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Attiyah extends lead after setting pace in special stage of Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge


Nasser Al Attiyah competes in a special stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge on Monday.

bay today, Journalist

The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge most often lives up to its name as one of the most challenging and visually spectacular rallies in the world, with opening day from The finish line in Ghiyathi City was at Liwa near Tal Mor’eb, with participants covering a total distance of 404km including a 242km special stage.

TonSome of the sport’s biggest names have had very different fates, while several local heroes stepped into the spotlight, using their desert knowledge and experience to great effect.

Nasser Mohammed Al Mansouri, Deputy Secretary to the Court of Representatives of the Rulers of Al Dhafra, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the 2023 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in the Al Dhafra region, which will also start for the first time from the city of Kiyati, in Liwa, near Tal Mor’eb.

It’s a spectacular place in the world, and today it hosts some of the world’s best riders and riders as they take on the ultimate challenge of traversing some of the most extreme desert landscapes in the world. A heartfelt thank you to all involved for creating a sports event that has thrilled sports fans all over the world. “

Nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastian Loeb offered some insights into what the days ahead will really be like for drivers as he races for the second time: “One of the main challenges is judging the height of the dunes. And the speed you approach. You head towards the top of the hill. Compared to the challenge of racing on wet and muddy roads, on soft sand you never completely lose the cars because they don’t spin. But of course, the desert also brings other serious challenges.” Loeb stopped at PK38, unable to restart his car.

After being picked up by his engineer, he will take the penalty and start over tomorrow to minimize damage.

Chairman and Board Member, Emirates Motor Sports Organization (EMSO), Khalid bin Sulayem, The commentary said: “The stage from Giati to Liva provided some dramatic moments. We were sad to see championship leader Sebastian Loeb having a technical problem, but that’s the nature of extreme challenges.

The towering dunes and shifting sands of the area are truly breathtaking, but they are both beautiful and difficult. Supporting these extraordinary athletes during this demanding stage is search and rescue service and energy provider ADNOC Distribution, without whom none of this would be possible. “

Among the riders, Quintanilla and Van Beveren (Monster Energy Honda) won the stage ahead of Ross Branch (Hero MotoSports), with the lead unchanged. The drivers leading the stage were the fastest in the prologue and their strategy from 11th to 8th paid off, at least for now.

Conditions in the T1 car allowed non-championship driver Henk Lategan to benefit from Prodrive’s misfortune, finishing third. Nasser Al Attiyah won the day’s special stage, leading runner-up Yazeed Al Rajhi by more than six minutes in the closing stages. It was a 100 percent Toyota podium and now Nasser is ahead of his main rivals Loeb and Chicherit in the World Championship. Chicherit has since decided to withdraw from the rally.

Phase 1, the Al Dhafrah District, the Court of Representatives of the Rulers, may be seen as a turning point in W2RC Season 2. For the bike, the fastest rider’s plan in the prologue was perfect. The opposite is true for cars.By leaving the stage, Loeb lost any chance of winning the game now the goal isBack to a pattern he knew so well.

The French must score as many daily points as possible over the next four days to offset Al Attiyah’s victory. Loeb had to do the same in January, when he was beaten by Al-Attiyah in the first round, but still leads in points. The game goes on, the championship goes on, and both are twists and turns.

T1 stage champion Attia commented: “We Haven’t had any issues since the beginning, but I don’t really like my setup so I’ll work on it tomorrow. But okay, we’re doing pretty well, but we still have a long way to go. We started off well and we will try to continue like this. I’m happy to be at ADDC, there are a lot of dunes and everyone’s skills are really good. “

Monster Energy’s Pablo Quintanilla also had a satisfying day: “It was a good stage for me, I had a really good feel for the pace, I caught up with Adrien (van Beveren) before the gas station and then We pushed to the end together and I think I got some important minutes back. The stage was tough, with a lot of climbs and descents, and we had to be very careful with the speed and the areas you were pushing. But I felt good, the rhythm was good. “


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