Daniel Sanders and Nasser Al-Attiyah are on top of the standings in stage 1A of the Dakar Rally in bikes and cars respectively.
The starting signal was given for the 44th edition of the Dakar Rally, the third in Saudi Arabia. There was a short section, which determined the starting order for the first stage on Sunday. The GasGas talent Daniel Sanders marked the best time in the stage in bikes.
144 motorcycles lined up in Jeddah on Saturday. A total of 614 kilometers had to be covered on the way north to Ha’il. The 18.82-kilometer special stage section was located relatively near the beginning of the route.
The terrain was mostly sandy. Before the start of the rally on Sunday, the riders had the opportunity to
build up an initial rhythm. The field of bikes was sent off in reverse order, with the top riders coming in last.
Sanders completed the special stage faster than anyone. Pablo Quintanilla followed the Australian behind. Ross Branch made sure there were three brands in front in third with Yamaha. The KTM duo of Kevin Benavides and Matthias Walkner completed the top 5.
The top 5 of the 2022 Dakar Rally stage 1A in the bikes category:
|1||Daniel Sanders||GasGas Factory Team||0:55:30|
|2||Pablo Quintanilla||Monster Energy Honda Team 2022||+1:00|
|3||Ross Branch||Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team||+1:55|
|4||Kevin Benavides||Red Bull KTM Factory Team||+2:00|
|5||Matthias Walkner||Red Bull KTM Factory Team||+2:35|
The battle for the fastest time was also close among cars. Nasser Al-Attiyah in the new Toyota was twelve seconds faster than Carlos Sainz, who drove a brand-new Audi.
In contrast to bikes, cars did not start in reverse order, so the top drivers led the field.
The defending champion Stephane Peterhansel, who also drove a new Audi, opened the route. Al-Attiyah, whose Toyota Hilux had a new engine, was the fastest driver. Sainz placed the new Audi in second, followed by a Century CR6, driven by the South African Brian Baragwanath. His compatriot Henk Lategan was among the front runners in fourth place.
Sebastien Loeb was fifth in his Hunter T1+ car. He adapted to the new T1+ regulations, where he also received larger tires.
The top 5 of the 2022 Dakar Rally Stage 1A in the cars category:
|1||Nasser Al-Attiyah||Toyota Gazoo Racing||0:10:56|
|2||Carlos Sainz||Team Audi Sport||+0:12|
|3||Brian Baragwanath||Century Racing||+0:36|
|4||Hank Lategan||Toyota Gazoo Racing||+0:36|
|5||Sebastien Loeb||Bahrain Raid Xtreme||+0:37|