2023 Dakar Rally: Loeb continues win streak in Stage 10

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Credit: Flavien Duhamel/Red Bull Content Pool

The first double-digit stage of the 2023 Dakar Rally is also the shortest in Special Stages at just 114 kilometres versus 509 km in liaison as competitors prepared for the Empty Quarter Marathon. No matter the length, Sébastien Loeb was primed to be one of the top contenders and he delivered as he won his third straight leg in T1.

Loeb cleared Mattias Ekström by over three minutes, the latter giving Audi their best finish since the now-exited Carlos Sainz‘s runner-up in Stage #5. After an unusually poor outing in the previous leg for the Toyota Hilux, Lucas Moraes finished on the podium ahead of overall leader and Toyota ally Nasser Al-Attiyah. Although Al-Attiyah has now gone two stages without a podium, his massive lead in the general classification remains as it shrank by just twenty-three seconds (1:21:57 over Moraes to 1:21:34).

After joining their fellow Prodrive Hunter Loeb on the T1 podium in Stage #9, Guerlain Chicherit and Vaidotas Žala‘s luck ran out in the tenth. Chicherit was off rhythm but mustered a tenth, while Žala’s Hunter broke its left lower and upper arms after hitting a hole.

Skyler Howes surrendered the Bikes overall in amusing fashion when he performed a trick while airing onto a particularly soft dune but lost control on the landing and fell, upon which Kevin Benavides capitalised to sneak ahead by 1:29 after finishing third. Ross Branch, who stole the show in Stage #8, notched a second victory in RallyGP ahead of Adrien van Beveren.

“It was a really good day, though it started off slow in the morning, and I battled to get going in
the sand, but I started having a lot of fun halfway through the stage,”
said Branch. “I did make a few mistakes here and there, but I pushed on really hard, and I’m so grateful to get the win at the end. It has been a long week so far, and to get two stage wins in the Dakar means a lot.”

Marcelo Medeiros won the Quad category for the first time, while Simon Marčič scored his first in Malle Moto and Gerard Farrés in T4. Pascal de Baar was also a new winner in T5, in which Janus van Kasteren has assumed the overall lead after Aleš Loprais withdrew due to the death of a specator in Stage #9.

Rally2 rider Edouard Leconte fractured his fibula after crashing into a gorge 130 kilometres in. He had previously announced 2023 would be his final Rally on a bike.

Stage #10 winners

T1200Sébastien LoebBahrain Raid Xtreme1:48:32
T2246Akira Miura*Team Land Cruiser Toyota Auto Body2:57:38
T3301Seth QuinteroRed Bull Off-Road Junior Team1:55:17
T4402Gerard Farrés*South Racing Can-Am1:58:22
T5507Pascal de Baar*Riwald Dakar Team2:09:46
RallyGP16Ross BranchHero MotoSports1:44:00
Rally2111Michael DochertyHT Rally Raid Husqvarna Racng1:44:30
Malle Moto50Simon Marčič*Marčič2:08:03
Quad159Marcelo Medeiros*Taguatur Racing Team2:04:28
Classic750Urbano Alfonso Gherardo Clerici*Tecnosport12 points
* – Not competing in World Rally-Raid Championship

Leaders after Stage #10

T1200Nasser Al-AttiyahToyota Gazoo Racing36:13:37
T2250Ronald BassoTeam Land Cruiser Toyota Auto Body66:16:43
T3304Guillaume de Mevius*GRallyTeam41:45:58
T4400Rokas BaciuškaRed Bull Can-Am Factory Team43:17:29
T5502Janus van KasterenBoss Machinery Team de Rooy IVECO43:00:53
RallyGP47Kevin BenavidesRed Bull KTM Factory Racing35:46:06
Rally217Romain DumontierTeam Dumontier Racing37:38:14
Malle Moto40Charan Moore*HT Rally Raid Husqvarna Racng42:14:52
Quad151Alexandre Giroud*Drag’on Rally Team44:35:00
Classic778Juan Morera*Toyota Classic336 points

Official stage highlights

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