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Dakar Rally won by Nasser al-Attiyah and Sam Sunderland | Business News Today

Dakar Rally won by Nasser al-Attiyah and Sam Sunderland

Qatari Nasser al-Attiyah and Briton Sam Sunderland won on Friday in Saudi Arabia in the 2022 edition of the Dakar Rally, also marked by the death of a French chief mechanic in an accident.

Repeat offenders, Nasser al-Attiyah (Toyota) and Sam Sunderland (KTM) won the Dakar-2022, Friday, January 14, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The fourth victory for the Qatari in the car and the second for the Briton in a motorcycle.

The arrival was mourned by the death of a French chief mechanic of the PH Sport team, Quentin Lavallée (20), in a road accident. “His passenger, Maxime Frère, of Belgian nationality, was injured and transported conscious to the National Guards Hospital in Jeddah (west) where a full assessment is underway,” the organizers said in a statement.

Already winner of the legendary rally-raid in 2011, 2015 and 2019, Attiyah, who won the prologue and one out of twelve stages, is ahead of the French Sébastien Loeb (Prodrive) by 27 min 46 sec and the Saudi Yazeed al-Rajhi (Toyota) from 1 h 1 min 13 sec.

In the lead since the first stage, the 51-year-old Qatari had a lead of up to 48 minutes before controlling the final days.

“The feeling today is incredible, we are very happy”, he reacted, while his co-driver Mathieu Baumel, for whom it is the third coronation, returned to the difficulty of managing their important advance. “It means not to ride but you still have to not be too far away. We listen to all the noises, we pay attention to everything and it is ultimately more stressful than being on the attack,” explained the Frenchman. .

Loeb, he was not unhappy, despite a difficult start to the race: “We thought ‘it’s dead, it’s over’ (by losing 30 minutes from the second stage, Editor’s note) but, finally, we have managed to fight for second place, it’s still a great rally “.

“Considering the very tight gaps, we were never able to make up (this delay) but we had stage victories, beautiful stages, it’s nice,” continued the nine-time world rally champion.

“Exhausting on my nerves”

In motorcycles, Sunderland, 32, finally won a second success, after 2017 in South America.

He is ahead of the Chilean Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) by 3 min 27 sec and the Austrian Matthias Walkner (KTM) by 6 min 47 sec. The French Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) finished at the foot of the podium, at 18 min 41 sec.

The first British biker to win the Dakar, Sunderland almost doubled the stake in 2019 and 2021, but only finished 3rd.

This winter he started a new adventure. After six editions with the Red Bull KTM factory team, he joined GasGas. This questioning was fruitful.

“I stayed in the race and did a good job yesterday (Thursday) but it was very tight this year,” said the Briton. “I waited ten minutes for the confirmation of victory at the finish, it was tiring on my nerves.”

“It’s even better than the first, it’s been five years of waiting, it’s very long,” he added.

Sunderland, leader of the general during the first week, animated the last days, to finally only take first place from his brother-in-law Van Beveren (he is married to the sister of the French driver) only on the eve of the finish .

Explosion

Despite everything, the Habs have expressed satisfaction: “It is moving for me to finish this Dakar, I retain my ability to come back to the top after four hard years to live with breakages, falls”, commented the Yamaha rider. , a tear in the eye.

In addition to fears related to the health situation, other concerns have crept in after the explosion of a vehicle, the origin of which remains officially unknown.

This explosion, which took place on December 30 in Jeddah, seriously injured French pilot Philippe Boutron, 61, repatriated after having undergone surgery.

French justice has opened an investigation for “attempted assassinations in connection with a terrorist enterprise”.

What is still officially qualified as an “accident” by the organization and the authorities has led to a drastic strengthening of security measures around the competition.

Saudi leaders, criticized for the kingdom’s human rights abuses, have for several years used sport as a diplomatic lever in order to restore the country’s image on the international scene.

The Dakar-2022 also saw the hybrid engines arrive in rally-raid (in particular with Audi in the car), with performances well above the conventional plateau, but incompatible reliability problems with an overall result.

With AFP

Cammile Bussière

One of the most important things for me as a press writer is the technical news that changes our world day by day, so I write in this area of technology across many sites and I am.

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