Racing returns to the 2017 Dakar Rally, with Stage 10 taking the competitors from Chilecito to San Juan. The day had two timed special stages, with 449km of terrain to cover while under the stopwatch.
One of the last days to make time on the leaders, we saw some heroic rides from farther down the time sheet, while the top riders kept it conservative.
Of course, the big news of the day was the retirement of Pablo Quintanilla, who fainted during the stage, and gave up his #2 spot in the overall standings. This was a huge blow to Husqvarna’s Dakar hopes for 2017, as Pierre-Alexandre Renet is now the team’s top rider – 6th overall after today.
Fortunes were mixed for the Honda boys as well, as Joan Barreda took another stage win, and climbed to fifth overall. Barreda is now less than hour back from overall leader Sam Sunderland, which should be a topic of conversation after Honda’s one-hour time penalty for an illegal fueling.
The day would have been a one-two for Honda, but Michael Metge missed allegedly missed a waypoint, and was handed another one-hour time penalty for it.
Metge’s ride still was important for HRC though, as the French rider helped Barreda, after the Spaniard made a navigation error – like any good water-carrier does.
Stage 10 was billed as the most difficult stage of this year’s rally, and for Yamaha’s Adrien van Beveren it certainly was. Making mistakes on the course, Van Beveren finished 17th on the stage, which dropped him to 4th overall. He will need to make up over three minutes to get back into podium position.
For KTM, it was solid day of time management for Sam Sunderland, who finished in 12th, over 17 minutes behind Barreda. But, because his nearest rivals didn’t fare the day as well, Sunderland actually extended his overall lead by almost 10 minutes.
Sunderland now commands a 30-minute lead over teammate Matthias Walkner, and a 38-minute lead over fellow KTM rider Gerard Farres. For as much contention as there has been for the 2017 Dakar Rally leaderboard, it is looking very possible that we could see KTM sweep the podium when we get to Buenos Aires.
Tomorrow sees the Dakar Rally heading closer to the finish line, with 288km planned for the penultimate timed special. Riders will have to contend with their last set of sand dunes, which will come early in the stage, before hitting more “rally” styled roads.
This will likely be the last chance to see movement in the leaderboard, though never say never.
Top 15 from Stage 10 – Chilecito to San Juan:
|1||BARREDA Joan||SPA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||5:49’45|
|2||SVITKO Stefan||SLO||Slovnaft Team||KTM||+0’24|
|3||CAIMI Franco||ARG||Honda South America Rally Team||Honda||+3’48|
|4||RENET Pierre-Alexandre||FRA||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+4’21|
|5||RODRIGUES Helder||POR||Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team||Yamaha||+5’46|
|6||CERVANTES Iván||SPA||Himoinsa Team||KTM||+7’15|
|7||METGE Adrien||FRA||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||+8’18|
|8||GONCALVES Paulo||POR||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+8’43|
|9||KLYMCIW Ondrej||CZE||Klymciw Racing||Husqvarna||+9’22|
|10||WALKNER Matthias||AUT||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+12’53|
|11||SALVATIERRA Juan Carlos||BOL||Duust Rally Team||KTM||+14’57|
|12||SUNDERLAND Sam||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+17’06|
|13||FARRES Gerard||SPA||Himoinsa Team||KTM||+21’25|
|14||SANZ Laia||SPA||KTM Factory Racing Team||KTM||+21’39|
|15||GYENES Emanuel||ROU||Autonet Motorcycle Team||KTM||+23’32|
Provisional Top 15 Overall Standings for the 2017 Dakar Rally:
|1||SUNDERLAND Sam||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||28:07’59|
|2||WALKNER Matthias||AUT||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+30’01|
|3||FARRES Gerard||SPA||Himoinsa Team||KTM||+38’43|
|4||VAN BEVEREN Adrien||FRA||Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team||Yamaha||+41’57|
|5||BARREDA Joan||SPA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+53’47|
|6||RENET Pierre-Alexandre||FRA||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+55’24|
|7||GONCALVES Paulo||POR||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+1:00’11|
|8||DE SOULTRAIT Xavier||FRA||Viltais Racing Team HFP||Yamaha||+1:32’55|
|9||CAIMI Franco||ARG||Honda South America Rally Team||Honda||+1:37’57|
|10||SVITKO Stefan||SLO||Slovnaft Team||KTM||+1:48’45|
|11||RODRIGUES Helder||POR||Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team||Yamaha||+1:51’25|
|12||SALVATIERRA Juan Carlos||BOL||Duust Rally Team||KTM||+2:04’38|
|13||KLYMCIW Ondrej||CZE||Klymciw Racing||Husqvarna||+2:08’55|
|14||RODRIGUES Joaquim||POR||Hero Motorsports Team Rally||Hero||+2:09’09|
|15||CERVANTES Iván||SPA||Himoinsa Team||KTM||+2:22’04|
Source: Dakar; Photos: HRC, Husqvarna, KTM, & Yamaha Racing