Stunning Podium Performance on Stage 10 at Dakar

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Casale & Leon Produce Stunning Podium Performance on Stage 10 at Dakar

X-raid Yamaha Supported Team’s Ignacio Casale and Alvaro Leon secured the fourth podium of the Dakar Rally for the YXZ1000R Turbo prototype during the tenth stage as they finished second after a brilliant drive in the T3 class and sensationally secured eighth overall in the Car category.

Stage 10 saw the bivouac move from Haradh to Shaybah and enter the Empty Quarter of Saudi Arabia, famous for its never-ending dunes. Wednesday’s stage featured a massive 467km liaison to the start of a 114km special featuring soft sand, riverbeds, and a large section of dunes. These dunes gave the team a small sample of what is to come over the next two days, which form the second marathon stage of the 45th edition of the Dakar Rally.

Bouncing back superbly from an issue that saw them finish 27th on Stage 9 and taking advantage of the short special to use the extra power of their X-raid developed YXZ1000R Prototype, the Chilean pairing of Casale and Leon stormed to second place, with a time of one hour 55 minutes and 54 seconds. This was good enough to see Dakar Legend Casale, the three-time winner of the Quad category at Dakar, finishing just 37 seconds behind the T3 Lightweight Prototype stage winners.

Incredibly, in their debut year in the SSV class, they also managed to secure eighth overall in the Car category, only seven minutes and 22 seconds behind the winning T1 vehicle. The duo remain tenth in the general classification but managed to significantly close the gap to the cars in front of them.

Ricardo Porém and Augusto Sanz replicated their fantastic effort on Stage 9, making it two consecutive fourth-placed finishes in a row. The Portuguese Porém, racing in his fourth Dakar alongside his rookie Argentinean co-driver, have gone from strength to strength as the rally has gone on and will look to build on their current form over the final stages.

Winner of Stage 8, Dakar Rookie João Ferreira and co-driver Filipe Palmeiro finished just outside the top ten in 11th to continue their excellent form. Unfortunately, the Portuguese crew failed to finish the third stage and will not be classified as official finishers at the Dakar. However, they aim to score as many World Rally Raid Championship (W2RC) points in the remaining stages as possible, adding to the 15 they have picked up already.

The 2022 Women’s Trophy winners and fellow W2RC competitors, Annett Fischer (DEU) and Annie Seel (SWE), continued the defence of their title in style and remain the leading all-female crew in the Car category after they finished the stage in a solid 21st.

Dakar Legend Camelia Liparoti (ITA) and Xavier Blanco (ESP) had another good drive as they used their experience to conquer the dunes and finish in 23rd, with Ahmed Alkuwari Fahad (QAT) and Manuel Lucchese (ITA) just over two minutes behind their more experienced teammates in 24th.

For the second time in the 2023 Dakar Rally, the competitors now face a demanding marathon segment, with Stages 11 and 12 seeing them camp on their own in a separate bivouac after the first special, without any assistance from their team before tackling the next stage. The first section of the Empty Quarter marathon involves a 151km liaison to the start of a 275km special that consists primarily of massive, challenging dunes, along with some riverbeds and soft sand thrown in for good measure. The special ends at the marathon bivouac, where the competitors will rest overnight before taking on Stage 12.

Camelia Liparoti
Yamaha Motor Europe ROV Racing Coordinator
“It has been another amazing day. As the rally goes on, we get stronger and stronger as we get to know the new X-raid developed Yamaha YXZ1000R Turbo prototype. It is a shame the Dakar is not longer! Seriously though, all of us are, from the drivers to the entire team, learning about how to drive it in the best way, how to look after it, and how to attack stages with it. What is impressive is how strong it has been; even if we have issues, we are still finishing stages in the top 30, plus of course, we now have three podiums and a stage win to show exactly what it is capable of. This is very encouraging for the future and shows that the development of the YXZ1000R Turbo Prototype is going in the right direction. Tomorrow, we take on the Empty Quarter marathon. Personally, I love it! The dunes there are not like anything else; they are much more extreme and the real DNA of the Dakar. We have not been here for a long time, apart from a small section in 2020, so this year it will be a real test of all of the drivers and machines.”

Dakar Rally 2023
Stage 10 Provisional Results
2. I.Casale & A.Leon 1h 55m 54s +37s
4. R.Porém & A.Sanz 1h 59m 39s +2m 46s
11. J.Ferreira & F.Palmeiro 2h 03m 31s +07m 14s
21. A.Fischer & A.Seel 2h 15m 57s +2m 40s
23. C.Liparoti & X.Blanco 2h 19m 41s +24m 24s
24. A.Alkuwari Fahad & M.Lucchese 2h 21m 57s +26m 40s

General Classification
10. I.Casale & A.Leon 49h 11m 10s +7h 25m 12s
14. A.Fischer & A.Seel5sh 22m 14s +10h 36m 16s
15. R.Porém & A.Sanz 52h 50m 03s +11h 04m 05s
18. A.Alkuwari Fahad & M.Lucchese 55h 14m 45s +13h 28m 47s
19. C.Liparoti & X.Blanco 55h 38m 49s +13h 52m 51s
36. J.Ferreira & F.Palmeiro 86h 41m 36s +44h 55m 38s

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