MOTORSPORT NEWS OFF ROAD

ALGERIA RALLY : SAHARI RALLY stage 5 review

TIMIMOUN – EL MENIA
SS5: Liaison 23.11 – SS 344.06
Tuesday, November 6h 2018
A PARIS-DAKAR LIKE STAGE

Today’s menu features an appetizer of tracks which were quick, seemingly endless and difficult to navigate, with a side of wild camels roaming between the wells rare and far between.

Before getting to the main dish, the route featured fesh fesh along dunes. Then they go to the most challenging stretch: about 150km of sandy track. The FASM covered all the bases for the pilots of the Sahari Rally 2018 and organized a dessert of big dunes which led to the end of the SS, a few kilometres away from El Menia.

The stage was long, varied and at times quite tiring. One that was clearly reminiscent of the famous stages of the Paris-Dakar, which took place on the territory. The day was challenging in terms of navigation too. The lead pilots in the general rankings were forced to conserve their strength to make it to the end, while still ensuring they maintained the advantage they’d gained until now.

Unfortunately, less than three kilometres from the starting point at the bivouac in Timimoun, Victor Rivera fell probably due to a stone. He was immediately assisted and due to an injured hip bone, he decided to travel back to Barcelona and forfeit the race. According to Livio Metelli who witnessed the fall, it was a great big tumble, which was not aided by lack of light at 7 in the morning.

Livio Metelli: “
Victor was on the ground at the side of the track immediately. It wasn’t full I say that because I know him. I sent the SOS message immediately, and a few minutes later the ambulance arrived, a medical jeep. I took his bike back to the bivouac and hit the road again, but I must admit after that I didn’t have the need for speed.”

The super-fast Alessandro Ruoso, who according to tracking hit the 190km/h mark a few times today, won the race in the moto category.

Due to the length of the stage, the complete rankings will be available very late this evening. To check these, please refer to www.saharirally.fr or the Facebook page @saharirally2018.

ALESSANDRO RUOSO:
 Today was a long and super-fast stage. I started ahead and did the whole stage alone. Once again, the beautiful landscapes changed a lot between tracks and dunes, it seemed as though we were in the middle of nowhere.

We went really fast, there were a couple of tracks where I wanted to see how fast my bike could go. As far as the dunes go, I understood that I need to respect my Africa Twin Rally, or it’d end badly. So I’ll tackle the dunes with more cool than I do the tracks.

MASSIMO CHINAGLIA: 
Today was a classic Dakar stage. Lots of rocks, but I enjoyed the dune bits in particular. I was out of practice, so it was very challenging for me today.

PAOLO CECI: 
This stage was fun with some nice dunes at the end. We are picking up confidence and trying to perfect the combination of pilot-navigator, but we are happy with our performance.

JONATHAN BLACKBURN:
 It was a fantastic day, a real adventure. At the start we had some really fast tracks, but the terrain was soft. The navigation wasn’t easy, and I fell and practically drowned in the fesh fesh. I didn’t think I’d be able to get my bike out of it, but I managed it in the end. Getting to the end of the stage was a real achievement. I ran into a few camels, but I managed to swerve them thankfully.

Source: Automobilsport.com