Date: Monday 4th January 2021
Location: Bisha > Wadi Ad-Dawasir
Length: 228km liaison + 457km special
The competitors left the comforts of gravel, to explore the dunes of the Arabian desert as they made their way from Bisha to Wadi Ad-Dawasir. The drivers and riders will encounter their first set of dunes on the 2021 rally raid. This is how they fared:
Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah continued to live up to his nickname of ‘Master of the Dunes’ during the second stage of the 2021 Dakar Rally, to claim his 37th stage victory.
Al-Attiyah put on an impressive display on the 457 kilometre special stage, which took competitors from Bisha to Wadi Ad-Dawasir in the west of Saudi Arabia, as the Qatari stormed past a bunch of fellow competitors to claim the win by over two minutes, moving him to third overall in the general classification.
Having won the previous stage, Carlos Sainz started first on the road, but navigational struggles started to arise quite early in the stage, and by the 46km point, his teammate Stephane Peterhansel had already passed the three-time Dakar winner Sainz. Sainz’s issues on day two of the rally raid, as his X-raid Mini Buggy started to suffer with engine issues, where a broken seal was found to be the suspected cause. Peterhansel was able to capitalise on this, by extending his lead to Al-Attiyah to a comfortable one and a half minutes, but the frenchman soon found the Qatari ebbing away at his lead, until Al-Attiyah snatched it at the 315 kilometre mark.
Bahrain Raid Xtreme (BRX) driver Sebastien Loeb set the sixth fastest time after yesterday’s punctures and navigational issues put a dampener on his fifth Dakar bid. Loeb will go into Tuesday’s stage seventh in the general standings. For the BRX team, it was a positive day after both Loeb and Nani Roma finished the tough sandy stage in what was the longest run for the team’s Prodrive Hunter machine.
- Nasser Al-Attiyah / Matthieu Baumel – Toyota Gazoo Racing – 04:03:14s
- Stephane Peterhansel / Edouard Boulanger – X Raid Mini JCW Team – 04:05:49s
- Carlos Sainz / Lucas Cruz – X Raid Mini JCW Team – 04:12:31s
Overall after stage 2:
- Stephane Peterhansel / Edouard Boulanger – X Raid Mini JCW Team – 07:17:18s
- Carlos Sainz / Lucas Cruz – X Raid Mini JCW Team – 07:23:55s
- Nasser Al-Attiyah / Matthieu Baumel – Toyota Gazoo Racing – 07:26:32s
BIKES / LIGHTWEIGHT / TRUCKS
Spain’s Joan Barreda took the win by almost four minutes to take his 25th Dakar stage win. It was a stark turnaround for the Spaniard after starting 20th on the road, he took advantage of his rivals’ over-cautiousness on the dunes, to quickly pass the pack to claim first place.
It was a turn of fortunes for the Red Bull KTM Factory Team. Toby Price and Matthias Walkner both suffered ill fates on the second test. After having a successful first day on the Dakar, Price soon found himself dropping down the order from first. Price had battled navigational errors and getting his KTM 450 Factory stuck in the soft dunes of the desert, to recover to 28th place on the stage meaning the Australian dropped to sixteenth in the overall standings.
Meanwhile Walkner had suffered from a clutch problem early on in the stage before getting stuck in a dune at the 46 kilometre mark. The Austrian lost over two hours from the time taken to repair his KTM 450 Factory, leaving him trailing 69th in the stage classification, dropping him to 46th overall from third.
It wasn’t just the KTM riders suffering from mechanical issues, Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team decided to retire Andrew Short from the Dakar, after they were unable to offer a repair to the mechanical issues suffered by Short on the stage. It was a devastating blow to the team, which was made up for, in part, by fellow Yamaha contender Ross Branch’s performance through the 457 kilometre stage. The airline pilot from Botswana put in a storming performance to elevate himself up the standings from fifthteenth to third overall after finishing the stage in fourth place.
Britain’s Sam Sunderland finished the stage in sixteenth place on his KTM 450 Factory placing him in twelfth place overall after having finished fourth yesterday.
Saleh Al Sahif found himself passing the finish line in his Can-Am on three wheels when he took the stage win in the Lightweight category, making him only the second Saudi to win a stage on the Dakar.
After a victorious day yesterday, Red Bull Off-Road Team USA’s Cristina Gutierrez lost just shy of twelve minutes on the stage, finishing eleventh, and dropping to fourth place in the overall standings.
Dmitry Sotnikov won his second consecutive stage on this year’s Dakar, leading the truck class overall by an incredible seventeen minutes, ahead of Maz-Sportauto’s Siarhei Viazovich in second and Anton Shibalov in third place.
2015 truck class winner Airat Mardeev completed the second stage of the rally three minutes down on leader Sotnikov, with Viazovich two minutes behind in third place.
Ales Loprais started the test in second place overall but soon found himself in trouble, suffering a puncture and losing time on stage, due to repairs. Loprais managed to finish in tenth overall but it means the Czech will drop to fifth place in the overall standings.
- Joan Barreda Bort – Monster Energy Honda team 2021 – 04:17:56s
- Ricky Brabec – Monster Energy Honda Team 2021 – 04:21:51s
- Pablo Quintanilla – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing – 04:23:58s
Overall after stage 2:
- Joan Barreda Bort – Monster Energy Honda team 2021 – 08:15:38s
- Ricky Brabec – Monster Energy Honda Team 2021- 08:22:01s
- Ross Branch – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team – 08:22:15s
- Saleh Alsaif / Oriol Vidal Montijano – FN Speed – Black Horse Team – 05:06:07s
- Gerard Farres Guell / Armand Monleon – Monster Energy Can-Am – 05:06:07s
- Francisco Lopez Contardo / Juan Pablo Latrach Vinagre – South Racing Can-Am – 05:06:47s
Overall after stage 2:
- Francisco Lopez Contardo / Juan Pablo Latrach Vinagre – South Racing Can-Am – 08:58:13s
- Aron Domzala / Maciej Marton – Monster Energy Can-Am – 08:58:52s
- Gerard Farres Guell / Armand Monleon – Monster Energy Can-Am – 08:59:14s
- Dmitry Sotnikov / Ruslan Akhmadeev / Ilgiz Akhmetzianov – Kamaz-Master – 04:37:44s
- Airat Mardeev / Dmitriy Svistunov / Akhmet Galiautdinov – Kamaz Master – 04:42:01s
- Siarhei Viazovich / Paul Haranin / Anton Zaparoshchanka – Maz-Sportauto – 04:44:14s
Overall after stage 2:
- Dmitry Sotnikov / Ruslan Akhmadeev / Ilgiz Akhmetzianov – Kamaz-Master – 08:01:39s
- Siarhei Viazovich / Paul Haranin / Anton Zaparoshchanka – Maz-Sportauto – 08:18:53s
- Anton Shibalov / Dmitrii Nikitin / Ivan Tatarinov – Kamaz-Master – 08:23:42s