Porém & Sanz Lead the Way During Rapid Stage 9 at Dakar
X-raid Yamaha Supported Team’s Ricardo Porém and co-driver Augusto Sanz made the most of the wet conditions to finish fourth in the T3 class during a high-speed ninth stage on Tuesday, while the winners of the previous special, João Ferreira and Filipe Palmeiro, were sixth.
After Monday’s rest day, Stage 9 at the 45th edition of the Dakar Rally saw the bivouac finally move on from Riyadh after a prolonged stay due to adverse weather conditions. Beginning with a 108km liaison, the 359km special consisted of a little bit of everything, from dunes at the start to rocky trails and riverbeds as the race progressed into the southeast quarter of Saudi Arabia.
The overnight rain meant there were even some waterlogged sections, but despite this, it turned out to be the fastest stage of the rally so far, with less than an hour separating the top 30 finishers.
Portuguese Porém, competing in his fourth Dakar alongside his rookie Argentinean co-driver Sanz, immediately took a liking to the wet conditions. Starting from 14th, they passed the first waypoint in third and managed to keep up their superb pace to end the stage in fourth with a time of three hours, 39 minutes and 57s, less than two minutes behind the stage winners, to move up to 15th overall.
After creating history by winning Sunday’s Stage 8 in the T3 Lightweight Prototype class, which saw Yamaha become the first constructor to taste victory in both the Car and Bike categories at the Dakar Rally, the Portuguese crew of rookie Ferreira and the more experienced Palmeiro put in another strong performance.
Starting first, an early issue saw them drop down to 13th by Waypoint 1, but they fought back superbly to finish in sixth, just over a minute behind their teammates. While they will not be counted as official finishers at Dakar after failing to complete Stage 3, they aim to collect as many points as possible for the World Rally Raid Championship (W2RC), of which the Dakar counts as the first round of the 2023 season. After his famous stage victory, plus two further podiums so far at the rally, Ferreira and Palmeiro are currently fifth in the W2RC standings with 15 points.
Ahmed Alkuwari Fahad (QAT) and Manuel Lucchese (ITA) again pulled off a solid drive to bring their X-raid developed YXZ1000R Turbo Prototype home in 17th after starting the stage in 28th, making up time in the general classification in the process. Dakar Legend Camelia Liparoti (ITA) and co-driver Xavier Blanco (SPA) kept up their excellent consistency to finish the stages less than six minutes further back in 21st, as the pairing that finished sixth overall in 2022 continued to claw back time against their rivals.
Winners of the 2022 Dakar Women’s Trophy, W2RC competitors Annett Fischer (DEU) and Annie Seel (SWE), showed true rally spirit as they sacrificed time to give spare parts to the legendary Dakar driver “El Matador”, Carlos Sainz, after the Spaniard experienced a crash. Despite losing over ten minutes helping out their fellow competitor, they still managed to finish the stage in 23rd and ensure they remained the leading all-female crew overall in the Car category.
The Chilean pairing of Ignacio Casale and Alvaro Leon were battling for the podium as they passed the fourth waypoint in fifth, but a minor technical issue saw them have to stop and make repairs. Determined not to lose too much time, they fought back from 35th to end the stage in 27th and maintain tenth position in the general classification as the leading Yamaha.
Stage 10 sees the X-raid Yamaha Supported Team crews head towards the Empty Quarter after a mammoth 467km liaison to the start of a short 114km special. Consisting mainly of the extreme dunes that the area is famous for, it will give the crews a taste of what to expect over the coming days. After finishing the special, they face a further 42km to the bivouac in Shaybah before switching into “Marathon” mode for Stages 11 & 12.
Yamaha Motor Europe ROV Racing Coordinator
“Today was a high-speed stage. We had 50km of dunes at the beginning, but they were not particularly tough, and the rest was pretty much flat out. I think the organisers wanted to let us have an early finish today so that we can prepare for tomorrow ahead of the long liaison in the morning and the start of the Empty Quarter Marathon on Stages 11 and 12. I am once again proud that all of the YXZ1000R Turbo Prototypes finished the stage in the top 30, as this rally is so demanding, and the crews and team are doing an incredible job, plus we had two crews in the top six once again, which goes to show just how good this SSV is. After tomorrow’s stage, the rally kicks up another gear as we start taking on more serious dunes, but we are confident we can keep up our strong performances.”
Dakar Rally 2023
Stage 9 Provisional Results
4. R.Porém & A.Sanz 3h 39m 57s +1m 57s
6. J.Ferreira & F.Palmeiro 3h 41m 10s +3m 10s
17. A.Alkuwari Fahad & M.Lucchese 4h 00m 16s +22m 16s
21. C.Liparoti & X.Blanco 4h 06m 05s +28m 05s
23. A.Fischer & A.Seel 4h 08m 20s +30m 20s
27. I.Casale & A.Leon 4h 23m 50s +45m 50s
10. I.Casale & A.Leon 47h 15m 16s +7h 34m 05s
14. A.Fischer & A.Seel 50h 06m 17s +10h 25m 06s
15. R.Porém & A.Sanz 50h 50m 24s +11h 09m 13s
18. A.Alkuwari Fahad & M.Lucchese 52h 52m 48s +13h 11m 37s
20. C.Liparoti & X.Blanco 53h 19m 08s +13h 37m 57s
36. J.Ferreira & F.Palmeiro 84h 38m 01s +44h 56m 50s