Sebastain Buhler crossed the line in P12 while Joaquim Rodrigues finished the stage in P26
With just one more stage to go in the Dakar 2021 mission for Hero MotoSports Team Rally, Sebastian Buhler took charge by finishing P12 to move up from P16 to P15 in the overall rankings. Joaquim Rodrigues didn’t have such a good stage, though, as a late mistake in the stage cost him time. Due to this, he crossed the line in P26, slipping down from P11 to P12 in the overall standings.
Sebastian Buhler said that the stage felt really long, which it was! He stated that his main focus was to not commit any mistakes while navigating. When asked whether he was happy with his performance over the last 11 stages, he said, “I think it was really good. I learnt a lot every single day, which is the most important thing according to me. Tomorrow, on the last stage, my approach will not be different. I will remain cautious because the race is over only when we cross the finish line safely.” He also added that the bike worked very well throughout the day.
Joaquim Rodrigues, on the other hand, had brilliant pace throughout the day but with 20km to go, he made a navigation error and he couldn’t find a way point. Adding to that pressure, JRod was also running out of fuel, all of which cost him a lot of time. When asked if he was happy about being in the top 12 overall, he said, “Of course I am happy. I didn’t expect to do so well. The main goal was to finish safely. But the good results are just a source of motivation. The top ten stage finishes, I really wasn’t expecting that. So I am happy now but I’ll be happier when I finish the rally tomorrow.”
The last stage of Dakar 2021 will take the riders from Yanbu to where they had started their 2021 Dakar mission, Jeddah. The last stage has chains of dunes and again, navigation could be the deciding factor between a sweet or a bitter ending. However, as was the goal for the team, JRod and Basti will look to bring their bikes across the line safely.