The second stage of the Dakar 2022 rally between Ha’il and Al Artawiyah saw Sebastian Loeb clinch victory in the cars category while Honda rider Joan Barreda took victory astride his Honda.
The second full day of the running of the 2022 Dakar Rally saw overnight leader Daniel Sanders tumble down to third overall. Honda’s Joan Barreda blasted his way to victory in the sands of Saudi Arabia, coming in 5 minutes and 33 seconds ahead of GasGas rider Sam Sutherland. Third place on the stage was claimed by KTM’s Kevin Benavides.
The second stage was a good one for the two Indian manufacturers in the rally — Hero and TVS. Hero Motorsports rider Joaquim Rodrigues had a brilliant day in the saddle and finished the stage in sixth place. His teammate South Africa’s Aaron Mare finished the stage in 10th.
TVS Sherco’s riders too had a good day in the Saudi sands. Portuguese rider Rui Goncalves finished the stage in 12th, 13 minutes and 48 seconds behind the leader. TVS Sherco’s Spanish rider Lorenzo Santolino was four places and two minutes and 48 seconds further adrift in 16th.
The lone Indian rider in the competition, Harith Noah finished the 338 kilometres long special stage in four hours, three minutes and 15 seconds, ending the stage in 27th place.
Sam Sutherland now leads the overall standings after his teammate and the leader at the start of the day, Daniel Sanders, finished 24th in today’s stage. Sanders finished 24 minutes and 58 seconds behind Barreda and now sits over five and a half minutes behind Sutherland in third overall. In the second spot is Frenchman Adrien Van Beveren, just two minutes and 51 seconds adrift on board his Yamaha.
TVS Sherco’s Santolino is the highest-ranked of the riders supported by the Indian marques TVS and Hero and lies 6th overall. Mare is the highest-ranked Hero rider and sits 9th overall, while his teammate Rodrigues has climbed up to 18th overall. Harith Noah is currently 32nd in the overall ratings while Goncalves is now in 49th spot.
Former MotoGP rider Daniel Petrucci is out of contention in this year’s Dakar rally as he had to retire after facing mechanical issues. Petrucci stopped at the 115-kilometre mark but was unable to fix his Tech3 KTM rally bike and was forced to retire. However, unlike previous years, Petrucci will be able to resume racing in the rally tomorrow, thanks to rule changes introduced this year.
World Rally legend Sebastian Loeb clinched the 338-kilometre long second stage of Dakar 2022. Loeb finished the second stage in three hours and 25 minutes, 3 minutes and 28 seconds ahead of rival Naseer Al-Attiyah. This is the 15 stage win of Loeb’s Dakar carrier and the first win for Britain’s Prodrive, which runs the Bahrain Raid Xtreme team.
Loeb started the second stage strongly and had already jumped into the lead by the time he crossed the first checkpoint. Loeb pressed home his advantage and by the time he crossed the finish line, the Frenchman had put a small dent in his overall deficit to Al-Attiyah.
After a disastrous outing yesterday, Audi’s drivers showed off the enormous potential of the RS Q e-tron electric race cars in stage 2. Carlos Sainz, the four-time Dakar winner, finished just 5 minutes and 55 seconds behind Loeb. Sainz put the previous stage’s navigational troubles behind him as he finished the stage in third spot. Stephane Peterhansel, the 14 time Dakar winner was under two minutes behind his Spanish teammate in the second Audi. Markus Ekstrom driving the final electric Audi finished the stage in 9th, thirteen and a half minutes behind Loeb.
As for the overall standings in the Cars category, Toyota’s Qatari driver Nasser Al-Attiyah continues to lead the class. Al-Attiyah has a comfortable 9 minutes and 16 seconds lead over Loeb and will hope to extend that tomorrow when the competitors head from Al Artawiyah to Al Qaysumah. Third overall in the cars category is Toyota’s Lucio Alvares, who sits nearly half an hour behind Loeb.
Thoughts On Dakar 2022: Stage 2
The second stage of the Dakar 2022 rally was not as chaotic as the first. GasGas rider Sam Sutherland now leads the rally in the bikes category while Toyota’s Nasser Al Attiyah retained the top position in the cars category. Today’s redemption story was Audi, which came back strongly today after a disastrous first stage, showing off the potential of its electric rally racer.