Cornejo hits hard

Cornejo hits hard

Already winner of the 2nd stage last Sunday, Jose Ignacio Cornejo did it again this Tuesday by winning (easily) the 4th stage of the Dakar for motorcycles, between Al-Salamiya and Al-Hofuf. An 8th victory in the event for the Chilean which allows him to take control of the provisional ranking.

Double blow for Jose Ignacio Cornejo (29 years old). Already winner of the 2nd stage of the Dakar, last Sunday, the Chilean did it again, this Tuesday by also removing the 4th stage of this 46th edition of the rally-raid, between Al-Salamiya and Al-Hofuf, a special 299 kilometers long. . The day after a 3rd stage marked by the abandonment of Sam Sunderland (GasGas) then by the downgrading of Pablo Quintanilla, compatriot of Cornejo, who thought he had given Chile its second success in two days before learning that he had was penalized six minutes for exceeding the authorized speed in a restricted zone, for the benefit of the outgoing winner Kevin Benavides, “Nacho” Cornejo, who had greatly contributed to the “victory” of his teammate and compatriot the day before but gave in at the same time precious seconds to the Botswanan leader Ross Branch, clearly dominated this 4th stage.

Arrived almost three minutes ahead (2’59”) of the American Ricky Brabec (Honda), 2nd on Tuesday, and 3’18” of Kevin Benavides (Editor’s note: Frenchman Adrien van Beveren ranks 5th in this special ), the Chilean hero at the start of the Dakar added an 8th success to his collection of stage victories on the Dakar, and this 24 hours after thinking that Quintanilla had returned to his height in the field by winning a 7th victory.

Mechanical problem for Branch, now Cornejo’s runner-up

Finally, Cornejo remains alone at the top of the ranking, but not only that. This new success allows the Honda driver to take control of the provisional general classification. The Chilean and new leader of this Dakar among motorcycles dislodges Ross Branch from first place, victim of a mechanical problem on Tuesday which forced the former leader to give up a lot of ground and finish the stage with bent handlebars. The Botswanan, now runner-up, is 1’15” behind Cornejo at the end of this 4th stage. Brabec follows 4’56” behind the Chilean, while Kevin Benavides occupies 4th place, at 20’39” and van Beveren 5th at 22’30”.

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