Sam Sunderland was the surprise winner in Stage 2 of the Dakar Rally yesterday, but you can bet Honda isn’t complaining.
Honda’s two-for-two at this point; Joan Barreda Bort won on Day 1 on a Honda factory bike, and still holds the overall lead (he managed a third in yesterday’s stage). Francisco Lopez, always a threat, finished second on his KTM, Ruben Faria was fourth (also on a KTM), and Alain Duclos continues his surprising show aboard the Sherco – he finished fifth.
Usual favourites Marc Coma and Cyril Despres finished in ninth and tenth, respectively. It’s only two days in, but for now, it looks like the other manufacturers have finally upped their game and and are competing for keeps. In the overall standings before today’s stage started, Lopez (second) and Coma (fifth) were the only KTMs in the top five. Sunderland sits in third, and Duclos sits in fourth. Despres, last year’s champ, sits in eighth aboard his Yamaha.
Still, KTM has plenty of veteran riders aboard their 450s, and every year, the tide of the race seems to turn in their favour, as they pull ahead of less-focused competitors who crash.
Check out the video highlights of yesterday’s stage below.