HOPE OF WIN LOST IN DUST: Spaniard Nani Roma rolled his Mini on Stage 10 of the Dakar Rally on Wednesday (Jan 15) and is out of the race. Image: AP / Felipe Dana
SALTA, Argentina – Nasser al-Attiyah of Qatar won his fourth stage in the 2015 Dakar Rally in Argentina on Wednesday (Jan 14). It was the Mini team’s ninth win in 10 days as he closed in on a second title.
In the motorcycle division, Joan Barreda of Spain rode his Honda to a third stage win, but defending champion Marc Coma extended his overall lead to nearly eight minutes with three days to go.
After crossing the Andes from Calama to Chile the 859km stage, 371km timed to Salta, saw al-Attiyah extend his overall lead to more than 28 minutes over South African Giniel de Villiers and his South African-built Toyota Hilux – he won in 2009.
'I'M RATHER HAPPY...'
Al-Attiyah – he won the race in 2011 - said after the stage: "It wasn't an easy day. I think the last few days must've seen a lot of rain which deepened the holes on the course. That's what made Nani's (Roma) car turn over but he's fine.
“We're here and I'm rather happy because I think we clocked a good time. We're doing our job every day and the rest isn't my problem. We need to get to the finish but I'm happy with how things are going, we've been leading the rally since the start in Buenos Aires.
"It's not that easy but the team's done a great job, just like (co-driver) Mathieu (Baumel). The only mishap we've had was the day we lost a wheel."
ROMA ROLLS - AND OUT?
Spaniard Nani Roma, defending champion and winner of Stage 9 on Tuesday, was close to abandoning after seriously damaging his Mini when he rolled at the 193km mark; De Villiers, meanwhile, believes he can still take overall victory despite his earlier negative remarks.
"We had a rather calm day, I didn't push too hard, especially after we saw what had happened to Nani (Roma)," said the 42-year-old from Barrydale. "It just goes to show you can always be caught unawares and suffer an accident but Nasser's too far ahead, it makes no sense to take risks.
"We won't be able to catch him unless he makes mistakes, but it can happen. Yesterday was a disappointment, but we still believe in our chances… you never know. It ain't over yet. Things are good, on balance, because we know we're still in the fight for victory."
Barrada's chances of overall victory in the motorcycle race were shattered when he lost more than four hours with mechanical problems on the stage to Iquique, Chile, on Monday Jan 12) but he had better luck on the run to Salta and crossed the line more than 90sec ahead of KTM's Coma and nearly two minutes in front of Portugal's Ruben Faria.
Four-times champion Coma added nearly two minutes to his advantage over his closest rival in the overall standings, Honda rider Paulo Goncalves of Portugal who only came home fifth on the stage.
Should Spain's Coma be crowned champion at the end of the race on Saturday in Buenos Aires it will be the 14th straight triumph for Austrian bikemaker KTM.
Collated results after Stage 10 of the 2015 Dakar Rally, 859km (358km timed) between Calama and Salta, Argentina on Wednesday (AFP sent out incorrect results yesterday, these are the correct ones)Cars
1 Al-Attiyah (QUA)/Baumel (FRA) Mini 3hr59min59
2 Terranova (ARG) / Graue (ARG) Mini +01min35
3 Al-Rajhi (SAU) / Gottschalk (DEU) Toyota +03min39
4 Poulter (ZAF) / Howie (ZAF) Toyota +05min06
5 De Villiers (ZAF) / Von Zitzewitz (DEU) Toyota +04min24
6 Ten Brinke (NLD) / Colsoul (BEL) Toyota +05min21
7 Holowczyc (POL) / Panseri (FRA) Mini +06min01
8 Spataro (ARG) / Lozada (ARG) Renault +07min19
9 Peterhansel (FRA) / Cottret (FRA) Peugeot +07min23
10 Sousa (PRT) / Fiuza (PRT) Mitsubishi +08min18
1 Al-Attiyah (QUA)/Baumel (FRA) Mini 35hr19min37 (Pen 02m00)
2 De Villiers (ZAF) / Von Zitzewitz (DEU) Toyota +28min22
3 Al-Rajhi (SAU) / Gottschalk (DEU) Toyota +43min08
4 Holowczyc (POL) / Panseri (FRA) Mini +1hr23min42
5 Van Loon (NLD) / Rosegaar (NLD) Mini +2hr51min13 (Pen 40min00)
6 Lavieille (FRA) / Maimon (FRA) Toyota +3hr01min41
7 Vasilyev (RUS) / Zhiltsov (RUS) Mini +3hr12min10
8 Ten Brinke (NLD) / Colsoul (BEL) Toyota +3hr39min28
9 Sousa (PRT) / Fiuza (PRT) Mitsubishi +3hr41min53 (Pen 40min000)
10 Rakhimbayev (KAZ) / Nikolaev (RUS) Mini +3hr59min17 (Pen 00min30)
1 Joan Barreda Bort (ESP/Honda) 4hr07min11
2 Marc Coma (ESP/KTM) 1min39
3 Ruben Faria (POR/KTM) 1min57
4 Toby Price (AUS/KTM) 2min14
5 Paulo Goncalves (POR/Honda) 3min46
6 Stefan Svitko (SVK/KTM) 6min22
7 Helder Rodrigues (POR/Honda) 6min26
8 Pablo Quintanilla (CHI/KTM) 6min29
9 Ivan Jakes (SVK/KTM) 8min59
10 Hans Vogels (NED/KTM) 10min19
Overall motorcycle standings
1 Marc Coma (ESP/KTM) 38hr13min50
2 Paulo Goncalves (POR/Honda) 7min35
3 Pablo Quintanilla (CHI/KTM) 31min42
4 Toby Price (AUS/KTM) 32min06
5 Stefan Svitko (SVK/KTM) 45min19
6 David Casteu (FRA/KTM) 1hr41min14
7 Ruben Faria (POR/KTM) 1hr41min40 (penalty 40min00)
8 Laia Sanz Pla-Giribert (ESP/Honda) 2 hr05min00
9 Ivan Jakes (SVK/KTM) 2hr25min51
10 Olivier Pain (FRA/Yamaha) 2hr50min11
Stage 10 - Car/Bike - Stage Summary - (Calama... by Dakar