Van Beveren regains bike lead, Quintero ties record on Dakar Stage 10

Image courtesy of Dakar Rally

Van Beveren regains bike lead, Quintero ties record on Dakar Stage 10

Off Road

Van Beveren regains bike lead, Quintero ties record on Dakar Stage 10


Stage 10 of the 44th Dakar Rally saw another reshuffling of the ultra-competitive motorcycle ranks, a record tied in T3, and and an electric 1-2 in cars.

In the bike category, Frenchman Adrien Van Beveren (pictured above) is back in overall command after several front-runners hit trouble in today’s 759km/472-mile run through the rocky outcrops of Wadi Ad Dawasir.

Leading from the front after Honda’s Ricky Brabec and Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo made a navigation blunder, Mattias Walkner also made a mistake in the final segment, allowing the rest of the field to catch up. He came in 15m55s down on the fastest time, set by Australia’s Toby Price. Britain’s Sam Sunderland was also off the pace, 11m18s back in 17th, enabling Yamaha rider Van Beveren to seize the overall lead for the second time this year. He now has 4m15s lead on Honda’s Pablo Quintanilla, 5m59s on GasGas man Sunderland, 6m47s on Honda’s Barreda — who had crept back into contention — and 8m24s on KTM’s Walkner, who slumped from first to to fifth.

America’s Seth Quintero continued his run toward Dakar history, taking his 10th stage win in the T3 Light Prototypes. He led today’s stage with two and a half minutes to spare over Cristina Gutierrez, making him the second driver in history to rack up 10 stage wins in a single Dakar, after Pierre Lartigue in 1994. The Californian has still got two stages left to put himself alone in the record book.

“To tie a record that was set 18 years before I was born is absolutely amazing,” said the Red Bull Junior driver. “I really want to try and make everyone back home proud.”

Fellow American Austin Jones might not be in line for a record, but he has a shot at something Quintero doesn’t — an overall class win. The Can-Am driver leads the SSV category by 11m54s after finishing fifth on today’s stage, and is taking nothing for granted just yet.

“It’s been hard. All these guys are really fast — everyone’s really good this year, everyone’s doing really well,” he said. “It’s not too big of a lead, but as long as we maintain this to the finish, it doesn’t matter if you win by a second or an hour, a win’s a win.”

In the car ranks, Nasser Al-Attiyah continues to defend his comfortable lead with conservative runs that allow some of his rivals to grab the spotlight. Today it was the turn of Dakar veteran Stephane Peterhansel to lead the way with Audi’s electric RS Q e-tron, leading home teammate Carlos Sainz. Al-Attiyah was only seventh, shedding another 5m50s, but still leads Bahrain Raid Extreme’s Sebastien Loeb by 32m40s with two stages remaining.

“It was one of our first clean specials, without shock absorber issues, punctures or navigation problems,” related Peterhansel. “We haven’t had any big mechanicals since the start of the second week, so we’re making good progress and having fun driving the car. I’m not necessarily a stage hunter, but each Audi driver has now won a stage, and that’s fantastic.

“When Carlos became the first driver to win a Dakar stage in an electric car, it was a milestone — now we confirmed that performance. This is good for morale, not least because it comes after a complicated start to the rally. We need to win in 2023. Failure is not an option. At any rate, we need to be ready. But it’s never easy. If you lose 1h30m to a navigation blunder, even the best car in the world isn’t going to put you back in contention.”

Elsewhere, Marcelo Medeiros claimed his second stage bragging rights of the year in quads. The Brazilian, who’s over 22h30s down in the general standings, finished a mere six minutes ahead of France’s Alexandre Giroud, who came in third on the day. The second-placed rider, Kamil Wisniewski, moved up to the same position overall thanks to Pablo Copetti’s DNF, but he is still over 2h30 behind Giroud, now two stages away from glory.