Middle East

Loeb enters stage 7 as Al-Athiya maintains a significant lead

Sebastien Loeb yesterday annexed the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally and moved to the top of the group chasing behind Qatar’s runaway leader Nasser Al-Athiya.
France’s nine-time World Rally Champion, Loeb, won his second victory in 2022 as a tough road trip across the Saudi Arabian desert resumed after Saturday’s rest day. He crossed the finish line at the end of the 402km drive from Riyadh to Al Dawadomi, about five and a half minutes away from Dakar Rally triple winner Al Atiya.
But for the 47-year-old, who had the best results in five Dakar Rally attempts in 2017, everything wasn’t a simple sailing. It just splattered on, off, and back on. I lost a lot of time near the end, but I was still at the top so there were no complaints from my side. “
He then lifted the master plan lid to derail Al-Athiyah’s procession into the title. We do our job and see how it works. “
Qatar Al-Athiya led his Toyota to the second and last week, taking a big lead of 44 minutes 59 seconds from Loeb. His fourth Dakar title seems to have lost. Home’s favorite Yazeedal-Rahji is in third place, just over eight minutes behind Robe. Al Atya said the current priority is “give it to us every day and hope it will be rewarded at the end of Dakar.”
“The second week of Dakar is a completely different race. I didn’t really try to attack this morning. I left it in the second half of the stage. I don’t know if we won the stage, but our rivals. Many of them started behind us, so we have to wait to find them. I don’t follow any strategy. If you’re in a position to win a special, you won’t miss it, but we The priority is to give it every day and hope it will be rewarded at the end of Dakar, “Atiyah said.
Al-Athiyah has a good grasp of the car’s ranking, but France’s Adrian van Beberen is new after Chile’s Jose Cornejo Florimo wins the stage and turns out to be costly for Sam Sunderland. As a leader, he gave the top of the bike race a new name. The Britons first lined up to lead the 2022 title two-wheeled hunt, but ended up in fourth place after losing 20 minutes.
“It was a tough day,” he reported. “When it rains … it’s a little casino because many tracks are washed away. I hope it’s a coin toss.”
Beferen, who finished on the 11th, has enjoyed luck after failing to finish the last four editions. And after all the blood, sweat, and tears with little or no reward, he was naturally impressed with the change in fate. “It’s a lot of fun to be gone,” said the Yamaha rider, holding back tears. When Beferen last led the bike in 2018, he continued to crash and his memory was still fresh: “I’ll do my best to protect my lead, but never get hooked. I added.
This Dakar is over for Daniel Sanders of Australia, who lay third overall while Beferen was on board. The KTM rider crashed in the middle of the start. He was taken to the hospital, but his injuries were reported not serious by medical services.


Stage 7 results
1. Sebastien Loeb / Fabian Lulkin
(Bahrain Raid Extreme) 3h09m32s
2. Nasser al-Attiyah / Mathieu Baumel (Toyota Gazoo Racing) + 5m26s
3. Carlos Sainz / Lucas Senra (Audi) + 7 minutes 43 seconds
4. Stephane Peterhansel / Edouard Boulanger (Audi) + 9 minutes 40 seconds
5. Yazeed al-Rajhi / Michael Orr (Overdrive Racing Toyota) + 10m03s
6. Bernhard Tenbrink / Sebastien Delone (Overdrive Racing Toyota) + 12 minutes 54 seconds
7. Lucio Alvarez / Armando Monleon (Overdrive Racing Toyota) + 13m37s
8.Mattias Ekström / EmilBergkvist (Audi) + 14m42s
9. Nani Roma / Alex Halo Bravo
(Bahrain Raid Extreme) + 15m50s
10. Vladimir Vasiliev / Oleguperenko (VRT Team) + 18 minutes 05 seconds


Overall ranking after SS7
1. Alatiya / Baumel (Toyota) 23h52m22s
2. Robe / Larkin (Bahrain Raid Extreme) + 44m59s
3. Al-Rajhi / Orr (Overdrive Toyota) + 53m31s
4. Alvarez / Monleon (Overdrive Toyota) + 1h15m09s
5.Kuba Przygónski / TimoGottschalk (X-raid Mini JCW) + 1h30m04s
6. Orlando Terra Nova / Dani Olivera Calleras (Bahrain Raid Extreme) + 1h36m55s
7. Vasilyev / Uperenko (VRT Team BMW) + 1h39m47s
8. Martin Prokop / Viktor Chytka (Ford Raptor RS) + 1h44m48s
9. Sebastian Halpan / Bernardo Graue (X-raid Mini JCW) + 1h58m24s
10. Vaidotas Zala / Paulo Fiuza (X-raid Mini JCW Rally) + 2h28m51s



http://www.gulf-times.com/story/707696/Loeb-takes-seventh-stage-as-al-Attiyah-retains-hef Loeb enters stage 7 as Al-Athiya maintains a significant lead

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