Bikes - Dakar Rally stage 9 as it happened, victory for Cornejo - lead for Walkner

Bikes - Dakar Rally stage 9 as it happened, victory for Cornejo - lead for Walkner

11.01.2022: DAKAR RALLY 2022 Saudi Arabia 1-14 January Stage Wadi Ad Dawasir > Wadi Ad Dawasir Tuesday, January 11th 2022 Honda’s Nacho Cornejo has won the special on stage 9 by 1’26’’ ahead of Kevin Benavides, 1’47’’ in front of Ricky Brabec, 2'06''ah


DAKAR RALLY 2022
Saudi Arabia
1-14 January
Stage   Wadi Ad Dawasir > Wadi Ad Dawasir
Tuesday, January 11th 2022




Honda’s Nacho Cornejo has won the special on stage 9 by 1’26’’ ahead of Kevin Benavides, 1’47’’ in front of Ricky Brabec, 2'06''ahead of Matthias Walkner and 2’10’’ in front of Joan Barreda, making it a very close top 5 today. In 8th and 9th place, Quintanilla and Van Beveren have finished 5 minutes behind the stage winner, whilst Sam Sunderland completed the stage 8'03'' behind.


In the general rankings, the balance tipped in favour of KTM’s world champion on the last portion of the special. “Hiasi” Walkner now leads Sunderland by 2’02’’. VBA has managed to withstand the assaults of Quintanilla and the Yamaha rider trails Walkner by 3'56''.


The leading trio is the same as this morning, but in a different order and it is the first time KTM have led in the 44th edition of the Dakar. Quintanilla, 4'41'' behind the Austrian, is less than one minute from the podium. Title holder Kevin Benavides has also closed in today and is only 10'22'' behind the new general rankings leader, accompanied by his Honda team-mate, Joan Barreda, 10'57'' behind.



 Price and Brabec are further back, trailing by slightly more than 35 minutes, though they will be the 10th and 11th riders to start tomorrow’s special.
   




10:42 Moto: Honda dominate the hostilities


    After 160 km, just after the midway point of the special, the four official Hondas are among the five best times. Brabec and Cornejo are separated by 40’’ whilst Kevin Benavides on his KTM trails the stage leader by one minute.


Barreda occupies 4th place, 1'15 behind, followed by Quintanilla who is 1'42’’ from the front of the stage. The three leaders of the Dakar at the start of the special are holding steady. Walkner is 2'02'' behind Nacho, VBA is 2'47'' behind the Chilean, with Sunderland 3'15’’ behind. A clearer picture will be available when the bikers reach the next check point after 200 km.
    




10:02 Moto: Quintanilla on the virtual overall podium


    After 118 km, Quintanilla has done it! He has kicked VBA of the virtual podium by just 3 seconds. The Honda rider is in 5th position on the special, 1'12’’ behind Brabec, who is dominating proceedings followed by Cornejo.



Sunderland and Walkner still lead the virtual general rankings at the moment, though Barreda and Benavides have moved to within 14 minutes of the British rider, putting two Hondas into 3rd and 5th place! Will the situation remain the same on completion of the 287 km? Who knows, but we are surely in for an exciting day and breath-taking week!
    


09:50 Moto: D-Day for Brabec?


    Ricky Brabec, 2nd on the Dakar in 2021 and the winner the year before, has achieved the best time after 80 km. If he wants to get back into the game, the American has to make a move today, although he is not worrying the leading trio in the general rankings yet, because they have only lost between one minute and a minute and a half at this time check point. However, Quintanilla could dethrone VBA from the virtual podium in the general rankings!
    



09:40 Moto: Petrucci admits getting lost yesterday


    Danilo Petrucci, who has lost 1’30’’ at the second time check point to Ricky Brabec, admitted getting lost 60 km from the finishing line yesterday whilst battling to get into the top 10. “I made a navigation mistake,” he declared yesterday on Instagram.


 “I lost 11 minutes (..), in the end, 11 minutes in a lifetime is nothing…” “Petrux” even asked is fans what it is possible to do in 11 minutes (and added that he only wanted funny answers!).
    



09:23 Moto: 3 Rally 2s in the top 15 after 40 km



    Former Moto GP rider Danilo Petrucci, the 25th rider to start today and winner on stage 5 of his first special on the Dakar, has achieved the 3rd best time after 40 km, 11’’ behind the current stage leader! In the Rally 2 class like “Petrux”, the 16th rider to start, Bradley Cox, has posted the 7th best time so far, 24'' off the lead, whilst Mason Klein has claimed the 15th best time, 46’’ behind the leader.


The American was the fifth to start after finishing in the same position on yesterday’s special. Rumour has it in the paddock that Austrian constructor KTM are already in talks to sign the 20-year old prodigy. Alongside Petrucci, who will join one of the three Mattighofen based teams, the future is in safe hands! All the more so given that the son of Alfie Cox, a KTM dealer in South Africa, is unlikely to change teams either…
    


09:15 Moto: The top 4 within a 5-minute pocket


    Sam Sunderland dominated hostilities yesterday and the British rider will open the way today. With a lead of no more than 5 minutes over Matthias Walkner, Adrien Van Beveren and Pablo Quintanilla, there is no margin for error. Will Sunderland be able to open up a gap four days from the rally’s finish?
    



09:05 Moto: Kevin Benavides in the hunt, VBA well placed


    Nacho Cornejo has achieved the best time after 40 km with 13 bikers having reached this point. He was the 15th rider to start and is in a decent position. As expected, Kevin Benavides, the 13th rider to start, has also posted a good time, 10’’ behind the stage leader.


The ninth rider to start, Adrien Van Beveren, is 17’’ of the stage lead and Joan Barreda, 10th to begin today, trails by 20’’. It seems like the riders starting behind the openers will be pushing the issue today. VBA looks like he is in a good position to perhaps regain the lead in the general rankings this evening, though there are still 250 km to cover!
   


 08:50 Moto: Original by Motul: Melot opens the way


    In the Original by Motul category, Benjamin Melot picked up his second consecutive stage win among the unassisted bikers and will be opening the way at 9.00. With yesterday’s victory, he took third place on the provisional podium from rookie Charan Moore.


In front of him, Milan Engel has a lead of almost one hour and is also a newcomer to the category, but not the Dakar, having participated six times with a 21st place finish in 2021. Title holder Arūnas Gelažninkas has a solid lead of almost one and a half hours at the top of the general rankings. Nevertheless, France’s Melot can still lay a legitimate claim to another podium finish, like on the last two editions.
   



 08:26 Moto: Will Benavides return to the position of number 1?

    Four stages from the finish, it is likely that the rally’s big hitters such as Kevin Benavides, Toby Price or also Ricky Brabec will attempt to attack over the day’s 287 km in order to be in the reckoning again. Kevin Benavides, 6th in the general rankings, lies a quarter of an hour behind the leader Sam Sunderland, who will have the tricky task of opening the way today.


KTM’s Benevides will be the 13th rider to start today, which is an ideal place for the man with racing bib number 1. Price, 9th in the general rankings more than half an hour off the lead, will be the 6th rider to start. Brabec is 13th in the general rankings, almost forty minutes behind Sunderland and will be the 4th rider to get to grips with the special. On paper, it will be tougher for Price and Brabec, who will follow the openers out with more time to make up.
    


08:11 Moto: The top 4 within a 5-minute pocket


    Sam Sunderland dominated hostilities yesterday and the British rider will open the way today. With a lead of no more than 5 minutes over Matthias Walkner, Adrien Van Beveren and Pablo Quintanilla, there is no margin for error. Will Sunderland be able to open up a gap four days from the rally’s finish?
   



 

./..  * times remain provisional



ASO,   photo Honda ASO MCH

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11.01.2022 / MaP

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