Overall victory for Honda and Kevin Benavides at the Dakar Rally

Tanya Simon
January 16, 2021

"On stage five I was anxious, because I crashed so fast and hit my head and my ankle and felt a lot of pain". I'm really exhausted in my head and body, and I'm happy to have finished. "But I continued pushing". "I don't remember much but I've got a pretty sore collarbone, shoulder and hand and will need surgery for that".

"There are still more kilometres to do, so we keep our heads down", 13-time Dakar victor Peterhansel said. "You don't think, you just concentrate on the action and nothing else, because everything can change in one second". "I am really proud to be the first South American victor", he added. "We have really had a lot of punctures. Nacho had a really bad crash and also Joan, but we did a really good job as a team". Red Bull KTM Factory Team's Sam Sunderland came third with his final time 15 minutes and 57 seconds behind the leader. The Chilean rider resumed after crashing less than 100 kilometres but lost time.

American Skyler Howes on the BAS Dakar KTM Racing entry rounded out the top five.

Stephane Peterhansel looks set to win a record-extending eighth Dakar Rally auto title after holding off main rival Nasser Al-Attiyah again on the 10th stage in the Saudi Arabia desert on Wednesday.

The three-time Dakar victor trimmed overall leader Peterhansel's advantage by 49 seconds on Stage 10, finishing second to Yazeed Al Rajhi on the stage, to see the French driver's lead stand at 17m01s ahead of the penultimate day. "This one from the outside maybe looked easy, but it was not easy every day to manage the small gap over Nasser", Peterhansel said.

"There was a lot of pressure on the body".

In cars, Nasser Al-Attiyah he is obliged to go on the attack after failing to do so the day before.

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The 52-year-old amateur was the first fatality of this year's event. "It's a long career in motorsport". When you make a mistake, the important thing is to remain calm and not to get nervous as that can lead to more errors.

"It really wasn t easy", said the Qatari, who also won the prologue.

"Really tough race, the toughest race I ever did". He has all the qualities to be the best co-pilot in rally-raids and he learned really quickly.

"It's nice to drive with him. Winning is always a big emotion, but the first victory was the best one".

The second place for Al-Attiyah, a three-time victor, was his fifth, and the Qatari was quick to criticise what he said was the unfair advantage the buggies had over the 4x4 cars.

Al-Attiyah was second, Peterhansel third and defending champion Carlos Sainz fourth, losing another four minutes to finish more than an hour off the pace.

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