Paulo Gonçalves was forced to retire from the stage between La Rioja and San Juan today after a serious crash that led to the rider being airlifted to safety. The hopes of Team HRC, now without its top riders, rest in the hands of Dakar debutante Ricky Brabec, Paolo Ceci and the Honda South America Rally Team, who the team are supporting.

The eleventh stage was marked out in the roadbook as a day for attacking. Team HRC’s Paulo Gonçalves, at least, interpreted it that way and set out this morning with conviction, hoping to whittle down the advantage that the front runners held over him. Nevertheless, 118 kilometres into the timed section, the Portuguese rider fell heavily, suffered concussion and had to be airlifted by helicopter to the hospital in San Juan. After a thorough medical check and scan, doctors determined that the blow had resulted in neither fractures nor any serious consequences.

Team HRC’s remaining competitors in the race Ricky Brabec (USA) and Paolo Ceci (Italy) completed the special stage at a swift pace. Brabec continues to rub shoulders with the top ten rally elites, while Ceci had his work cut out starting from way down the field at La Rioja this morning. The Italian spent the day clawing back positions. By the time the competitors had crossed the finish-line in San Juan, he had made it into the leading thirty.

The red-hot youngsters at Honda South America Rally Team continue to excel and with just two days to go are firmly entrenched in the top ten. Argentinean Kevin Benavides sits fifth overall and the rider chosen by Honda Brazil, Frenchman Adrien Metge, is tenth. The future is looking bright for the team.


TOMORROW’ STAGE
2016 January 15. Stage 12: San Juan – Villa Carlos Paz
Special sections: 481km
Total: 931km

The longest stage
There is more than 900km to cover on the day before the finish, including more than half in the special section, with the exception of the trucks, whose dimensions are not suitable for some of the tracks on the agenda. In this semi-mountainous terrain, the vegetation which lines their edges might be a bit tight for them! This means that the other vehicles will also have to show dexterity. Fans of pure driving will be at ease, but they’ll have to watch out for blunders: at this stage in the game, a mistake could cost them dearly.

You can see the details of the twelfth stage (route and profile), here.

Paulo Goncalves 2

STAGE: DNF PROVISIONAL: -

Today my participation in the Dakar 2016 came to an end in the worst way. It appears that I had a heavy fall, but I can’t remember what happened. I was told that I arrived on the bike to an area where there were spectators and ambulances. It’s a Dakar that finishes for me in the worst way. It is a shame because the team really deserved much more. The competition is that hard and the last few days hadn’t been going that well. But we have to keep going and think that soon we will be back in competition.

Ricky Brabec 48

STAGE: 10th PROVISIONAL: 8th

It has been tremendously hard and very hot. Horrible. In conditions like these, I think that the only thing that you can do is try to get to the end with out making any mistakes due to the speed. I’m happy about that even if I did lose a bit of time. But here I am, in one piece, so I have to be happy about that.

Paolo Ceci 32

STAGE: 24th PROVISIONAL: 30th

After everything that has happened over the last few days and the way that today’s stage went, the only thing that I can say is that I’m happy to have made the finish-line. I went over 200 kilometres in the dust. It was terrible because it became very dangerous if you tried to speed up. It was a difficult stage but we are getting closer to Rosario. I hope that Paulo is fine and that he hasn’t got hurt.

Kevin Benavides 47

STAGE: 6th PROVISIONAL: 5th

I had a bit of a complicated day. Things were going well until kilometre 30 when I made a mistake and took a wrong route. I lost a lot of time getting back onto the right track. It is a shame because I was having a great race, but the Dakar is like that. Tomorrow will be another day to have another attempt.

2016 Dakar Rally
Stage Round DAK16 , 11   Dakar

Stage 11 . La Rioja - San Juan (PROVISIONAL)

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Meo Antoine 49 FRA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 5:19'08
2 Price Toby 3 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +00'18
3 Quintanilla Pablo 4 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +2'48
4 Rodrigues Helder 7 POR Yamaha Motor Europe Yamaha +6'02
5 Van Beveren Adrien 42 FRA Yamaha Motor Europe Yamaha +12'09
6 Benavides Kevin 47 ARG Honda South America Rally Team Honda +12'13
7 Svitko Stefan 5 SLO Slovnaft Team KTM +12'29
8 Blythe Ian 106 USA ICO Racing Rally Pan Am KTM +21'28
9 Viladoms Jordi 11 SPA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +25'29
10 Farres Gerard 23 SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +27'07
11 Brabec Ricky 48 USA Team HRC Honda +28'05
12 Metge Adrien 61 FRA Honda South America Rally Team Honda +28'31
2016 Dakar Rally
Stage Round DAK16 , 11   Dakar

Provisional Standings after Stage 11

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Price Toby 3 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 40:08'30
2 Svitko Stefan 5 SLO Slovnaft Team KTM +35'23
3 Meo Antoine 49 FRA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +43'46
4 Quintanilla Pablo 4 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +45'19
5 Benavides Kevin 47 ARG Honda South America Rally Team Honda +57'05
6 Rodrigues Helder 7 POR Yamaha Motor Europe Yamaha +1:02'01
7 Van Beveren Adrien 42 FRA Yamaha Motor Europe Yamaha +1:33'46
8 Brabec Ricky 48 USA Team HRC Honda +1:39'55
9 Farres Gerard 23 SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +1:41'58
10 Metge Adrien 61 FRA Honda South America Rally Team Honda +3:19'41

Team HRC Dakar Rally Stage 11

Paulo Gonçalves was forced to retire from the stage between La Rioja and San Juan today after a serious crash that led to the rider being airlifted to safety. The hopes of Team HRC, now without its top riders, rest in the hands of Dakar debutante Ricky Brabec, Paolo Ceci and the Honda South America Rally Team, who the team are supporting.


Team HRC Dakar Rally 2016 Stage 10

Team HRC’s Paulo Gonçalves put yesterday’s marathon stage problems firmly behind him in stage ten of the Dakar 2016. The Portuguese rider finished fourth on the day with American team-mate Ricky Brabec also among the top ten. Argentinean Kevin Benavides from Honda South America Rally Team grabs second place in the timed section.

Location Information

The greatest and toughest rally in the world, the Dakar’s history has been written in the heart of some of the world’s most stunning deserts and belongs to the world of the greatest sporting challenges of our time. Both a motor race and an orienteering challenge, the Dakar Rally pits… read more.

Lima, Perú - View in Google Maps