PROCEEDING WITH CAUTION ON A LONG AND FAST STAGE, THE GASGAS FACTORY RACING RIDER EDGES EVER CLOSER TO THE EVENT’S FINISH
Returning to racing following the cancellation of stage eight, which saw the 42nd Dakar Rally temporarily paused for all motorcycle class racers as a mark of respect to Paulo Goncalves who tragically lost his life on day seven, Laia Sanz has completed today’s 886-kilometre stage from Wadi Al-Dawasir to Haradh in 23rd position. A challenging day for all riders, an early start was followed by initial technical tracks before the special became a mentally draining day of high-speed riding. Laia completed the 410-kilometre special stage in a time of three hours and 48 minutes to finish 23rd and is now placed 17th in the provisional overall classification.
At 886 kilometres, stage nine was the longest of the 2020 Dakar Rally
Enjoying the technical start to the stage, Laia then opted for a ‘no risk’ strategy
Ranked 17th overall, Laia remains the event’s lead female motorcycle competitor
Laia Sanz: “Today has been a tough day, a very long day. I enjoyed the first part because it was really technical – you really had to work with your bike and get involved with the stage. The second part wasn’t for me – it was flat out for a long, long time. This isn’t for me – I didn’t enjoy it and just took it easy to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes. I knew I was losing time, but I wasn’t going to take any risks. Tomorrow is the start of the marathon stage, which I hope goes better than the first one we had.”
Tomorrow marks the beginning of the true marathon stage of the 2020 Dakar Rally and heads south-east to Shubaytah, featuring the second-longest special stage of the event at 534 kilometres.
Provisional results: Dakar Rally 2020, stage 9
- Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 3:30:33
- Toby Price (KTM) 3:32:27 +1:54
- Joan Barreda (Honda) 3:33:15 +2:42 – 23. Laia Sanz (GasGas) 3:48:59 +18:26
Provisional standings: Dakar Rally 2020 (after stage 9)
- Ricky Brabec (Honda) 31:59:29
- Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 32:20:22 +20:53
- Toby Price (KTM) 32:26:12 +26:42 – 17. Laia Sanz (GasGas) 35:06:56 +3:07:27