The crew of Eduard Nikolaev on KAMAZ with tail number 505 overcame 346 km of the high-speed section the fastest, the circular route of which began in the settlement of Bisha and ended there.
This is Nikolaev’s third victory at the Dakar stages in 2022, and today he is only 15 seconds ahead of the crew of Andrey Karginov, having done this shortly before the finish line. Dmitry Sotnikov showed the third time – the day before the finish of the rally-raid he continues to lead in the class of trucks, but his lead was reduced to 8 minutes, and the fate of victory will be decided on Friday, on the last 164 km of the race.
Representatives of other teams tried to interfere in the struggle for places in the top three, but KAMAZ-master again turned out to be stronger, to which everyone is already getting used to it. But the fourth result today remained for the trio of Martin Matsik, piloting the IVECO Powerstar truck – the racers from the Czech Republic managed to push KAMAZ Anton Shibalov to the fifth line.
The best in the two-wheeled class was yesterday’s loser, Kevin Benavides. After a serious breakdown of his KTM motorcycle, he practically dropped out of the fight, but the new regulations of the FIM World Rally-Raid (Dakar was included in the season calendar for the first time as the first stage) allowed the Argentinean to return to duty. The technique was successfully repaired, and today he became the winner of the stage.
Sam Sunderland finished second, and this result allowed him to return to the first line in the general classification – his advantage over Chilean Pablo Quintanilla is about seven minutes, and he, in turn, is just a little over a minute ahead of Matthias Walkner, so tomorrow’s short stage is expected a very sharp struggle for places in the top three.
In the ATV category, Marcelo Medeyrus won the third stage at the stage, but the day before the finish of the rally-raid he was only in fifth place in the class, while Alexander Giraud continues to lead confidently. His advantage is large enough that he can afford to ride without much risk, but today the French driver showed the 4th place.
If tomorrow he wins the Dakar, then a quarter of a century later he will repeat the success of his father, Daniel Giraud, who was the first representative of France to win the legendary super marathon in the saddle of an ATV in 1997.
The successes of American Seth Quintero in 2022 have already become commonplace – today he has become the strongest in the T3 class (light SUVs). The Russian crew of Pavel Lebedev and Kirill Shubin showed a decent 4th result – they are in the same position in the general classification, and the Chilean Francisco Kontardo is in the lead in the ATV category, and it seems that he is in little danger.
Among the riders driving light off-road vehicles of the SSV class, the Pole Marek Gochal has already won the sixth stage victory, however, despite these successes, it was not he who led the overall standings, but Gerard Guel, the representative of Spain. However, his advantage over American Austin Jones is less than two minutes, so tomorrow it may still change.
On the last day of the rally-raid, the participants will have to cover 680 km, but the distance of the high-speed section is only 164 km, which is no more than a sprint by Dakar standards. But before the super marathon finishes in Jeddah, the riders still need to overcome this stage, the 12th in a row, and it is on this stage that the fate of victory will be decided in many classes. The route is mostly sandy, so it will be fun again!
Source: Формула 1 на F1News.ru by www.f1news.ru.
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