Dakar: The Dakar mourns Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves on stage 7

Dakar: The Dakar mourns Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves on stage 7

Jan 12th– Stage 7 was marked by a crash that claimed the life of Paulo Gonçalves, who was taking part in his 13th Dakar. The victories of Kevin Benavides (motorbikes) and Carlos Sainz (cars) take second place, leaving the centre stage to a memorial to Team Hero’s Portuguese rider to be held during the daily briefing with all competitors present.

The essentials

The Dakar mourns Paulo Gonçalves, one of the most experienced and beloved champions of the rally-raid family. The runner-up of the 2015 edition and 2013 cross-country rallies world champion crashed 276 km into a special that was ultimately won by his former teammate Kevin Benavides, who tried in vain to assist the Portuguese rider together with Toby Price, the first competitor to reach the scene of the accident. It was a nice tribute on the part of the Argentinian biker, who beat Joan Barreda and Matthias Walkner to claim his first stage win in 2020 after falling out of contention for the overall. Ricky Brabec remains in control of the general classification. In the quad category, Ignacio Casale also defended his lead in spite of Frenchman Simon Vitse’s second stage win in a row. The car race again boiled down to a three-way fight featuring Carlos Sainz, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Stéphane Peterhansel, with the Spanish leader of the general classification taking the spoils in Wadi Al-Dawasir thanks to a rock-solid performance. “Chaleco” López surrendered the lead in the SSV category to American Casey Currie, who finished second right behind Blade Hildebrand, now racing under Dakar Experience rules. Finally, Andrey Karginov won the battle of the juggernauts by a slim margin over teammate Dmitry Sotnikov and strengthened his grip on the overall.

Performance of the day

After coming close to a top 10 finish in Wadi Al-Dawasir, Dakar first-timer Martin Michek continued his progression and wrested the position of top rookie in the general classification from Jaume Betriu with 14th place overall. The Czech, one of the rising stars of the sport after a long career in motocross at the global level, has made no mistakes so far. However, a meagre 37 seconds separate Michek from Betriu, promising a fierce battle between the two men for the title of best Dakar rookie.

Stat of the day

3 seconds. The difference between truck stage winner Andrey Karginov and runner-up Dmitry Sotnikov after 546 km of racing! A wafer-thin margin that amounts to a distance of just 90 metres between the two Kamaz trucks after completing the stage at an average speed of almost 109 km/h…

Stage 8-January 13th 2020 

In the absence of the bikes opening the way following the cancellation of their stage in homage to Paulo Gonçalves, the usual leading lights of the car category had a difficult time with navigation. This allowed new names to come to the fore in the classification of the stage, which was won by a devilishly fast amateur driver, Mathieu Serradori.

Wadi, the valley in Arabic, is a fairly good way to describe the stage in which the cars, SSVs and trucks took part today. The crews did not get to see much relief, apart from around one hundred kilometres on the Wajid plateau where several impressive canyons provided variation from the pleasure of driving among the dunes. Indeed, for most of the stage, all that changed was the shades of the sand for the competitors on the Dakar: ochre, orange, mustard yellow or light beige depending on their position in relation to the sun. Following a fast, straight portion over the first fifty kilometres, they had to overcome a sequence of small chains of dunes before reaching the finishing line. In this domain, the usual specialists were not troubled.

The essentials
Although he got stuck in the sand in the first kilometres of yesterday’s special, Mathieu Serradori gave a perfect reaction on stage 8 with a genuine demonstration. The former biker took advantage of the tracks made by Carlos Sainz, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Stéphane Peterhansel, who lost time navigating, to put in a perfect performance and taste victory 4 minutes ahead of surely a future grandee in the category: Fernando Alonso. Mitchell Guthrie is also probably the future of the SSV discipline, but the 50-hour penalty applied for recovering the engine of Cyril Despres means that he is deprived of a second stage victory. Reinaldo Varela therefore won in Wadi Al-Dawasir, whilst Chaleco López had plenty to cheer about in the general standings by making up half the time between himself and rally leader Casey Currie. In the truck race, the general standings are still dominated by Andrey Karginov, thanks to the third successive stage victory of the Kamaz driver who is head and shoulders above his rivals in Saudi Arabia.

Dakar 2020 – Stage 6 – Hail – Riad – David Castera and Fernando Alonso 310

Performance of the day
With second place in Wadi Al-Dawasir despite a puncture, Fernando Alonso has obtained his best result on the Dakar after 8 stages. The two-time Formula 1 World Champion has adapted quickly to his new discipline, much like he did in endurance racing with two victories at the Le Mans 24 Hours race and the title of World Champion in the category. Rally-raids are, nevertheless, a completely different matter, though one increasingly more appreciated by the Spaniard, who may not have to wait too long before picking up his first taste of success on the Dakar. And what about becoming a pretender for the title in the years to come?

A crushing blow
Following second place overall last year for his first participation in the SSV race after 11 Dakar rallies on a bike, Gerard Farrés had high hopes for the first Dakar in Saudi Arabia. However, the rally soon became difficult for the Spanish driver, who found himself out of the reckoning for the general standings despite two fine stage victories. The 400 kilometres of the day’s special threw another spanner in the works of his rally, following a crash with another competitor which pushed him even further down in the classification. Farrés will have to console himself with the top two places in the general standings occupied by his South Racing team-mates…

Stat of the day
32: Mathieu Serradori, the winner of the stage in the car race, is first and foremost the manager of a company specialised in electricity… who spends his holidays on the Dakar. He is the first amateur driver to beat the professional drivers and teams for 32 years. The last competitor to achieve a similar feat was Belgian garage owner Guy Deladrière, who achieved the best time in Senegal on the penultimate special on the Dakar 1988.

Quote of the day
Mathieu Serradori: “I’m absolutely delighted. It’s a wonderful story. Yesterday’s stage was very complicated – we made a mistake and paid a heavy price. This morning, we pulled our socks up and left everyone behind us. I’d like to dedicate this victory to Paulo because I’m a former biker. It’s not easy to get motivated after a day like that and my co-pilot Fabien was there as well. But there are two fighters in the car and I’m very happy with this result”.


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7 hrs ago


We stand with all those fighting against racism in any form ... See Less

We stand with all those fighting against racism in any form

Comment on Facebook

We stand with #F1 do you always have to reminded of true responsibility by the Champ #LewisHamilton Proudly black/colored❤️👌🙏👀

Really F1? And yet they held a Bahrain Grand Prix literally while the locals were protesting and being oppressed. One post created by your PR team while you’ve done nothing for real change seems quite meaningless. Do better.

Hamilton was on the receiving end of racism during the pre season tests at Catalunya in 2008, so he knows what it’s like firsthand. Good job he spoke out, especially with what happened in Minneapolis last week

Took a bit of criticism from your best driver for you to say something about it as a whole. We do this together.

Will F1 really take a stand and not hold events in countries with systemic human rights violations? I doubt it.

So much racism in F1. I can’t wait for the day a person of color drives the best car on the grid, makes the most money, and becomes a multiple world champion... oh wait... never mind 🙄

Whatever..day late..dollar short..only speaking up after prodding from Lewis...PR lip service...

Humans are imperfect and forever will be. I doubt you can oppose and eradicate it. Each and every individual need to decide to not let these evil things from inside to take control of him. Once all the protests are over it will silence down only for it to come back again. How soon another protest will happen doesn't matter. How capable EACH and EVERY human is from getting controlled from the evil within is the real challenge. The lack of self control is the greatest human imperfection.

Nice to finally hear from the American owners of F1. Been left to Lewis to lead the charge again.

Let's be real, had Lewis Hamilton not called them out. They wouldn't have said anything.

You missed the caveat... *yet we’ll still continue to do business & hold races in Russia, China, Bahrain, Vietnam & Abu Dhabi as well as for pushing for a deal with Saudi Arabia. Because human rights & oppression doesn’t bother us when there’s $ to be made.

What about all of the roits, and looting. Nothing will be said about it? People’s businesses ruined by this. But nothing will be said about it?

Seems like a miscalculated PR stunt to me. I don't think F1 has any business talking about anything other than racing, considering that F1 races are regularly held in countries with questionable-at-best records in human rights and equality. Also, what does the tragic failure of American politics and law enforcement have to do with racing? This is all rather disappointing, but what can you expect from an American-owned series.

Let's fight against police brutality also! Why none entity can write it explicitly?

We have to fight against this racism together. And also against the police brutality.

Should have done this before Lewis accused the whole paddock of racism

Lewis Hamilton is the voice of F1

We are all one, we stand together as one. Respect to all. No matter the colour of your skin, region or beliefs. We are all one. ❤🌏

What is this about?

I hope this isn't supporting the beating of innocent people and the burning/looting of innocent peoples businesses!

they're not gonna buy tickets or subscriptions, bro.

This is the first time F1 has a “political” view on things. Next: terminate the contracts with China?

This is better I can support this message forever !!! Every other company charity and celebrity that are jumping on the band wagon can just do one ! Well done F1

Why do people get so angry when people try to say something good?

Looks as though LH got his way...whining works

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8 hrs ago


A #MotoGP legend returned to claim victory while new names stepped up in #Moto2 and #Moto3! 🙌

Enjoy the highlights from the #VirtualBritishGP! 🇬🇧
... See Less

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Please ignore the bullshit of all the haters. We know it is not easy to keep a show like #motogp running and I personally am grateful to see that you champions all gathered to keep it alive. I love the sport I love motorcycles So keep going Avanti, arivederci, adios,Vamos Hahah

If nothing else it's clever graphics. 👍

❤ jorge.L

XPTDRRRRR.... Les graphismes son magnifiques !!!!!

99 le meilleur !!! 😈


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9 hrs ago


3⃣0⃣ questions ⁉️ in 6⃣0⃣ seconds!⏱️

Find out more about Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS8038">#Mike Di Meglio Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Mike Di Meglio! ⬇️
... See Less

10 hrs ago


Shoulder barging, late braking and (in some cases) a total disregard for track limits! 😂

The #VirtualBritishGP re-wrote the rule book on overtaking! 🎮
... See Less

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Hopefully some real action soon 🙏

MotoGP game is not at the level of the F1 . Why?

Terrible physics engine lol awful game

for 2020 the graphics and gameplay are pretty shit I have to say

Hahaha exceed track limits big time. Its not off-roading hahaha xxx

If there will be any races this year I bet you Spain only

Ride is much more realistic this looks piss poor

C’est fluidifier c’est impressionnant 🤣🤣🤣

Fabio still can’t find a way to win 😂😂😂

Games are... games!!

Bumper GP

Lag lag lag 😂😂

Carsten Lauerer das ist ja im Vergleich zu deiner Fahrweise absolut aus dem Lehrbuch... brenn

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11 hrs ago

24H Series

The Hankook 24H PORTIMAO will be broadcast live on our Youtube and Facebook channel. 💥

With the smallest possible team, we will make as much exciting TV as possible! 🎥

Large parts of the race will be broadcast so that everyone can enjoy racing! 🏎️💨

Are you going to watch after waiting for so long? 😀

📅 12,13 & 14 June

#thisisendurance #24HSERIES #24HSERIES2020 #motorsport #24HPORTIMAO #racing
... See Less

The Hankook 24H PORTIMAO will be broadcast live on our Youtube and Facebook channel. 💥

With the smallest possible team, we will make as much exciting TV as possible! 🎥 

Large parts of the race will be broadcast so that everyone can enjoy racing! 🏎️💨

Are you going to watch after waiting for so long? 😀

📅 12,13 & 14 June 

#thisisendurance #24HSERIES #24HSERIES2020 #motorsport #24HPORTIMAO #racing

Comment on Facebook

Definitely will be watching!

I m go there to see in live 🤗😁

Oh que oui

Sam Dejonghe die dame lacht nogal mooi naar u 👌

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