WADI AD-DAWASIR: South African Giniel de Villiers gained the Dakar Rally 9th degree the day before today as Nasser Al-Attiyah moved nearer to clinching his fourth identify. The 51-year-old Qatari had observed Sebastien Loeb nibble away at his in depth lead over the last couple of days. However with Friday’s end in Riyadh looming France’s serial global rally champion has a 39min 05sec deficit to make up on Al-Attiyah. Saudi driving force Yazeed Al-Rahji is sort of an hour adrift after this 287 kilometer degree round Wadi ad-Dawasir. De Villiers nipped house 9 seconds transparent at the day from his fellow South African Henk Lategan to take his overall of degree wins within the Dakar to 18.
The 49-year-old 2009 champion mentioned this is a thriller to him how he and his automotive historically will get higher as the development progresses. “I will have to say, the primary week used to be now not ideally suited,” he mentioned. “It used to be very traumatic and mentally very, very tiring. “Certainly one thing I might now not like to head via once more, however that’s at the back of us now. “I don’t know why we continuously win on the finish. “It will be great to win firstly as neatly, however we appear to do neatly the longer the rally is going on, so perhaps the rally must be 3 weeks!”
Within the motorbike class Austrian Matthias Walkner deposed British 2017 champion Sam Sunderland as general chief after a degree gained by means of Jose Cornejo Florimo. With most effective 3 days to head Pink Bull KTM rider Walkner moved 2min12sec transparent of Sunderland in what’s shaping as much as be a hectic run-in for the two-wheeled identify.
Not up to 5 mins splits the highest 4 riders. “One mistake can alternate the whole lot” famous Walkner. “It’s going to be a truly, truly shut combat,” he added.
“I’ve labored for this, to be at the most sensible…If it’s sufficient for a podium or a victory, then I’m tremendous pumped and glad and if now not, neatly, I will not alternate it.” Sunderland got here in 14th, over 8 mins at the back of Florimo. “It used to be moderately tough to open the degree, particularly within the dunes since the daylight used to be moderately unhealthy and also you couldn’t truly see the place the drops have been,” he reported. “The times are counting down and it’s coming against the end. After all, I will most effective do my very best and provides it my all. We’ll see how we finally end up.”- AFP