Walkner defends his crowns
At the end of stage 1 of the second round of the W2RC, the provisional leaders, as decided by the Dakar podium, remain very much in contention for the RallyGP title race. Sam Sunderland (GASGAS Factory Racing) come to Abu Dhabi as the leader and is currently fourth in the overall ADDC standings. Pablo Quintanilla (Monster Energy Honda), second in the W2RC provisional rankings, is six overall here this evening. Matthias Walkner (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), the reigning World Champion and winner here in 2021, is second, reinforcing his 3rd place in the provisional W2RC standings. In Rally 2, the hierarchy established in Jeddah has largely been respected this evening in Hameem. Mason Klein (BAS World KTM Racing) is ahead of Romain Dumontier (HT Rally Husqvarna Racing), Bradley Cox (BAS World KTM Racing), Konrad Dabrowski (Duust Rally Team), Paolo Lucci (Solarys Racing), Charan Moore (HT Rally Husqvarna Racing) and Franco Picco (Fantic Racing). In the Quad class, the 2021 ADDC 2021 winner Ahli Abdulaziz dominated Juraj Varga and Rodolfo Guillioli on home ground.
Loeb back on level terms with Al Attyiah
By turning back at the start of the stage, Al Attyiah did not bring back any points to the bivouac. Sébastien Loeb, who also ran into difficulties nevertheless managed to finish the day in fifth place in the T1 category and with the one point he gains allows him to pull level with the Toyota Gazoo Racing driver in the provisional W2RC standings at 85 points each. Yazeed Al Rajhi (Toyota Overdrive) pockets 5 points for the best performance in the category in W2RC and reinforces his 3rd place in the provisional overall with 56 points. ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (X-Raid Mini JCW), keeps his 4th place provisional with 4 more points, for a total of 42 points. Mathieu Serradori (SRT Racing) did the same with his 5th provisional position, bringing his points total to 36. Sebastian Halpern (Toyota Overdrive), 4th on the day in the W2RC class, took 2 points, bringing him back to equal 7th place in the provisional standings with Bernhard Ten Brinke, who has 21 points. In T3, Grégoire de Mévius (Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team) wins the category and with it his first 5 points in W2RC. ‘Chaleco’ Lopez (South Racing Can-Am), 2nd on the day, reinforces his position as W2RC provisional leader with 4 additional points (94 points). Cristina Gutierrez (Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team) keeps her 2nd place in the provisional championship (now at 75 points), ahead of her teammate Quintero (tonight 65 points). Jean-Luc Pisson in his Zephyr PH-Sport gains one point (8 points in total). In T4, Dakar winner and W2RC leader Austin Jones (South Racing Can-Am), slowed down by an electrical problem, only brings home one point (84 points) but keeps his place. Baciuska (South Racing Can-Am), second in the provisional W2RC and ADDC, has pulled back on the American with 72 points. Michal Goczal (Cobant-Energylandia Rally Team), 3rd in the provisional W2RC and ADDC, remains in touch with 71 points. His brother and team-mate Marek, winner of the day, remains 4th in the W2RC but is closing in on Michal with 62 points. Del Rio (South Racing Can-Am) moves up to 7th in the provisional standings and is now on 11 points. In T5, Martin Macik (MM Technology) is still leader of the W2RC with 5 more points (113 points) ahead of Kees Koolen (Project 2030) who gains 4 more points (90 points).