Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo took his first stage victory in the bikes category as Sebastien Loeb prevailed in the cars as the second half of the 2022 Dakar Rally gets underway.

Bikes

Initially, stage 6 winner Daniel Sanders held the responsibility of opening stage 7 for the bikes category. However, the Australian rider crashed out of the race during the liaison section of the stage, prior to the start of the special. Reports revealed that Sanders injured his left arm in the accident, thus ruling him out for the remainder of the 2022 Dakar Rally.

Sam Sunderland instead led the riders away from the city of Riyadh, intent on increasing his lead margin to Matthias Walkner in the overall standings. But the British rider dropped out of the top 20 by the 42nd kilometer.

Toby Price instead took the lead into the first waypoint of the special, edging Kevin Benavides by 15 seconds. Price continued to lead past the next waypoint, but surrendered it to Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo at the 121km mark.

Cornejo pushed his lead out to over a minute ahead of Benavides by the 259km checkpoint, but he never shook off the Argentinian. Despite being quick, Benavides settled for 2nd place, just 44 seconds behind Cornejo. Joan Barreda Bort sealed the podium, bringing his Honda home almost 3 minutes off the pace.

The top 5 of the 2022 Dakar Rally stage 7 in the bikes category:

PosRiderTeamTime/Gap
1Jose Ignacio Cornejo FlorimoMonster Energy Honda03:28:46
2Kevin BenavidesRed Bull KTM Factory Racing+0:00:44
3Joan Barreda Bort Monster Energy Honda +0:02:51
4Luciano BenavidesHusqvarna Factory Racing+0:07:50
5Lorenzo SantolinoSherco TVS Rally Factory+0:08:29

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

PosRiderTeamTime/Gap
1Adrien Van BeverenMonster Energy Yamaha Rally Team23:45:02
2Matthias Walkner Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +0:05:12
3Kevin Benavides Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +0:05:23
4Sam SunderlandGasGas Factory Racing+0:05:38
5Lorenzo Santolino Sherco TVS Rally Factory +0:06:34

Cars

79 cars followed Orlando Terranova for the car category’s next stage. Terranova came away from yesterday’s event ecstatic after winning his first stage of the year.

However, it was Henk Lategan who started off in the lead, before Carlos Sainz plowed his electric-powered Audi into the lead. By kilometer 77, he led Sebastien Loeb by only 2 seconds. By the third waypoint, the gap barely changed. 4 seconds separated the two drivers.

Unfortunately for Sainz, he would drop to 2nd after losing 3 minutes to Loeb by the next checkpoint. When 299km had passed, the Spaniard lost more momentum and fell to third. Nasser Al-Attiyah filled his place in 2nd but still found himself 6 minutes off a chance at another stage victory.

Sebastien Loeb finished the stage 5 and a half minutes faster than Al-Attiyah. Carlos Sainz held onto 3rd as Stephane Peterhansel made a surge from 45th place earlier in the day.

The top 5 of the 2022 Dakar Rally stage 7 in the cars category:

PosDriverTeamTime/Gap
1Sebastien LoebBahrain Raid Xtreme03:09:32
2Nasser Al-AttiyahToyota Gazoo Racing+0:05:26
3Carlos SainzTeam Audi Sport+0:07:43
4Stephane PeterhanselTeam Audi Sport+0:09:40
5Yazeed Al RajhiOverdrive Toyota+0:10:03

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

PosDriverTeamTime/Gap
1 Nasser Al-Attiyah Toyota Gazoo Racing 23:52:22
2 Sebastien Loeb Bahrain Raid Xtreme +0:44:59
3Yazeed Al Rajhi Overdrive Toyota +0:53:31
4Lucio Alvarez Overdrive Toyota +1:15:09
5Jakub PrzygonskyX-Raid Mini JCW Team+1:30:04

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.