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What Dakar 2024 Day 2 Bike Report
Where Al Duwadimi, Saudi Arabia
When Sunday 7 January 2024
Community International

Status quo returns on second day of Dakar 2024 bike race

Chilean Jose Florimo sped to victory on the second day of Dakar 2024 for Honda, as the status quo returned with legendary riders filling the top ten. That would however fail to displace Day 1 winner, Botswana rider Ross Branch and his Hero from a 2 minute 55 second lead in the overall rankings.

Defending champion Argentine Luciano Benavides’ Husqvarna came in second, six minutes off the pace, from Chilean Pablo Quintanilla’s Honda, German Sherco rider Sebastien Bühler, Californian Ricky Brabec’s Honda and Brit Sam Sunderland’s GasGas. South African riders, 2023 Malle Moto winner Charan Moore finished an impressive 25th on his Husqvarna, while Rally 2 amateur rival Bradley Cox on ran strong early on but hit trouble to slip to 34th on the day, 15th overall and second in R2 on his BAS KTM.

Benavides’ Husqvarna made good for a disappointing opening day to lead the way at the first checkpoint. Honda trio Quintanilla, Frenchman Adrien van Beveren and Brabec, Aussie Toby Price’s KTM and Florimo followed in a return to the expected status quo following a rather unusual Saturday outcome. The order ebbed and flowed up front as Quintanilla led Flormino, Benavides, Sunderland, Price and Bühler at mid distance.

Flormino moved ahead as the afternoon progressed to win from Benavides, Quintanilla, Bühler, Brabec and Sunderland, Price, Honda duo Skyler Howes and Adrien van Beveren, and Slovak KTM privateer Stefan Svitko completed the top ten with Ross branch eleventh.

While Branch struggled to open the road down in 29th earlier in the day, his South African neighbours, R2 leader Cox on a BAS KTM and Dakar rookie Kerim Fitz-Gerald’s similar machine ran up in 12th and 13th by the first control. Cox made up a few places while Fitz-Gerald fell back as South Africa’s 2023 Malle Moto winner Charan Moore’s Husqvarna moved into the top 20.

Branch struggled in 40th, while Fitz-Gerald lost 30 minutes in the third sector to plummet down the field. Cox had fought his way up to sixth before he too slowed and dropped back. Branch however stemmed his tide and was back up to 24th ahead of Moore at the 226 km control. Ross continued to gain places, climbing back into the top 20 and eventually rose to a most credible 11th to retain that overall lead.

Moore duly came home 25th, Cox 34th. SA rookie Ronald Venter once again impressed en route to 60th on his KTM. Zimbabwean Ashley Thixton’s rode in 75th on his Husqvarna with Stuart Gregory 81st on his no service Malle Moto KTM. Fitz Gerald was yet to pass the 342 km waypoint at the time of writing. Overall, Branch leads Florimo, with Brabec third from Quintanilla, Luciano Benavides, and Sunderland. Cox sits 15th and second in R2, Moore 31st, Thixton 56th, Venter 70th and Gregory provisionally 78th. Monday Day 3 is another gruelling 438 km race with a little more sand and dunes en route on the 733 km ride to Al Salamiya.

Issued on behalf of Dakar 2024 Bikes Daily

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