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Kevin Benavides, Sainz win stage 11 in bikes, cars

Carlos Sainz (ESP) of Team Audi Sport races during stage 10 of Rally Dakar 2022 from Wadi Ad Dawasir to Bisha, Saudi Arabia on January 12, 2022. Credits: Red Bull Content Pool.

Kevin Benavides and Carlos Sainz have won stage 11 of the 2022 Dakar Rally in the bikes and cars categories.

With only 2 stages left in this year’s Dakar Rally, the battle for the victory in the overall standings was intense in the bikes.

Matthias Walkner, who lost the general rankings lead yesterday, was the quickest at the first waypoint, ahead of the rivals Sam Sunderland and Pablo Quintanilla. At the same time, Quintanilla got the virtual general lead as Adrien Van Beveren lost more than 13 minutes to Walkner at km 43.

Sunderland took over the lead at the next waypoint. Kevin Benavides, who failed to finish stage 10 after mechanical issues, entered stage 11 and was quick. He was 2nd and just 25 seconds away from Sunderland at km 169.

Sunderland increased his advantage over Benavides to 55 seconds at km 214. Joaquim Rodrigues followed them in P3.

After that, Benavides started catching Sunderland. At km 304, only 13 seconds separated them. In the end, the KTM rider managed to get 4 seconds ahead of the Briton to win the stage. Rodrigues completed the top 3 of the day.

Sunderland has come back to the overall lead ahead of the final stage, while Quintanilla and Walkner are chasing him.

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

1Kevin BenavidesRed Bull KTM Factory Racing3:30:56
2Sam SunderlandGasGas Factory Racing+0:04
3Joaquim RodriguesHero Motorsports Team Rally+2:26
4Matthias WalknerRed Bull KTM Factory Racing+4:54
5Ricky BrabecMonster Energy Honda+5:22

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

1Sam SunderlandGasGas Factory Racing37:04:05
2Pablo QuintanillaMonster Energy Honda+6:52
3Matthias WalknerRed Bull KTM Factory Racing+7:15
4Adrien Van BeverenMonster Energy Yamaha Rally Team+15:30
5Joan Barreda BortMonster Energy Honda+27:54

In the cars class, all eyes were on the battle between Nasser Al-Attiyah and Sebastien Loeb. The Bahrain Raid Xtreme driver needed to win almost 33 minutes in 2 days.

At the first waypoint, Al-Attiyah was ahead of Loeb by 24 seconds, while Lucio Alvarez was in the provisional lead.

Carlos Sainz was the new leader at km 127. He was 1 minute and 1 second ahead of Alvarez, while Loeb started building an advantage over Al-Attiyah.

At km 214, Sainz was still at the top of the standings. Meanwhile, Loeb was 2 minutes and 20 seconds in front of Al-Attiyah.

Sainz went on to win his 2nd stage at this year’s Dakar. Loeb finished second and is now less than half an hour away from Al-Attiyah. Alvarez completed the top 3 of the day.

UPD: Loeb was given a 5-minute penalty for speeding in a restricted speed zone that demoted him to P8.

The updated top 5 of the 2022 Dakar Rally stage 11 in the cars category:

1Carlos SainzTeam Audi Sport3:29:32
2Lucio AlvarezOverdrive Toyota+3:10
3Mattias EkstromTeam Audi Sport+3:53
4Nani RomaBahrain Raid Xtreme+4:10
5Giniel de VilliersToyota Gazoo Racing+5:11

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

1Nasser Al-AttiyahToyota Gazoo Racing36:49:51
2Sebastien LoebBahrain Raid Xtreme+33:19
3Yazeed Al-RajhiOverdrive Toyota+1:03:43
4Orlando TerranovaBahrain Raid Xtreme+1:31:29
5Giniel de VilliersToyota Gazoo Racing+1:44:11
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