Kevin Benavides

(Honda) is the new leader of the Dakar motorcycle classification, after the tenth stage won this Wednesday by his American teammate

Ricky Brabec

and in which the previous leader, Chilean

José Ignacio Cornejo

, also with the brand Japanese, dropped out due to a fall.

Brabec covered the 583 kilometers of the timed section in 3 hours, 12 minutes and 33 seconds, entering the finish line ahead of Spaniard Joan Barreda, also with Honda, second, 3 minutes and 15 seconds, and Kevin Benavides, third, 5 minutes and 11 seconds.

Two stages from the finish, leader Kevin Benavides now only has a 51-second lead over Brabec, winner of the 2020 Dakar.

Victim of a fall at km 252, in this tenth stage, which was held between the Saudi cities of Neom and Al Ula, Cornejo managed to reach the finish line in eleventh position, with a delay of 17 minutes and 42 seconds, compared to the winner. of the day.

The Chilean, who was 1 minute and 7 seconds behind Benavides in the general classification, still in third position, decided to withdraw from the competition once he had passed the finish line.

Cornejo fall

"I'm sure that Nacho (Cornejo) has a lot of pressure. Leading the Dakar is not easy. It is not a pressure imposed by the team, but on a personal basis. He is young and has done very well all week. He has surprised everyone the world and he is the best navigator of the rally. The team knows that we all want to win, and that is the best. So there are no team slogans, "said Brabec after winning the stage, without yet knowing that the Chilean would retire.

In principle, Cornejo, 26, had suffered a fall "without gravity", according to the organizers, in this stage with 342 km of timed section.

After crossing the finish line, the pilot, in agreement with the race medical service, decided to withdraw from the competition, mainly due to a potential risk of concussion.

The Chilean was taken by helicopter to the Tabuk hospital, to undergo additional tests.

Cornejo, in his sixth participation in the Dakar, had won the eighth stage of this 43rd edition, and had been in first place in the general classification since Sunday.

In 2020 he had finished in fourth position, having won two stages.

After the abandonment of Australian

Toby Price

(KTM) on Tuesday and Frenchman

Xavier de Soultrait

(Husqvarna) on Monday, he is the third favorite to leave the race this week, in a test that is held for the second time in Arabia Saudi.

The eleventh and penultimate stage, on Thursday, with a timed section of 511 km, the longest of the 43rd edition of the rally-raid, will see the return of the dunes.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

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