The second stage of the Dakar Rally proved to be tough for the American teams. The stage took competitors from Ha’il to Al Qaisumah for a total of 491 miles. The A.S.O. had originally planned a marathon stage, however heavy rains at Al Artawiyah forced officials to move the finish to Al Qaisumah where Stage 3 was planned. Monster Energy Honda’s Joan Barreda Bort from Spain was the stage winner in the bike class. Sam Sunderland finished second on his GasGas motorcycle. Sunderland now has the overall lead. Skyler Howes improved his position with a 5th place finish while Andrew Short couldn’t do better than ninth, the same place he finished in Stage One. Further down in the field, Ricky Brabec held on for 15th position.
Seth Quintero had a rough day for the Red Bull Junior team, getting stranded out in the desert with a mechanical issue just 30 miles from the finish line. His chances for an overall win could be lost, but Quintero will push on and learn from his experience.
In the car class, Sebastien Loeb took the top spot with Nasser Al-Attiyah finishing a few minutes behind in second. Carlos Sainz continues to follow right behind with a third-place finish in the electric Audi RS Q e-tron. It was a better day for teammate Stephen Peterhansel who secured a fourth-place finish after suffering rear end damage during stage 1.
Andre Karginov secured a win in the big truck class in his Kamaz. Tuesday’s stage will take the competitors on a loop run starting and finishing in Al-Qaisumah.
Photos courtesy of A.S.O. and Husqvarna Factory Racing