Dakar Rally : News from Leg 2
On completion of the first stage yesterday, 490 of the 510 crews who started the rally were officially ranked. The remaining 20 competitors nevertheless managed to reach Portimao. As regards the race, Portuguese rider Ruben Faria, triumphant
yesterday and leader of the general rankings as well as the 450cc rankings, was logically the first to get to grips with the day's special stage at 7.55 (GMT).
American Chris Blais had to stop for around ten minutes after 20 km of the special section following a mechanical problem, but has got going again.
242nd in the first special stage, Frenchman Franck Weissner went on to blow up his engine during the connection section yesterday and was not present at this morning's start.
Belgian Eric Palante has lost 25 minutes on the special stage due to a mechanical problem, before setting off again.
After his clutch burned out and his expansion tank blew up yesterday during the special stage, French rider Simon Droux was not present at the start of the 2nd stage this morning.
Czech rider Josef Machacek has veered of the road into a ravine one kilometre from the end of the special stage. Whilst he escaped unscathed, he nevertheless lost a lot of time heaving his quad back onto the track.
Having had a fall during the special stage yesterday, Spanish rider Ali Machlab decided to not take part in the day's special stage and head directly for Malaga, the finishing point of this 2nd stage.
After having decided not to take part in today's special stage, following a fall yesterday, Spanish rider Ali Machlab stopped at the Portimao hospital to have an X-ray on his injured knee. But on leaving the hospital... Surprise, surprise, his bike had disappeared.
However, everything was set right in no time and, thanks to the Iritrack system and the help of the local authorities his KTM was soon found at a house near to where its last position was charted.
4th to start this morning, the Finn Ari Vatanen is currently stuck at a ford 17 km from the end of the special stage.
Brazilian driver Paulo Nobre and his Portuguese co-pilot Filipe Palmeiro veered off road into a ravine ten kilometres from the end of the special stage. Fortunately, they were more shaken than stirred and escaped unscathed, losing only around ten minutes before setting off again.