GasGas Factory Racing’s Laia Sanz has enjoyed a notable upturn in her Dakar Rally results with a strong 25th place finish on the event’s fourth stage from Neom to Al Ula. Starting in 35th position this morning, with dust much less of an issue for her than it was during stage three, Laia was able to pass a number of the riders ahead of her and settle into a strong pace. Completing the stage aboard her GasGas RC 450F with no problems, she now sits in 24th position in the provisional overall classification.

A positive day for Laia with less dust allowing her to increase her pace
Neom to Al Ula stage ‘a long, tough day, but a good one’.

With four stages now complete Laia sits 24th in the overall classification
Laia Sanz: “It was a long day, a tough day, but I am a lot happier compared to the last two days. From my starting position I improved some places, which is good, and I did enjoy some of the stage. Like I said it was tough again, with some tricky navigation during the technical section towards the finish. I was in some dust at the start, but I was able to pass some riders, which allowed me to find my rhythm and ride at a speed I was comfortable at. There were more stones than I ever thought possible, but the technical sections were good for me. A good day overall.”

Relieved to finally be able to ride at a good pace after two difficult days of dust-filled tracks and trails, for the first time in the 2020 Dakar Rally Laia was able to find her rhythm and focus only on her navigation and riding. Moving her way forward to 26th at the 296-kilometre mark, she enjoyed the tricky end-of-stage navigation and remains the leading female motorcycle competitor.

Stage five of the 2020 Dakar Rally will take the event east from Al Ula to Ha’il. Totalling 564 kilometres, the 353-kilometre special is expected to be less technical than earlier stages, featuring plenty of sandy hills and large rocks.

Provisional results: Dakar Rally 2020, stage 4

  1. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 4:24:51
  2. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 4:25:26 +35 seconds
  3. Ross Branch (KTM) 4:25:46 +55 seconds
  4. Laia Sanz (GasGas) 4:45:25 +20:34

Provisional standings: Dakar Rally 2020 (after stage 4)

  1. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 15:06:43
  2. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 15:09:13 +2:30
  3. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 15:15:14 +8:31
  4. Laia Sanz (GasGas) 16:54:55 +1:48:12

Courtesy GasGas