Cornejo Florimo in form, Branch one second behind Brabec

Cornejo Florimo in form, Branch one second behind Brabec

While José Ignacio Cornejo Florimo was the fastest during the 7th stage of the 2024 Dakar, Ross Branch took advantage of the 483 kilometers of special to get within a small second of Ricky Brabec in the general classification of the motorcycle category.

The suspense is more intense than ever! While the Dakar experienced a day of rest this Saturday, the fight in the motorcycle category resumed with a vengeance over the 873 kilometers including 483 of the special route between Riyadh and Al Duwadimi. On a course more varied than the dunes which marked the long loop around Shubaytah during the “48 hours flat” stage, Juan Ignacio Cornejo Florimo demonstrated his mastery of the exercise.

Riding his Honda, the Chilean driver set the best time in this special but only beat Kevin Benavides by 32 seconds while the two drivers exchanged first position at intermediate points placed throughout the course. . The Argentinian’s brother, Luciano Benavides, completes the stage podium but a little over three minutes behind. With this result, Juan Ignacio Cornejo Florimo takes third place in the general classification.

Branch and Brabec in a handkerchief

Indeed, the Honda driver took advantage of Adrien Van Beveren’s poor performance during this seventh stage. The Frenchman could not do better than ninth place but almost thirteen minutes behind Juan Ignacio Cornejo Florimo. As a result, the Habs fell to fourth place overall, eight minutes behind the Chilean.

For first place, absolutely nothing is done. After reaching the rest day in first place, Ricky Brabec saw his lead melt away like snow in the sun on the track leading to Al Duwadimi. Fifth in the stage, the American driver was 50 seconds ahead of his closest rival, Ross Branch. The representative of Botswana, riding a Hero, is closing in on the overall leader by just one second with five stages still to go before the finish of the Dakar in Yanbu. The special leading to Ha’il this Monday could see the hierarchy move a little more.

Ranking of the 7th stage (motorcycles) – Sunday January 14, 2024
1- José Ignacio Cornejo Florimo (CHI/Honda) in 5h18’33”
2- Kevin Benavides (ARG/KTM) at 32”
3- Luciano Benavides (ARG/Husqvarna) at 3’12”
4- Ross Branch (BOT/Hero) at 6’36”
5- Ricky Brabec (USA/Honda) à 7’26”

9- Adrien Van Beveren (FRA/Honda) à 12’44”

General classification after 8 stages (out of 13)
1- Ricky Brabec (USA/Honda) en 32h37’20”
2- Ross Branch (BOT/Hero) at 1”
3- Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo (CHI/Honda)
4- Adrien Van Beveren (FRA/Honda) à 14’39”
5- Kevin Benavides (ARG/KTM) at 21’39”

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