brought an end to the Portuguese rider’s race. We wish Mario all the best with his recovery.
The next event for the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rally riders will be round one of the 2019 FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship – the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge – held March 30-April 4 in the United Arab Emirates.
2019 Dakar Rally Final Standings
Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 33:57:16
Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 34:06:29 +9:13
Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 34:10:50 +13:34
Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 34:18:02 +20:46
Toby Price had been nursing his recently pinned broken wrist throughout Dakar 2019, but the 31-year-old had saved his best for last in order to decimate the competition on the final run home to the chequered flag in the Peruvian capital of Lima overnight to claim his second Dakar crown.
“It feels amazing to stand here knowing I have won the Dakar, I don’t think it has really sunk in yet. I thought at the beginning of the event I would be lucky to even make the rest day. Pretty much all I can say that it feels like there are about five people driving a knife in my wrist now. It’s not very comfortable, it’s not very enjoyable, but at the end of the day the victory has been paid off. I’ll forget about the pain now, that’s for sure. The win takes away all the pain. For sure, if it was not for this, it would not have been as sweet, but at the end of the day I was just happy to make the finishing line.
“My Red Bull KTM bike has been amazing, I want to say a big thank you to my mechanic for that. The whole crew here do an amazing job – without them I would be no one.
“The team put in so much work on the lead up to the event and when we get here it’s down to me out there on the track so it feels amazing to be able to reward them all with this result and keep KTM’s winning streak going.
“It was so tight going into the stage this morning, both Pablo and I knew we would have to push right from the start. Unfortunately for him, he went too hard off a dune but he really deserves a win too – everyone that starts this race deserves a win.
“There are so many guys that can win this race and we had strong competitors like Pablo and RickyBrabec , Sam Sunderland, Matthias Walkner … everyone is strong. You can never count anybody out. Kevin Benavides did a great job and at the end of the day we all fight to finish the line and it’s been a hard rally. I just do not like giving up, I do not like quitting, that’s for sure. That’s about it. I love being on my bike and I love riding and to be here with all the Dakar family and the KTM team it’s amazing. So, yeah, we’re pumped .
The plan now is to go home and relax for a little while, I know I need to have my wrist seen to, so I’ll get that sorted and then it won’t be long before we start it all over again.”
Who is Toby Price
To win one Dakar is a life changing experience, winning two confirms legend status.
The injuries Toby has battled back from over the years have been themselves almost life altering. His fairly quietly spoken while carrying a big stick demeanour, which is almost borderline self-deprecating at times, has served him well as he has overcome some very large obstacles put in his way.
Right back from his junior motocross days he displayed the tenacity that has helped him to get where he is today.The first time I interviewed a then 14-year-old Toby Price it was 2002. Back then he told me his dislikes were ‘flat tyres and dirty bikes’, and his ambition was ‘To be world number one’.
2002 wasn’t his crowning year in Junior Motocross but 2003 would be. Like 2019, he was also coming back from injury, which in that case was two broken wrists. Nonetheless he went on to win both major categories at the 2003 Australian Junior Motocross Championships, the 15 years 125cc category, and the 13-16 years 250cc four-stroke class.
More injuries plaged his successive years and perhaps it was that which first put him on the path of competing in the bush rather than on the motocross track. At 22 he went on to win the AORC in 2009 ahead of Stefan Merriam, and also starred at the ISDE in Portugal that year.
The next year he won the AORC once again while also winning both the Finke and Hattah Desert Races at his first attempt.
More AORC, Finke and Hattah success came in the years that followed, along with more than a few injuries. The big one was when he broke his neck which required extensive surgery to repair and kept him off the bike for the most of 2013.
The next year he would test his mettle on the International Rally circuit, racing to an eighth place in Morocco. That year he also won the E3 category at the ISDE and the Red Bull Day In The Dirt.
2015 was Toby’s first crack at the Dakar. A stage win on the way to a podium on his first attempt set the scene for what was to come.
KTM signed Toby to replace the retiring Dakar legend Marc Coma for 2016, and was on the way to building his own legend.
The following year, 2016, as a fully fledged member of the KTM Factory Rally squad, Price dominated Dakar.
2017 involved more pain, a broken femur put him out of the Dakar while he was leading. Complications and setbacks delayed his return to motorcycle competition and he was not racing on two wheels again until Dakar 2018. A few navigation errors were very costly to Price’s 2018 Dakar campaign but once again he was on the podium.
In the lead up to Dakar 2019 everything was going to plan. Toby had won the 2018 Cross Country Rally World Championship, was fighting fit and ready to rock Dakar. But then, only a few weeks before Dakar was about to start he broke his scaphoid in a training accident.
Nonetheless Toby rode a smooth and steady Dakar and saved his best for last, his only stage win of Dakar 2019 coming in the tenth and final stage of the Rally.
KTM proves unstoppable
Despite more and more determined challenges from both Yamaha and Honda in recent years, Price has continued the theme of KTM domination of Dakar. Since the orange machines from Austria captured their first victory in 2001, courtesy of Fabrizio Meoni on a KTM 600, they have remained unbeaten.
Cyril Despres and Marco Coma won ten of those Dakars between them, five apiece between the years 2005 and 2015.
Over the past four years, it is the current main KTM strike force trio that have brought home the silverware for the Mattighofen manufacturer. Price in 2016, Sam Sunderland in 2017, Matthias Walkner in 2018, and now Price again in 2019. That current KTM trio also finished Dakar 2019 in a 1-2-3 podium for KTM.
2019 Dakar Rally Results
Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 33:57:16
Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 34:06:29 +9:13
Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 34:10:50 +13:34
Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 34:18:02 +20:46
Andrew Short (USA), Husqvarna, 34:41:26 +44:10
The unsung Aussie heros
While Toby Price is the indisputed hero of Dakar 2019, there were also a couple of Aussies competing in the shadow of the KTM Factory Rally star. 47-year-old Ben Young completed the Dakar in 55th position. While Young had some assistance with the back-up from the Polish Duust Rally Team, the Newcastle based rider was going it alone and still managed to complete the Dakar in 67th position.
One more day to go…. That is what is on the minds of Dakar Rally riders as they overnight in Pisco after completing the penultimate stage of Dakar 2019. Thursday will see competitors negotiate the final 359 kilometre Stage Ten to the finish line at the Peruvian capital of Lima. The final stage will include a timed special stage of 112 kilometres. Riders will then have to complete a liaison section that will bring them to the finish line on Magdalena Beach.
For some though Stage Nine brought the ultimate heartbreak. After putting in a consistently fast performance throughout Dakar 2019 Yamaha’s Adrien Van Beveren went out of the rally with a technical failure on the WR450F. With Honda’s Ricky Brabec suffering a similar fate on the previous stage, albeit while leading the Rally outright, this puts the Austrian made KTM and Husqvarna brands into a 1-2-3-4 at the top of the outright leaderboard. Van Beveren spent four hours struggling with the issue but eventually had to admit defeat, his Rally has been run.
2019 Dakar Stage Nine Video
Alexandre Kowalski – Yamalube Yamaha Rally Team Director
“It is always disappointing to lose a good chance to battle for the victory, but the Dakar has left us with mixed emotions today. On one hand, we were glad to see Xavier move up in the overall standings. Xavier has worked really hard these last few months and he really deserves to be up there. As for Adrien, he was having an amazing race so far. He was one of the most consistent racers and never finished outside the top seven in any of the stages contested. Also, Adrien was opening the tracks for most stages showing his good navigation skills. This DNF might be a harsh blow for all, but Adrien proved again this year he’s one of the most complete rally racers in the world. Despite his young age he’s really mature as a racer and I personally believe there’s still more to come from him in the future.”
The stage saw another motocross style mass-start with riders setting off in waves of 10, determined by their finishing positions from the previous day’s stage. Heading into the dunes for the 313-kilometre timed special, the first group of riders stuck together for the majority of the stage.
It was somewhat of a cat and mouse game unfold among the top trio of Price, Quintanilla and Walkner with only a single second covering that trio at the end of the penultimate stage of Dakar 2019.
Toby Price has maintained his one-minute lead over Quintanilla heading into the final day. The wrist that the 31-year-old broke and had pinned in the lead up to Dakar 2019 is giving him major grief, but he is determined to hold on for the run to the finish line.
Toby Price – Stage P5 – Overall P1
“I got through stage nine today where we had the mass-start. There was no chance to make up any time or lose time really, I just had to stick with the group. Tomorrow is only a 100-kilometre stage, but I think it’s going to feel more like 300. The boys are really going to up their pace and all I can do is try my best once more and try to stay with them. If I can get through tomorrow and finish on the podium, I’ll be more than happy.”
Pablo Quintanilla is currently placed second overall, one-minute and two-seconds behind Price, and is set to make history by securing Husqvarna’s best result at the prestigious annual rally.
Pablo Quintanilla – Stage P3 – Overall P2
“I’m in a great spot right now to battle for the win and I’m really happy about that. Securing a podium result would be great for me and the team, but honestly my eyes are set on getting the win here in Peru. Today’s stage worked quite well for me. The mass start made it all more interesting. There were some tricky waypoints to make, but overall I felt good and managed to get a good time. Tomorrow I’m determined to give it all for the win. There’s just one minute separating me and Toby [Price] and the day will be long. No matter what happens tomorrow I am very satisfied with my performance at this Dakar. I gave 100% on each day and that’s what matters the most for me.”
Placing fourth on Stage Nine, Matthias Walkner lies third overall in the general standings, six minutes and 35 seconds behind Price. Despite the deficit, Walkner’s advantage over the fourth-placed rider is considerable, and the defending Dakar champion has no choice but to push on tomorrow’s stage to make up as much time as possible.
Matthias Walkner – Stage P4 – Overall P3
“The stage felt really long today, partly because the pace was up and down all of the time. Riding in a group sometimes someone will push and everyone gets faster and then things will slow down again. Riding in the dust was tough and it made navigation tricky – we got lost a few times trying to find waypoints. I didn’t lose any time to the others though and I have a good gap to the next rider in the standings. Tomorrow there is no time for strategy, so I will give it my best and see where I finish.”
Remaining calm and focused, Andrew Short has climbed up to an impressive fourth place in the Dakar’s provisional overall standings after Stage Nine. Claiming a seventh place result for the day, the American racer is looking forward to tomorrow’s final stage.
Andrew Short – Stage P7 – Overall P4
“There’s been a lot of chaos over the last few days. My plan from the beginning of this race was to just focus on my performance and try to be as smooth and consistent as possible. I’m happy to see my strategy is paying off. This fourth place in the overall is simply amazing. The moto start today was great fun for me. After the start, the terrain became a bit tricky and dangerous at some parts. There was a lot of dust and you really had to pay attention on the road book. That was stressful and there was this one waypoint at the end that was super tricky. The fatigue is setting in right now, but nevertheless I am really looking forward to reaching the finish line in Lima tomorrow.”
The first Yamaha on the overall leaderboard is now Frenchman Xavier De Soultrait, one position ahead of leading Honda ridden by young Chilean José Ignacio Cornejo, better known as Nacho.
Xavier de Soultrait – Stage P10 – Overall P5
“I felt good in the stage today and managed to control my rhythm from start to finish. That was possibly the first stage in this second week of the Dakar where I felt so confident with my navigation. It was a tough stage, but not that hard to create any problems for me. I really enjoyed racing in the dunes today and for a big part of the stage we were riding in groups with other competitors. My bike is running great and I feel it gives me the confidence to push in these tricky conditions. Tomorrow we will race a smaller special of just over 100km. This Dakar has been a tough one and this fifth place in the overall gives me the motivation to keep working hard for the future.”
Nacho debuted last year as a last minute fill-in for the injured Paulo Goncalves and went on to finish in the top ten, and thus earned his position as an official HRC rider for 2019.
José Ignacio Cornejo – Stage P6 – Overall P6
“In this penultimate stage there was a mass start, so we were all pretty close together all day. As a consequence there was a lot of dust and we had to keep a distance so that it wasn’t so dangerous. In the dunes we all got together again and lost a few minutes looking for several complicated waypoints, but I was happy to see how quickly we solved the navigation problems. I’ve continued climbing positions in the general standings, and now I’m sixth which I’m happy about. Tomorrow is the last day and I will try to set the same pace as I have over recent day.”
Setting off in the first wave of 10 riders this morning, Luciano Benavides had his first taste of mixing it with the rally leaders on a mass-start stage. Despite losing time to the group when fog once again affected visibility on the route, Benavides was able to push on and navigate himself back to the other riders. Currently lying seventh overall, the Argentinian will be aiming for another strong ride on tomorrow’s final stage to secure his place inside the top-10.
Luciano Benavides – Stage P9 – Overall P7
“Today was good fun but really chaotic. We all started together and it was my first time in the lead group. I did manage to get lost at one point when I followed some old tracks but I was able to find my way again and catch back up to the pack ahead. At the finish I don’t think I lost too much time. My goal coming into the race was to get a top-10 result and hopefully if everything goes well tomorrow, I should be able to better that so I’m really happy.”
Kevin Benavides had come out guns blazing and opened the track for much of the special. A hard-to-locate waypoint caused the first wave of riders to reach the leading group and narrow the times down even further. Benavides eventually posted the eighth fastest stage time but had been sanctioned with a three-minute penalty from Stage Eight after race authorities deemed that the rider had violated one of the new rules established for the race. The team is currently gathering all the necessary information to present an official claim against the sanction.
Kevin Benavides – Stage P8 – Overall P12
“The truth is that today was difficult to start, as I was affected by the sanction given to me yesterday. I tried to get it out of my head and start from scratch. I opened the track most of the day and several of the riders grouped together. In the end there were some complicated waypoints and the riders of the second group starting catching us up. It was a good stage to finish on a high note. Honda has done things well, so let’s finish the race and see what happens.”
Another rider penalised, but much more severely, was KTM’s Sam Sunderland. Officials deemed that the Briton had deliberately caused the reported fault in his navigation system at the start of Stage Eight. A stage that he was supposed to open the road on as the first rider away, but due to the delay with his machine he was able to start behind other riders. Sunderland finished Stage Nine in 12th place, just ahead of Laia Sanz. Sunderland, the 2017 Dakar winner, had still been in contention for an outright podium position but that one-hour time penalty pushes him back to eighth overall, one-hour and ten-minutes behind Rally leader Toby Price. There was no mention of the penalty in KTM’s official releases or in Sunderland’s quotes… Or whether they would appeal the penalty….
Sam Sunderland – Stage P12 – Overall P8
“Today’s stage went ok, I found it a little tricky to focus and couldn’t quite get into my rhythm. I lost a little time on the group but all-in-all had a good day. There’s one last stage to race and of course I plan to give it my best.”
Laia Sanz enjoyed another consistent ride on today’s stage. Setting off in the second wave, Laia successfully stayed with the group until a small issue caused her to lose touch. Quickly rectifying the problem, the Spaniard set off again to ultimately complete the stage in 13th place. She now sits 11th in the provisional overall standings.
Laia Sanz – Stage P13 – Overall P11
“I am really surprised with my result so far, I haven’t been pushing too hard on any of the stages, just keeping to a good rhythm. I had a small issue today that cost me about five minutes, which was a shame because I lost touch with the group I had been riding with. Physically I felt better today too, so I am pleased about that. We only have one more day to go and I know it will feel very, very long. You start to listen to every noise on the bike and hope that nothing goes wrong. The plan is to make it to the finish and I will be really happy.”
2019 Dakar Rally Provisional Results Stage Nine
METGE Michael FRA Sherco 03:46’38
NOSIGLIA Daniel BOL Honda +02’00
QUINTANILLA Pablo CHI Husqvarna +03’28
WALKNER Matthias AUT KTM +03’29
PRICE Toby AUS KTM +03’29
CORNEJO José Ignacio CHI Honda +03’30
SHORT Andrew USA Husqvarna +04’03
BENAVIDES Kevin ARG Honda +03’03
BENAVIDES Luciano ARG KTM +04’55
DE SOULTRAIT Xavier FRA Yamaha +04’56
2019 Dakar Rally Outright Standings after Stage Nine
PRICE Toby AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory 32:42’15
QUINTANILLA Pablo CHI Rockstar Husqvarna Factory +01’02
WALKNER Matthias AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory +06’35
SHORT Andrew USA Rockstar Husqvarna Factory +40’01
DE SOULTRAIT Xavier FRA Yamaha Official Rally Team +47’44
CORNEJO José Ignacio CHI Monster Energy Honda +01:05’45
BENAVIDES Luciano ARG Red Bull KTM Rally Factory +01:05’50
SUNDERLAND Sam GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory +01:10’15
MENA Oriol SPA Hero Motorsports Team +01:52’20
NOSIGLIA Daniel BOL Honda Argentina +02:21’51 12 BENAVIDES Kevin ARG Monster Energy Honda +03:22’15
Dakar Rally leader Ricky Brabec set off from San Juan de Marcona pushing to become the first American to win the race. However, the Honda rider suffered heartbreak after only 56km as his engine gave way, bringing an end to his hopes.
Dubbed the ‘Super Ica’, stage eight pitted the fastest 10 bikes, 10 cars and the top five trucks from the previous day together, setting off at three-minute intervals according to their stage seven results. At 360 kilometres, the timed special was the longest of the event and took competitors over fast, open pistes for the first half, before once again challenging them with the mountainous sand dunes of the Ica desert.
Toby Price put in another stunning performance on stage eight, leading on time right up until the final two checkpoints. Crossing the line in an eventual third position has elevated Price to overall leader in the provisional standings. But with just one minute separating the top two riders after close to 30 hours of racing, the Australian rider knows he still has to keep fighting right to the finish as he bids to reclaim the title he first won in 2016. The wrist he broke in the lead up to Dakar 2019 is giving him plenty of curry now, but the 31-year-old is determined to push through.
Dakar 2019 – Stage Eight Video
Toby Price – Stage P3 – Overall P1
“I knew today had to count so I gave it everything – the wrist is really starting to sting now! It was a long special at 360 kilometres but I got through it and I’m pleased with how the whole stage went. Just two days left so I’ll get some rest tonight and attack again tomorrow. When the helmet goes on, you know I’m just going to do the best I can.”
Pablo Quintanilla posted the second best time for the day. Gaining an impressive three positions in the overall, Pablo is now second and less than two-minutes behind new Dakar provisional outright leader Toby Price.
Pablo Quintanilla – Stage P2- Overall P2
“Everything went according to plan for me today. After the mass start in the morning I found myself racing alone for some time, before starting to catch up with the riders from the first wave. Today’s stage was not easy. It was physically and mentally tough but I did my best pushing all the way to the finish. We’re nine days into this race and we’re all starting to feel the effects of these tough stages on our bodies. I’m really happy with where I’m at in the overall. The gap with Toby is small and we still have two more days of racing. I will try to stick to my plan and continue giving 100% until the end of the race.”
Following his top-10 result from stage seven, Matthias Walkner set off with not only nine bikes ahead of him, but also two cars driven by Dakar legends Stephane Peterhansel and Nani Roma. Navigating well through the dust kicked up by the vehicles in front, as well as the fog that had descended on the stage, the reigning Dakar Champion steadily upped his pace as the day went on to ultimately post the fastest time, just pipping team-mate Price and Husqvarn’a Pablo Quintanilla for the stage win. With positions closing up at the top of the overall standings, Walkner now lies third, six minutes and 30 seconds behind teammate Price.
Matthias Walkner – Stage P1 – Overall P3
“Good day for me today, I really tried to push all day long. Starting with the cars was not so bad this morning, a couple caught me on the fast pistes, but I passed them back again when we hit the dunes. I got to the refuelling and saw that Toby had made some time so I knew I had to really go for it in the sand. I had a couple of small crashes in the fesh-fesh, it was really foggy and a lot of the time you couldn’t really see too well ahead of you. I was happy with my riding today and everything is going well so we’ll see what the next two days bring.”
Set to open the special today due to his win on the previous day’s stage seven, Sam Sunderland was forced to delay his start when his on-bike tracker failed. Slotting in further down the order meant the British rider also had vehicles in front of him to deal with as he progressed through the stage. Nevertheless, pushing hard Sunderland posted the fourth fastest time and now sits fourth overall in the provisional rally standings.
Sam Sunderland – Stage P4 – Overall P4
“I’m happy with my riding today but it’s been a tough one and I’m not sure if an issue at the start will cost me some time. My Iritrack wasn’t working and I had to get that fixed before I set off. It meant I was behind a car at the beginning of the stage and the dust from that combined with the fog made things very tricky. After that I just pushed on as best I could to the end. Day eight is ticked off now, but I’m sure there’s plenty more excitement to come.”
Starting Tuesday’s special stage among the first wave of competitors, Adrien Van Beveren launched an attack with the goal of moving even higher in the provisional overall rankings. Pushing hard from start to finish, he struggled with the stage’s demanding navigation and ended up losing some time to his main rivals.
Posting the sixth best time for the day, Van Beveren is currently placed fifth in the event’s provisional overall standings. Determined to keep the battle going, Adrien is now less than 10-minutes behind the provisional overall leader with two stages still to be contested.
Adrien Van Beveren – Stage P6 – Overall P5
“Today I decided to attack more than any of the previous stages and it didn’t work to my advantage. The race is very intense and I knew that if I didn’t attack my chances for the win would be possibly less. Navigation was tricky and I lost time trying to find some waypoints. At the end of the day, I lost a little bit more than 10 minutes to the leaders. It’s not exactly the result I was looking for, but we’re not done yet. My day might not have been so good, but we still have two stages to go. I will continue giving my best until we cross the finish line in Lima.”
Kevin Benavides is now Honda’s final real hope for Dakar victory after rally leader Ricky Brabec was left to rue what could have been when his engine let go early in stage eight. Other top Honda hopes Joan Barreda went out on stage three after a crash left him unable to continue, while Paulo Goncalves crashed heavily on stage five to go out of the Rally. Benavides is currently sixth outright.
Kevin Benavides- Stage P9 – Overall P6
“Today the stage was complicated because I wasn’t able to validate a waypoint. It was a point which wasn’t visible but should have been very easy to find as it was just down a mountain as you entered the beach. I was at the right point and but the waypoint wouldn’t open. I went through there a thousand times and nothing showed up. I stopped Joaquim Rodrigues, he had it validated and I was at the same point and it wouldn’t go on to the next waypoint. Several other riders passed and after I stopped Michael Metge before the point and told him if I could follow him to see if it registered. Finally it did but I had already passed through many times. The organization has seen that I went through there many times. Now we have to wait and see what they will tell us about it. It’s a pity about Ricky, he was having a great race and we could have both battled until the end. I send him all my best.”
Raul Castells – Monster Energy Honda Team Manager
“Unfortunately, days like today, we have experienced before. These are things that can happen in motor sports and that, far from bringing us down will serve to strengthen us as a team because we will continue to fight for our goals, even if they are distant. Ricky was having an incredible race and I’m sure he will come back, even stronger if it is possible, to continue fighting for the number one spot. Likewise, I’d like to point out the great stage that Nacho Cornejo rode today having opened the track all day, but also that of Kevin, who had some problems with the navigation tools that we hope can be solved. We will keep fighting until the end.”
Ricky Brabec – DNF
“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.”
Going from strength-to-strength in this year’s Dakar, Andrew Short put in another strong performance on Tuesday to secure a solid fifth place result in stage eight. The second Husqvarna mounted rider inside the top 10, Andrew is currently seventh in the event’s provisional overall standings.
Andrew Short – Stage P5 – Overall P7
“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.”
Feeling strong in his Yamaha WR450F Rally machine since the start of the event, Xavier de Soultrait entered stage eight looking for another good result. Battling through the stage’s technical terrain and demanding navigation Xavier claimed a 10th place result for the day.
Moving up to eighth in the provisional overall standings, the Frenchman remains optimistic that he can climb even higher in the overall results to bring his gruelling adventure in Peru to a successful close.
Xavier de Soultrait – Stage P10 – Overall P8
“It was another long and difficult day in the fesh-fesh and the sand. My bike has been running great since the start of this rally and this gives me extra confidence to push. My results from these last couple of stages have made it harder for me to battle for the podium in Lima. Nevertheless, I will continue my battle until the end. We still have two long stages to race and my goal is to get as high as possible in the overall. I remain calm and I’m ready for the penultimate stage tomorrow. This Dakar has been a great experience for all and we will keep working hard until we reach Lima.”
Claiming seventh on Tuesday’s stage, Luciano Benavides had another great day. With his skill and confidence increasing with each day of racing, the popular Argentinian continues to move up the order in the provisional standings. Benavides now sits ninth overall with two days left to race.
Luciano Benavides – Stage P7 – Overall P9
“Today was tough again – another long 360 kilometres. Overall it was good for me, although I did lose a little time near the beginning of the stage in the fog. I had to remove my goggles to see properly and that slowed me up a little. Andrew (Short) caught me and we rode together for the next 200 kilometres. We had a good time in the dunes, with each one of us taking the lead from time to time. The stage seemed to flow really well and I had a lot of fun.”
Successfully completing another day inside the top 20, Laia Sanz was as impressive as ever on the long stage eight. Intelligently deciding to ease off her pace early on in the far from perfect conditions, Laia was then able to push harder onboard her KTM 450 Rally to ultimately post the 19th fastest time of the day. The Spaniard now sits an excellent 13th place overall in the provisional standings.
Laia Sanz – Stage P19 – Overall P13
“Today was a very long and tough day. For the first part of the stage I kept to a steadier rhythm. With the fesh-fesh and fog it made things very tricky and I didn’t want to make any mistakes. As we got to the dunes, I started to enjoy things a lot more and was able to push. The goal is as always, take things day by day and get safely to the finish.”
Wednesday’s stage nine of the 2019 Dakar marks the second of the two mass-starts at the rally. In another looped stage, riders will leave Pisco and cover a total of 409 kilometres, 313 kilometres of which is timed special, before returning to the coastal town.
2019 Dakar Rally Provisional Results Stage Eight
WALKNER Matthias AUT KTM 03:55’25
QUINTANILLA Pablo CHI Husqvarna +00’45
PRICE Toby AUS KTM +01’13
SUNDERLAND Sam GBR KTM +06’21
SHORT Andrew USA Husqvarna +09’51
VAN BEVEREN Adrien FRA Yamaha +11’48
BENAVIDES Luciano ARG KTM +12’51
CORNEJO José Ignacio CHI Honda +13’48
BENAVIDES Kevin ARG Honda +15’07
DE SOULTRAIT Xavier FRA Yamaha +15’50
2019 Dakar Rally Outright Standings after Stage Eight
PRICE Toby AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory 28:53’08
QUINTANILLA Pablo CHI Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory +01’03
WALKNER Matthias AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory +06’35
SUNDERLAND Sam GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory +06’38
VAN BEVEREN Adrien FRA Yamaha Official Rally Team +09’54
BENAVIDES Kevin ARG Monster Energy Honda +21’41
SHORT Andrew USA Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory +39’27
DE SOULTRAIT Xavier FRA Yamaha Official Rally Team +46’17
BENAVIDES Luciano ARG Red Bull KTM Rally Factory +01:04’24
CORNEJO José Ignacio CHI Monster Energy Honda +01:05’44
San Juan de Marcona > San Juan de Marcona – Jan 14th
American Ricky Brabec battled back to overall leadership as the Dakar Rally arrived at its seventh stage, one day ahead of the Super-Ica which should prove to be the longest and most gruelling stage of the current edition.
Sam Sunderland though was the most impressive on Monday’s seventh stage of Dakar 2019 as the 29-year-old Briton dominated the day to catapult up the outright leaderboard from seventh all the way up to fourth.
Dakar 2019 Stage Seven Video
With a short liaison of only 64 kilometres, stage seven of the 2019 Dakar Rally was all about the 323-kilometre timed special. The day’s racing was delayed and also halted momentarily midway through, due to fog causing safety issues for the competitors. The first looped stage of the event, riders covered terrain already used in the rally close to the town of San Juan de Marcona. Traces from previous stages only made navigation tougher and with fatigue starting to play its part, it was an exhausting day for all.
Capitalising on his start position of 12th, Sam Sunderland immediately set about making time on the front runners. By waypoint three, Sunderland was ahead and despite a small error in the latter part of the stage, went on to win by close to two-minutes at the line over Honda’s José Cornejo.
Sam Sunderland – Stage P1 – Overall P4
“I’m pleased with today, it’s gone really well and it feels good to get some time back on the leaders. Obviously, yesterday I was really disappointed. I opened the stage well but lost time after damaging my rear brake. That upset my strategy a little but then today, I decided to use that frustration to my advantage and push as hard as I could right from the start. I did lose a little time right at the end when it took me a couple of minutes to find a WPC, but overall I’m happy with how I rode the stage. The guys made a few small changes to the suspension on my bike last night and I am really grateful for that. It seems to have helped because the bike felt great today. Tomorrow we start with the fastest cars and trucks, which will make things even more unpredictable again, so we’ll see how we go.”
The best rider of the Monster Energy Honda Team bunch turned out to be Nacho Cornejo, who came within a whisker of clinching his first Dakar stage win. The Chilean set a cracking pace in the first part and had no difficulty in finding one of the more critical waypoints in the special whilst others doubted and which eventual led to the day’s second quickest time. Nacho lies twelfth in the overall standings, just over an hour behind the leader.
José Ignacio Cornejo – Stage P2 – Overall P12
“Today was a good day, but the stage was tough. At first we passed over tracks made on previous days, so we had to be careful in some parts, but in general it was a very fast stage. In the second part, there was more sand and dunes and I knew that there I would be able to push harder because the first riders have lost time looking for a waypoint in the middle of the dunes. I minimized errors and I was able to maintain a good pace, so I am very happy with today’s stage. I almost got the victory, but I think it’s better not to have to open the track tomorrow.”
Third on Monday was Ricky Brabec, although the American was more than happy to retake the overall lead. Brabec was comfortable over the terrain that included dunes and was fast enough to mark the third best time of the day some 6’30” off the stage winner. Ricky now holds a 7’47” advantage over the nearest second place rival Frenchman Van Beveren.
Ricky Brabec – Stage P3 – Overall P1
“I feel good. I need the day to go well. I knew I had messed up a bit yesterday. Tomorrow is going to be hard to maintain the gap. The day was more my style like where I live. It was fun and comfortable. We were all riding together and enjoying it. Tomorrow I didn’t want to have to open. So it’s good that people finished in front of me. We’ll see how tomorrow goes.”
With Monday’s stage seven being one of the most demanding of this year’s Dakar, Adrien Van Beveren made full use of his acute navigational skills in the dunes of Peru. The first rider to find the right tracks in one of the most crucial sections of the special stage, Adrien gained time to his rivals. Earning a strong fourth place result for the day, he added yet another top five stage performance to his 2019 Dakar Rally campaign. Van Beveren also managed to move up three spots in the provisional overall standings. Currently holding the runner-up spot in the overall standings, the WR450F Rally mounted racer is less than eight minutes behind the provisional race leader with just three more stages to go.
Adrien Van Beveren – Stage P4 – Overall P2
“I’ve put it all on the line today for a good result and I’m happy I climbed a few places in the overall. I had a good day and really gave my best. I knew it would be a tricky stage in the dunes, so I decided from the start to be extra careful on my navigation. At one point I saw a big group of riders lost and searching for the waypoint. I remained calm and was the first one to find the waypoint. I thought I would be able to make up some good time there, but the other riders followed me in the right tracks. I am still in the game and the next few stages will be very important. I feel I’m on top of my game at the moment and I will continue giving it all here in Peru.”
Gaining confidence as the rally progresses, KTM’s team junior Luciano Benavides rode an excellent stage to place fifth. Having the opportunity to ride with stage-winner Sunderland helped to increase the Argentinian’s experience even further. Aiming for a top-10 result overall, Benavides is keen to maintain his impressive form to the finish.
Luciano Benavides – Stage P5 – Overall P11
“Today was good for me, I finished fifth, which is another best result for me. My rhythm right from the start was good but I didn’t take any risks because I wanted to stay safe and make it to the finish. Sam caught and passed me in the dunes so I was able to follow him for about 100 kilometres. That was really useful as I was able to watch how he rides and I believe I learned a lot from that. I start from the front row on tomorrows stage so hopefully I can stay with the others and get a good result.”
Continuing to demonstrate improved speed and consistency, Andrew Short rode most of the special stage alone. Posting the sixth fastest time for the day, the American racer is now ninth in the provisional overall standings and less than three minutes behind the rider in eighth place.
Andrew Short – Stage P6 – Overall P9
“My pace was good today. It seems that in this area of Peru the weather is a little extreme. There’s always something crazy over here and today we had some fog, a lot of wind and some parts with fesh-fesh. I rode most of the stage by myself and then towards the end I got caught by a couple of other riders. Racing alongside others, it’s much easier to know and control my pace. Overall, it was a decent day and the guys in front of me in the overall are now within seconds or minutes. It’s realistic for me to battle with the rider in front of me in the overall. I’ve made some big improvements this year with my navigation and my speed and I’m happy with that.”
Catching up with the leading group inside the special stage, Xavier de Soultrait earned a seventh-place result on today’s stage seven. Picking up a small one-minute penalty for exceeding the limit in a 30 km/h speed zone, Xavier is now 10th in the provisional overall standings. The Frenchman now his eyes set on moving higher up in the overall rankings during the remaining three days of the Dakar.
Xavier de Soultrait – Stage P7 – Overall P10
“It was a much better day for me and my speed was on point today. I was fast while also riding safely and not taking any big risks. I caught up with the leading group of riders in the special and decided to attack. Unfortunately, then I started feeling the effects of my sea sickness and was unable to give 100%. I took some more pills and I feel better now. Tomorrow we will have a different stage, with bikes, cars and trucks starting together in large groups. The stage will again be in the dunes so navigation will be the crucial factor.”
Still suffering with his injury, Toby Price battles on. Eighth place on the day’s stage, and making up time on a number of his closest rivals, the Australian successfully defended his third place in the provisional overall standings. Determined to make the finish, Price will keep on fighting for a top result.
Toby Price – Stage P8 – Overall P3
“The day has gone well, it ended up with a lot of us riding in a group today. We did get lost at one point and lose a few minutes but all-in-all things are going ok. Obviously, my wrist is still giving me some pain, but we’re past the point of no return now – there’s no stopping. I’m still sitting in third overall with just a few stages left so I’ll continue taking each day as it comes and keep on fighting.”
Slovenian KTM rider Stefan Svitko continues to impress. The 36-year-old was ninth on Monday’s stage and is currently eighth outright.
Matthias Walkner rode a solid stage seven. The third rider away from the start this morning, he navigated perfectly through the well-used route, ultimately catching a group of riders ahead of him. Successfully completing the day in 10th place, Matthias will enjoy an advantageous start position for tomorrows ‘Super Ica’ stage eight.
Matthias Walkner – Stage P10 – Overall P7
“Things started off well today, up to around kilometre-200 my pace was strong. I caught up with the guys in front after that and we got a little lost trying to find one of the waypoints. Towards the end of the stage I had quite a big crash but was luckily able to get straight back on. It’s been a tough day, but I’ve done my best and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Kevin Benavides started the day behind Quintanilla and, after catching him up on the track, continued until he experienced some trouble finding an awkwar dwaypoint. The Argentine rider arrived amid the main group posting twelfth best time and is now sixth in the provisional rankings.
Kevin Benavides – Stage P12 – Overall P6
Today was the most difficult stage of this Dakar in terms of navigation. I came out in second position and caught Quintanilla, and between the two of us we opened most of the stage. But at the end of the special, in the dunes, many pilots arrived from behind and between us and it was hard for us to find a waypoint, where we lost several minutes. In the final few kilometres there was fesh-fesh, dust and a lot of wind and it was quite dangerous. I have finished twelfth but it is fine for tomorrow to leave behind. We will see how the stage goes, with the cars and trucks ahead; If there is a lot of fesh-fesh, it will be difficult to overtake.”
The first rider to start the special stage, Pablo Quintanilla lost time trying to locate a number of waypoints. Posting the 14th best time for the day, the Chilean rally star is now less than 10 minutes behind the provisional overall leader.
Pablo Quintanilla – Stage P14 – Overall P5
“It was a very complicated stage and there were a few moments where we struggled to spot some waypoints. For me it seemed like a never-ending stage. I knew from the start that it would be hard for me to get a good stage result today, considering I was the first rider to start in the morning. It is what it is and I’m looking ahead to the coming stages. Tomorrow I will have a much better starting position from the second wave of riders. Everything is still open in the overall standings and my goal remains to battle for the win. It’s all to play for until the last day and the last few kilometres. I will continue giving my all until we reach the finish in Lima.”
Maintaining her excellent run of form, despite not feeling 100 percent comfortable on the rough stage, Laia Sanz placed 22nd fastest. The multiple world champion continues to sit just outside the top 15 in the overall standings in 16th place and is keen to improve on that position as the rally comes to a close.
Laia Sanz – Stage P22 – Overall P16
“It was a tough day for me today, I didn’t feel strong so didn’t want to push too hard. We were crossing traces from previous days a lot and I don’t enjoy that so much, I prefer to navigate my way through the stage. I arrived safely at the finish with no crashes, which is important. I am hoping that tomorrow I will feel comfortable to push again and improve my result.”
Tuesday’s stage eight of the rally, the ‘Super Ica’ will see the top 10 bikes, cars and the top five trucks set off in their finishing order from the previous day. As the fastest competitor from all classes, Sam Sunderland will have the task of opening the track. The total distance travelled for the day will be 575 kilometres, 360 of which timed special.
2019 Dakar Rally Provisional Results Stage Seven
SUNDERLAND Sam GBR KTM 03:51’41
CORNEJO José Ignacio CHI Honda +01’51
BRABEC Ricky USA Honda +06’30
VAN BEVEREN Adrien FRA Yamaha +09’40
BENAVIDES Luciano ARG KTM +11’19
SHORT Andrew USA Husqvarna +11’29
DE SOULTRAIT Xavier FRA Yamaha +13’12
PRICE Toby AUS KTM +14’19
SVITKO Stefan SLO KTM +16’21
WALKNER Matthias AUT KTM +16’38
2019 Dakar Rally Outright Standings after Stage Seven
BRABEC Ricky USA Monster Energy Honda 24:48’02
VAN BEVEREN Adrien FRA Yamaha Official Team +07’47
PRICE Toby AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory +08’28
SUNDERLAND Sam GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory +09’58
QUINTANILLA Pablo CHI Rockstar Husqvarna Factory +09’59
BENAVIDES Kevin ARG Monster Energy Honda +16’15
WALKNER Matthias AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory +16’16
SVITKO Stefan SLO Slovnaft Team KTM +37’09
SHORT Andrew USA Rockstar Husqvarna Factory +39’17
DE SOULTRAIT Xavier FRA Yamaha Official Team +40’08
Dakar 2019 Stage Seven
San Juan de Marcona > San Juan de Marcona – Jan 14th
Claiming his first individual stage victory at this year’s Dakar Rally, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider Pablo Quintanilla has retaken the lead of the event’s provisional overall standings.
Entering the second week of Dakar in high spirits, Pablo Quintanilla put in a great performance on Sunday in Peru. Involved in a battle for the stage victory with fellow South American Kevin Benavides (Honda), Quintanilla took the virtual lead before the penultimate waypoint and never looked back.
Following a well-considered plan of attack, the FR 450 Rally mounted Quintanilla has put himself back into the rally’s overall lead with four crucial stages still to be contested in the Peruvian countryside. Overall, Pablo is now four minutes and 38 seconds ahead of preview leader Ricky Brabec, after the Honda man struggled to find a waypoint.
Pablo Quintanilla – Stage P1 – Overall P1
“Everything went according to plan today and I’m happy with the stage win. The day wasn’t easy, the pace was quite fast, and navigation was difficult. We also had to race through strong headwinds. We had a good battle with Kevin Benavides and at one point I managed to pass him and retain the lead. It’s good to be back on top in the overall. The race is still long and I want to stick to my plan. Tomorrow I will be the first rider to start the stage and this is surely a disadvantage. But my plan is to fight back for a good result on day eighth and then take advantage of the mass start on day nine. Lots of things can happen these next few days but I will do my best to keep my eyes focused on my goals.”
Ricky Brabec – Stage P6 – Overall P2
“It was another tough stage. The temperature was nice but the wind was a big factor. It’s kind of hard to ride all day with the wind pushing you around. At one point for about 50 km I was concerned about fuel. I know that we had filled up at the top at kilometre 80 at the neutralization. I was freaking out because I ran out of one of my tanks earlier than expected. On the whole it was a good day. There’s four days left. I’m glad to be at this bivouac full of fesh fesh that makes everything such a mess. I’m looking forward to the next four days. Hopefully I can stay in the fight and keep pushing. I feel great and my body is at 100%.”
Kevin Benavides fought nail and tooth for the stage win and nearly pulled it off, coming home less than two minutes shy of stage winner Quintanilla. However, the Argentine Monster Energy Honda Team climbed the overall leader board from seventh to fourth place, eating one minute into the overall leader’s time.
Kevin Benavides – Stage P2 – Overall P4
“Today was a good day. I changed the strategy to start pushing this second week and today I started further out. The idea was to finish as well as possible later on, so this second position on the stage is fine despite having lost a bit of time towards the end. We have to keep going and not waste too much time in the remaining stages.”
Putting in a superb ride in the tough conditions, Matthias Walkner was able to navigate his way successfully through the stage despite riding alone for the majority of the day. His third position, just over four minutes from the leading time, moves the Austrian up to sixth in the provisional overall standings.
Matthias Walkner – Stage P3 – Overall P6
“I had a good ride today, navigation was really tricky, but I had some lines in front of me, so I just had to stay focused and use my head a little. I rode the majority of the day alone and that can be tough sometimes, but I’m pleased with my riding and the result, especially as the overall pace was so high. Overall, it has been a good day.”
Just 27 seconds adrift from teammate Walkner, Toby Price continues to battle on despite the increasing pain in the wrist he broke and had pinned in the lead up to Dakar 2019. The Australian’s fourth place result puts him in an ideal start position for Monday’s stage seven. Price lies third in the provisional standings.
Toby Price – Stage P4 – Overall P3
“It’s been a really tough day today. My wrist is hurting more and more as the race goes on and it’s making things uncomfortable out there. I’ll keep cruising on though and I’m still in the race, it’s just a bit more like survival mode at the moment. Nevertheless, third overall with four stages left to race is encouraging. The goal is the same – make it safely to the finish – so I’ll keep on pushing on tomorrow.”
With six stages contested so far in Peru, WR450F Rally mounted Van Beveren has finished inside the top five in five of them. Holding on to a strong fifth place in the overall standings, Adrien is less than ten minutes behind the event’s provisional leader.
Adrien Van Beveren – Stage P5 – Overall P5
“It was a hard day but everything worked fine for me. We woke up super early to start the stage and that was tough on our bodies. After we took the start of the special I saw Santolino on the ground and stopped to help him. I lost a few minutes there but got the time back when I reached the finish. As soon as the medics arrived I got back on my bike and returned to the stage. I pushed hard while also making sure I avoided mistakes. This race is all about managing your risks and keeping it on two wheels. Overall, I’m happy with my performance today and I my starting position for tomorrow is not that bad. There is still four days of racing here in Peru and it’s going to be pretty intense.”
Following his strong third place result on stage five, Xavier de Soultrait was unable to show his true potential on Sunday’s stage six. Suffering sea sickness in the massive dunes, Xavier had to settle for an 11th place result on stage six. He will be the 11th rider to start tomorrow’s stage seven.
Xavier de Soultrait – Stage P6 – Overall P9
“It was a difficult day in the dunes. I was among the first riders to start the stage and soon after I felt sea sickness from riding up and down in the dunes. I got some special pills for that and did the best I could until the end of the stage. I might have lost some time in the overall, but I am physically and mentally strong at the moment. I also have a great starting position for tomorrow and I am planning to take full advantage of it. Tomorrow I want to push as hard as possible to make up time. My goal is to battle for the stage win and I will do everything possible to make it happen.”
Earning yet another top 10 stage result, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Andrew Short wrapped up stage six with an eighth-place result. Battling through tough conditions and tricky navigation the American racer is now tenth overall, 38 minutes behind his team partner Quintanilla.
Andrew Short – Stage P8 – Overall P10
“It was a tricky day for me. The dunes are really soft and it’s hard to get a good rhythm. I saw a rider crash in front of me in the first part of the stage and that was a bit disappointing. It took me some time to find my pace. After the halfway point I caught up with a few other riders and we continued the rest of the stage racing alongside each other. It was a hard day for all of us with the wind and the terrain, everything was really tough. Despite all that, I’m still in a good position in the race and I have a few more stages to improve my position in the overall standings.”
Impressing again with another top-10 finish, Luciano Benavides has really come into form on the 2019 Dakar Rally. Riding intelligently, the Argentinian claimed ninth on stage six and sits just one place outside of the top 10 overall with four stages left to race.
Luciano Benavides – Stage P9 – Overall P11
“Today was a really long day and very windy. I eased off a little at the end because of the conditions and didn’t want to make a mistake and lose time. I feel good physically and mentally and the main goal is still to get a good finish. I am lying in 11th place at the moment and I would love to break into the top 10. I am really enjoying the rally because I’m learning all the time and I can feel my pace and confidence improving as my experience increases.”
Following his win on the previous day of racing, Sam Sunderland was given the unenviable task of opening today’s technical and gruelling stage. The British rider lead out from start to finish but unfortunately lost time overall to the following pack. Sunderland lies seventh overall, but vows to push his hardest right to the finish.
Sam Sunderland – Stage P12 – Overall P7
“I was up against it a little today. After stopping to help Goncalves on the fifth stage I had no markers to set my pace and by winning the stage I upset my overall strategy for the race a little. As we know, opening the stage is always a disadvantage and today, with harsh conditions and tricky navigation, it cost me a lot of time. Personally for me, I was pleased with my riding and how I managed the navigation out front, that was really encouraging. I lost a little time after clipping a rock and damaging my rear brake, but the team were great and replaced that at the neutralisation. The race isn’t over yet though and I’m going to keep fighting. It’s Dakar, it’s always a challenge.”
Claiming her best result of this year’s rally to date, Laia Sanz is feeling good and enjoyed her performance on stage six. Using her skills and experience, Laia was able to make up good time at the beginning of the timed special where accurate navigation was required. Completing the stage in 15th elevates the Spaniard to 16th in the provisional overall standings.
Laia Sanz – Stage P15 – Overall P16
“I felt really good first thing in the dunes today. I was able to gain on the guys in front and that is always nice for your confidence. The second part of the stage opened out a lot and was a lot faster. I was riding on my own and it gets difficult to judge your pace, the faster sections are not my favourite either. My navigation was accurate all day and I think I improved in the overall too, so I’m happy.”
2019 Dakar Rally Provisional Results Stage Six
QUINTANILLA Pablo CHI Rockstar Husqvarna Factory 03:50’47
BENAVIDES Kevin ARG Monster Energy Honda +01’52
WALKNER Matthias AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory +04’21
PRICE Toby AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory +04’48
VAN BEVEREN Adrien FRA Yamaha Official Rally Team 05’48
BRABEC Ricky USA Monster Energy Honda Team +07’30
SVITKO Stefan SLO Slovnaft Team KTM +08’20
SHORT Andrew USA Rockstar Husqvarna Factory +13’54
BENAVIDES Luciano ARG Red Bull KTM Rally Factory +15’13
CORNEJO José Ignacio CHI Monster Energy Honda +21’47
2019 Dakar Rally Outright Standings after Stage Six