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Van Beveren retakes Dakar lead

Putting in a stellar performance today in the Bolivian mountains, Adrien Van Beveren has worked his way back into the lead of the 2018 Dakar Rally. Reaching the end of the first part of the two-day-long marathon stage without any issue, the Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider is now three minutes and 14 seconds ahead of his closest rivals in the provisional overall standings.

Making full use of his good starting position of eighth on Saturday morning, Van Beveren went into attack mode early in stage seven of the event. Getting faster as the race progressed, and reducing his gap to the provisional stage leader, Adrien brought his WR450F Rally home in second place. Starting the final leg of the event’s opening marathon stage as the second rider to start, he will try to keep his momentum going during stage eight of the rally.

For Adrien’s Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team partner Xavier de Soultrait, stage seven saw the Frenchman deliver yet another solid stage performance on Saturday. Wrapping up the day in eighth place, Xavier climbed one spot and is now placed sixth in the rally’s provisional overall standings.

Remaining consistent, Rodney Faggotter claimed 31st today and is currently 23rd in the provisional overall. Stage seven proved to be challenging for Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team’s Franco Caimi. Getting stuck in mud halfway through the timed special, the Argentinean rider was unable to finish the stage and will have to sit out the rest of the rally.

With Axel Dutrie topping the Quad class in stage seven, Chile’s Ignacio Casale extended his lead in the provisional overall. With seven more stages to go, the Chilean rally racer in now more than one-hour ahead of the closest rival. Yamaha powered riders are placed in the first six positions in the class.

Featuring the longest timed special of this year’s rally, Sunday’s stage eight will be the second and final part of the first marathon stage. Including a 498km-long special, it will take competitors from Uyuni to the city of Tupiza, where all racers will meet again with their teams and support crews.

Dakar Rally 2018 – Stage 7 – Provisional Classification
1. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 05:11:10
2. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 05:14:01, +02:51
3. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 05:19:12, +08:02
4. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 05:19:53, +08:43
5. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 05:20:03, +08:53
6. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 05:20:26, +09:16

8. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 05:21:13, +10:03
22. Alessandro Botturi (ITA), Yamaha, 05:55:35, +44:25
31. Rodney Faggotter (AUS), Yamaha, 06:07:31, +56:21

Dakar Rally 2018 – Provisional Overall Classification [After Stage 7]
1. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 21:49:18
2. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 21:52:32, +03:14
3. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 21:54:03, +04:45
4. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 21:57:36, +08:18
5. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 22:02:52, +13:34
6. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 22:05:57, +16:39

23. Rodney Faggotter (AUS), Yamaha, 23:45:36, +01:56:18
24. Alessandro Botturi (ITA), Yamaha, 3:57:39, +02:08:21

Race Schedule – Dakar Rally 2018
Stage 1 | Jan 6 | Lima to Pisco | SS: 31km | Total: 272km
Stage 2 | Jan 7 | Pisco to Pisco | SS: 267km | Total: 278km
Stage 3 | Jan 8 | Pisco to San Juan de Marcona | SS: 295km | Total: 501km
Stage 4 | Jan 9 | San Juan de Marcona to San Juan de Marcona | SS: 330km | Total: 444km
Stage 5 | Jan 10 | San Juan de Marcona to Arequipa | SS: 264km | Total: 770km
Stage 6 | Jan 11 | Arequipa to La Paz | SS: 313km | Total: 758km
Rest Day | Jan 12
Stage 7 | Jan 13 | La Paz to Uyuni | SS: 425km | Total: 726km

Stage 8 | Jan 14 | Uyuni to Tupiza | SS: 498km | Total: 584km
Stage 9 | Jan 15 | Tupiza to Salta | SS: 242km | Total: 754km
Stage 10 | Jan 16 | Salta to Belén| SS: 372km | Total: 795km
Stage 11 | Jan 17 | Belén to Fiambalá | SS: 280km | Total: 484km
Stage 12 | Jan 18 | Fiambalá to San Juan | SS: 375km | Total: 722km
Stage 13 | Jan 19 | San Juan to Córdoba | SS: 423km | Total: 904km
Stage 14 | Jan 20 | Córdoba to Córdoba | SS: 119km | Total: 284km

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