Sam Sunderland and Mattias Ekstrom were victorious in stage 8 of the 2022 Dakar Rally in the bikes and cars categories respectively.
The eighth stage of the 2022 Dakar Rally started on Monday morning with the competition in the bikes category. However, not everyone arrived at the start of the stage. Ross Branch, who had had a crash earlier in the rally, retired from the event.
After yesterday’s struggles, the former overall leader Sam Sunderland showed great pace straightaway. He took the stage lead at the first waypoint, ahead of Ricky Brabec and Joan Barreda Bort. Later on, Brabec lost some time and dropped down to P12 by km 170. That helped Barreda Bort get to P2, while Matthias Walkner grabbed the remaining top 3 spot.
Sunderland kept the lead in the next waypoints, but there were intense battles behind him. Pablo Quintanilla managed to overtake Barreda Bort, allowing him to get to P3. At km 321, the Chilean rider overtook Walkner for the 2nd place.
Sunderland won stage 8 and came back to the lead in the overall rankings. Quintanilla was second, while Walkner had the third-best time of the day.
The top 5 of the 2022 Dakar Rally stage 8 in the bikes category:
|1||Sam Sunderland||GasGas Factory Racing||3:48:02|
|2||Pablo Quintanilla||Monster Energy Honda||+2:53|
|3||Matthias Walkner||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||+4:11|
|4||Ricky Brabec||Monster Energy Honda||+6:44|
|5||Mason Klein||Bas Dakar KTM Racing Team||+8:08|
The overall top 5 of the 2022 Dakar Rally in the bikes category:
|1||Sam Sunderland||GasGas Factory Racing||27:38:42|
|2||Matthias Walkner||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||+3:45|
|3||Adrien Van Beveren||Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team||+4:43|
|4||Pablo Quintanilla||Monster Energy Honda||+5:30|
|5||Joan Barreda Bort||Monster Energy Honda||+14:38|
After the stage 7 victory in the cars class, Sebastien Loeb surely wanted to keep closing the gap to the title rival Nasser Al-Attiyah. However, the Frenchman got a puncture 28 kilometers into the stage. At the same time, he did not lose much to Al-Attiyah at the first waypoint – only 5 seconds. Three Audis, led by Mattias Ekstrom, were on top of the standings.
Loeb got the advantage over Al-Attiyah at the next waypoint. At the same time, Stephane Peterhansel became the new leader.
Another Bahraid Raid Xtreme driver who had problems on Monday was Nani Roma. He had a mechanical issue at km 43.
Meanwhile, Loeb kept increasing the gap from Al-Attiyah. He was almost 8 and a half minutes ahead at km 170. Most importantly, Loeb overtook Peterhansel at that waypoint and became the new provisional leader.
Mister Dakar came back to the lead at km 239. His teammate Carlos Sainz overtook Loeb at the next checkpoint. However, it did not concern Loeb much as the Audi drivers were not his opponents for the overall title.
Ekstrom got the pace again and came back to the lead at the final waypoint before the finish. He got enough momentum and went on to win his first Dakar Rally stage. Peterhansel finished second, while Loeb completed the top 3 and won important time in his battle against Al-Attiyah.
The top 5 of the 2022 Dakar Rally stage 8 in the cars category:
|1||Mattias Ekstrom||Team Audi Sport||3:34:21|
|2||Stephane Peterhansel||Team Audi Sport||+0:49|
|3||Sebastien Loeb||Bahrain Raid Xtreme||+3:08|
|4||Carlos Sainz||Team Audi Sport||+3:11|
|5||Henk Lategan||Toyota Gazoo Racing||+3:20|
The overall top 5 of the 2022 Dakar Rally in the cars category:
|1||Nasser Al-Attiyah||Toyota Gazoo Racing||27:45:52|
|2||Sebastien Loeb||Bahrain Raid Xtreme||+37:58|
|3||Yazeed Al-Rajhi||Overdrive Toyota||+53:13|
|4||Jakub Przygonski||X-Raid Mini JCW Team||+1:28:06|
|5||Orlando Terranova||Bahrain Raid Xtreme||+1:31:39|