2020 Dakar: Giniel De Villiers charges ahead for the win in stage two, Ross Branch in top spot for the bikes
The second stage of the 2020 Dakar Rally continued on from Aj Wajh to the Neom, a planned city which literally means the ‘New Future’. The total stage distance was 393km, with only 26km being a liaison section while the rest of the 367km was a timed section. The defending champions are keeping a steady pace, with Nasser Al-Attiyah still in the top five, while Toby Price falls down to 9th spot overall due to an early error in navigation during the second stage.
The rocky sections during the marathon stage took a toll on all the vehicles, while the tricky route put more pressure on the competitors. The X-Raid JCW Mini duo of Orlando Terranova and Bernardo Graue bounced back on top battling it out with Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Giniel De Villiers who finished the second stage in 3 hours 37.20mins taking the top spot.
De Villiers is currently in sixth place overall behind stage 1 winner Vaidotas Zala. Terranova is currently leading the charts with Bahrain X-Raid’s Carlos Sainz. Stephane Peterhansel finished the second stage in 12th place putting him in eighth place overall.
KTM privateer Ross Branch took the win in this super marathon stage. Redbull KTM factory rider Sam Sunderland followed at the second position while Husqvarna Factory racer Pablo Quintanilla finished at the third spot.
Title defender Toby Price and Brabec faced some difficulties in the initial part of the 393km stage which led to Price dropping seven minutes in the first 52km of the race. Toby managed to finish the stage at the 15th spot while Brabec ended at 11th. Hero MotoSports’ Paulo Goncalves finished the stage at the 12th spot, the same position as the first stage. Sebastian Buhler concluded the stage at the 21st position while CS Santosh ended up finishing at 53. The reason for the delay is yet to be known. JRod, who faced mechanical issues in the last stage and had to forfeit the stage, did not participate in the second stage.
The Sherco TVS team, on the other hand, faired well, with Lorenzo Santolino and Adrien Metge finishing at the 17th and 18th places respectively while Johnny Aubert ended the stage at 22nd spot. Harith Noah, who had a crash yesterday and finished the opening stage at the 111th spot, concluded the second stage at 51st position.
Maz-Sportauto’s team number 503 comprising of Siarhei Viazovich, Pavel Haranin and Anton Zaparoshchanka posed a serious challenge to the Kamaz- Master teams by winning the second stage. The Belarusian crew was followed by Dimitry Sotkinov piloted Kamaz – Master in the second place along with teammate Andrey Karginov in the third. Stage one’s winner Anton Shibalov fell by five positions and finished stage at the sixth spot.
Ignacio Casale of Casale Racing continued his lead from stage one by gaining over three minutes against second placed Rafal Sonik, who’s racing for the Sonik Team. Casale secured 21st stage win of his career increasing his overall lead to more than 9 minutes over second placed Sonik. Frenchman Simon Vitse from ‘#Je Peux 2020-BBR Mercier Racing’ who finished stage one in fifth place put on an impressive performance in stage two by gaining two positions and finishing in third position behind Ignacio Casale and Rafal Sonik.