Photo: Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool
Here’s the official Dakar video for Stage Eleven.
The bikes have already left for Stage Twelve. There are only three withdrawals coming out of Stage Eleven. As we mentioned in last night’s update, Jeremias Israel Esquerre is out, after giving his engine to Joan Barreda. The other two riders are both Yamahas; Sebastian Alberto Urquia and Juan Pedrero Garcia are both gone from the race as well.
Garcia had flirted with a top-10 position at the start of the rally, but had slipped down the standings in the past few days. At this point, the highest-ranked Yamaha is Olivier Pain, who’s in tenth – a far cry from his third overall finish last year. The team has been struggling throughout the race, with complaints at the start that the bike wasn’t set up well. No doubt Cyril Despres could have wrung a little more speed out of the machine, but he’s with Peugeot in the car series now, in 35th with teammate Gilles Picard.
One unfortunate thing about the Dakar is that there’s so much action compressed into so little time. There are many interesting stories about the riders further down in the rankings that don’t get told – from people like Simon and Lewellyn Pavey, to Anar Chinbataar (who’s only been riding for two years). With so many riders, there’s no hope of ever giving the series justice in two weeks of coverage.