The penultimate stage was the start loop and the finish in Biša was to be the most difficult this year. It was 500 kilometers long, of which 345 were measured. “They will lead exclusively in sand and dunes. Large and small dunes will alternate regularly and in many places there will be very fine sand, so the whole development of the competition can change. This year’s decision will be made here, “said competition director David Castera before the competition.
Miracles come from Ecuador
Martin Michek from the Orion – Moto Racing Group team experienced the drama with a happy ending. “I pushed the saw. I wanted to go ahead, I had a nice ride. Ricky Brabec and I were dragging like dogs, he was a little distant from me. So I wanted to reach him on the plain. But there was a dune that I did not notice, a slope behind it and it sent me into the distance at a speed of about a hundred. I didn’t fall, there was plenty of time in the air to prepare for the impact. The wound was insane, my rim was ruined. I can’t go with him because I would kill myself. Now we’re working on what’s going to happen. Mainly that I’m whole, “he wrote on his Instagram while standing next to a stationary motorcycle.
The wait lasted a little over four hours and the Czech competitor considered pressing the red button on his machine to inform the organizers that he was leaving the race. Then a literal miracle happened. Racer Juan Puga from Ecuador stopped next to him. He offered Michk his bike and even helped him with the assembly. The Czech rider finished the stage in 117th place with a loss of 4:35:04 hours.
He finished off the 18th to 37th place in the standings, but he has a real chance of finishing his third Dakar. “Unbelievable dude, unbelievable. The last rider in line and he will come back and offer me help. We flipped the bike, I hugged him and he just said, let me fall away, “Michek recalled moments he would never forget.
His whole body ached
Martin Macík, guided by František Tomášek and secured by David Švanda from 6th place, started the 11th stage. The Sedlčany crew managed to keep a decent pace all the way and gradually worked their way forward. “The stage was unreasonably difficult. Exactly as the organizers promised. Huge irregular dunes, difficult navigation, jumped broken route. We all drove in the dust where nothing could be seen. The nutritious start was right at the first waypoint, where the first five riders got tangled up. We really had fun today, but we really liked it. My whole body hurts, “said Macík at the finish
The crew of the yellow truck also noticed an unexpected situation during the ride – a Buggyra team truck that needed help. “We met Ignacio, who buried it. I don’t think it made sense to think about anything at all. We stopped, pulled him out, and continued. I think that Tomáš Šikola was lucky that someone stopped and he didn’t have to dig, “Macík described the situation.
The pitfalls of the rough track bothered more racing machines, which the Sedlčany crew passed on the track. “Today the cars got pretty busy, it was really a breaker,” said mechanic David Švanda. “That’s what Dakar should look like. Great ride we love. But the competition ends with the last stage. It will be shorter, but just as important as all the previous ones, “Macík ´ added to the final special, which measures 676 kilometers, of which 163 are conducted as a special stage.
Prokop had fun in the dunes
Aleš Loprais, who in the tenth stage damaged the servo of his truck and received a penalty because he did not complete the stage, continues in the competition. The mechanics repaired all night so the rider could return to the track.
Martin Prokop, who was repairing a gearbox on the special stage on Wednesday, is also driving. “There was beautiful soft sand at this stage, so we had fun in the dunes, but several cars overtook us on fast sections. Then the gears started to get a little angry, and when we needed to go out the big dunes, the engine stopped. We had to turn around several times. We got into a scrum with several cars and had to make room to keep us out of the dust. But finally something happened, “Prokop described the situation.
Tůma did not rest in the dunes
The last step remains for the Czech racer Zdeněk Tům to achieve a life result. He will defend fourth place in the final stage of the Dakar Rally. “I plan to go for sure. Maybe there won’t be many complicated places. Today we enjoyed them blessedly. It was really the hardest stage of this year’s Dakar and I am glad to have it behind me, “said the driver of the Barth Racing team.
In Thursday’s act, a 345-kilometer special stage was set for the racers, and Tůma felt unusually nervous in front of her. “It was strange. I don’t have it very often. The twenty minutes before the start, when the person is ready, came to me endless. I had a lot of time to think. It disturbed my concentration a bit and I wandered a little at the fourth kilometer, “admitted Tůma.
The track was full of difficult sections and led mostly along sand and dunes. “There were giant dunes, but also small ones, which may have caused even greater problems. The sand in them was very fine and it broke down a lot, “outlined a native of Český Krumlov. “Elsewhere, we had to overcome such black stones, where I preferred to almost step. The section in which we drove through the forest of stumps was also interesting. It looked like a road to hell there, “Tůma said.
According to him, the penultimate stage was demanding not only in terms of navigation, but also physically. “One fifty-kilometer section was full of tiny dunes. One did not rest in them at all, he was still squatting, the show had to react. That was really exhausting. In addition, it was really hot, “Tůma described. “I only hesitated once. I misjudged the 100-meter dune and had to drive it three times. Otherwise, I managed quite well. “
Results – 11th stage
Motorcycles: 1. K. Brenavides (Arg./KTM) 3:30:56; 2. Sunderland (Brit./Gas Gas) +4 s; 3. Rodrigues (Port./Hero) +2: 26; … 33. Engel (CZE / KTM) +37: 14; 37. Brabec (CZE / KTM) +49: 11; 117. Michek (CZE / KTM) +4: 35: 04.
ATVs: 1. Medeiros (Braz./Yamaha) 4:53:29; 2. Wisniewski (Pol./Yamaha) +5: 04; 3. Moreno (Arg./Yamaha) +9: 48; … 5. Tůma (CZ / Yamaha) +47: 35.
Cars: 1. Sainz, Cruz (Sp. / Audi RS Q E-tron) 3:29:32; 2. Alvarez Monleon (Fr., Sp. / Toyota Hilux Overdrive) +3: 10; 3. Ekström, Bergqvist (Sweden / Audi RS Q E-tron) +3: 33; … 20. Prokop, Chytka (CZ / Ford Raptor) +19: 21; 32. Zapletal, Sýkora (ČR, SR / Ford) +39: 12.
Light prototypes: 1. Quintero, Zenz (USA, Germany / OT3) 3:57:53; 2. Eriksson, Rosegaar (Sweden, Niz./Can-Am Maverick X3) +15: 18; 3. Lopez Contardo, Latrach Vinagre (Chile / Can-AM XR5) +15: 38.
SSV: 1. Marek Goczal, Laskawiecz (Pol./Can-Am Maverick XR5) 4:13:12; 2. Farres Guell, Ortega Gil (Šp./Can- Am Maverick XR5) +3:37; 3. Baciuska, Mena (Lotyš., Šp./Can-Am Maverick XR5) +6:08.
Trucks: 1. Nikolaev (Rus./Kamaz) 3:54:45; 2. Karginov (Rus./Kamaz) +15 s; 3. Sotnikov (Rus./Kamaz) +2: 00; 4. Macik (CZ / Iveco) +8: 02; 8. Loprais (CZE / Prague) +30: 01; 13. Casale (Chile / Tatra Buggyra) +1: 17: 27; 35. Vrátný (Czech Republic / Ford) +29: 50: 15.
The results are unofficial.
Motorcycles: 1. Sunderland (Brit./Gas Gas) 37:04:05; 2. Quintanilla (Chile / Honda) +6: 52; 3. Walkner (Rak./KTM) +7: 15; … 2. Brabec (CZE / KTM) +2: 59: 58; 30. Engel (CZE / KTM) +4: 42: 40; 37. Michek (CZE / KTM) +6: 27: 48.
ATVs: 1. Giroud (Fr./Yamaha) 47:26:25; 2. Moreno (Arg: ./ Yamaha) +2: 41: 24; 3. Wisniewski (Pol./Yamaha) +2: 44: 55; 4. Tůma (CR / Yamaha) +8: 09: 36.
Cars: 1. Al-Attiyah, Baumel (Qatar, Fr./Toyota Hilux) 36:49:51; 2. Loeb, Lurquin (Fr./Prodrive Hunter) +33: 19; 3. Al Raji, Orr (S. Arabia, Brit./Toyota Hilux Overdrive) +1: 03: 43; … 24. Zapletal, Sýkora (CZE, SR / Ford) +6: 30: 07; 26. Prokop, Chytka (CZ / Ford Raptor) +6: 46: 31.
Light prototypes: 1. Lopez Contardo, Latrach Vinagre (Chile/Can-AM XR5) 43:56:34; 2. Eriksson, Rosegaar (Sved., Niz./Can-Am Maverick X3) +55:36; 3. Gutierrez Herrerová, Cazalet (Šp., Fr./0T3-01) +4:31:22.
SSV: 1. Farres Guell, Ortega Gil (Šp../Can- Am Maverick XR5) +45:24:07; 2. Jones, Gugelmin (USA, Braz./Can Am Mavericks) +1:41; 3. Marek Goczal, Laskawiecz (Pol./Can-Am Maverick XR5) +17:59.
Trucks: 1. Sotnikov (Rus./Kamaz) 35:58:08; 2. Nikolaev (Rus./Kamaz) +8: 18; 3. Shibalov (Rus./Kamaz) +1: 04: 50; … 8. Macik (CZE / Iveco) +4: 39: 39; 21. Loprais (CZE / Prague) +34: 46: 34; 25. Casale (Chile / Tatra Bugyra) +137: 49: 22; 27. Vrátný (Czech Republic / Ford) +157: 33: 56.
The results are unofficial.