Joan Barreda Bort prevailed in stage 2 of the 2022 Dakar Rally in the bikes category, while Sebastien Loeb was on top in the cars category.

Daniel Sanders led the way for today’s stage after winning both stage 1A and 1B. Unfortunately for the Australian, starting the stage first provided a challenge. By the first waypoint 40 km into the stage, Sanders plummeted to P23, almost 8 minutes from the lead. He had plenty of work to do as Rui Goncalves of Portugal topped the charts. Joan Barreda Bort and Skyler Howes followed around 6 minutes behind.

Throughout the next few waypoints, Matthias Walkner began to close in to the top 3. Barreda kept inching closer to Goncalves as well, until he finally snatched the lead of the stage 165 km in. Sanders continued to be left behind, still drifting from the lead by 7 minutes, stuck in the 21st place.

Meanwhile, a MotoGP rider Danilo Petrucci had encountered problems on his maiden Dakar Rally entry. After 80km, the Italian rider looked strong in the 4th place, only 4 and a half minutes off the pace. However, by the 119km mark, Petrucci was nowhere to be seen. Mechanical issues wrecked his hopes at a successful race and he was unable to push his KTM to the end of the special.

Back at the front, Goncalves started to lose positions with Kevin Benavides, Howes, and Toby Price passing him by the 244 km waypoint. Barreda led by around 3 minutes over Benavides, who surged up from P8 since the 119 km mark. Sanders tumbled further down the order, sitting 26 minutes off the lead in P29 with two waypoints remaining. Walkner was another rider who lost a chunk of time, dropping to P14 at 244 km.

Barreda clung to his lead as he reached the finishing waypoint of the special stage. He took the victory in stage 2 as Sam Sunderland appeared on the timing sheets again at the finish. The Briton vanished from the leaderboard after the first time checkpoint at 40 km. However, he reappeared at the finish 5 and a half minutes shy of Barreda. Benavides reached the line in 3rd, just 20 seconds behind Sunderland.

Unfortunately for Rui Goncalves, he settled for 12th place in the special after leading the way up to the fourth waypoint.

The top 5 of the 2022 Dakar Rally stage 2 in the bikes category:

PosRiderTeamTime/Gap
1Joan Barreda BortMonster Energy Honda Team 20223:31:20
2Sam SunderlandGasGas Factory Racing+5:33
3Kevin BenavidesRed Bull KTM Factory Racing+5:54
4Skyler HowesHusqvarna Factory Racing+6:16
5Toby PriceRed Bull KTM Factory Racing+7:00

The overall top 5 of the 2022 Dakar Rally in the bikes category:

PosRiderTeamTime/Gap
1Sam SunderlandGasGas Factory Racing8:31:29
2Adrien Van BeverenMonster Energy Yamaha+2:51
3Daniel SandersGasGas Factory Racing+3:29
4Matthias WalknerRed Bull KTM Factory Racing+4:08
5Skyler HowesHusqvarna Factory Racing+9:59

Stage 2 in the car category proved to be a tight race from the first time check. Despite the relatively small margins, Sebastien Loeb led at every checkpoint of the special stage ahead of Nasser Al-Attiyah and Carlos Sainz.

By waypoint 3, the 119 km mark, the top 3 were covered by just under 2 minutes. Drifting behind this trio were Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Stephane Peterhansel.

Al-Rajhi and Peterhansel swapped places by the fourth checkpoint as Loeb stacked an extra 40 seconds onto his lead since the 119km point. The Frenchman led Al-Attiyah by 1 minute and 31 seconds with four checkpoints to go.

The gap between Loeb and Al-Attiyah remained close to this range. This was until Loeb started to pull away at the final checkpoint before the finish. The lead grew to around 2 and a half minutes before he crossed the line 3 and a half minutes ahead of the trailing 3-time Dakar winner.

Sainz finished the stage a couple of minutes slower than Al-Attiyah. Meanwhile, Peterhansel got to finish in P4, while Nani Roma completed the top 5.

The top 5 of the 2022 Dakar Rally stage 2 in the cars category:

PosDriverTeamTime/Gap
1Sebastien LoebBahrain Raid Xtreme3:25:00
2Nasser Al-AttiyahToyota Gazoo Racing+3:28
3Carlos SainzTeam Audi Sport+5:52
4Stephane PeterhanselTeam Audi Sport+7:56
5Nani RomaBahrain Raid Xtreme+8:02

The overall top 5 of the 2022 Dakar Rally in the cars category:

PosDriverTeamTime/Gap
1Nasser Al-AttiyahToyota Gazoo Racing 6:59:21
2Sebastian LoebBahrain Raid Xtreme+9:16
3Lucio AlvarezOverdrive Toyota+40:53
4Giniel de VilliersToyota Gazoo Racing+41:22
5Vladimir VasilyevVRT Team+43:39

I am a 17-year-old motorsport fan and writer who possesses a strong passion for machines that go fast. I am from Australia but I aspire to be a journalist covering motor racing series and events all over the globe.