An American is still in the lead of the motorcycle class of the 2023 Dakar Rally after two stages, but it may not be the one that you think. After a stellar opening stage yesterday, Mason Klein claimed his first career stage win in today’s trek from Sea Camp to Al Ula, completing the 430 kilometers of special stage in 5:23:04 (even with a two-minute speeding penalty) and establishing a 1:41 overall lead over two-time winner Toby Price.
Klein benefitted from the late-stage slowdown of Daniel Sanders, who deliberately backed off to not have to start tomorrow’s trek to Ha’il up front; that decision dropped Sanders to ninth on the day and fifth overall. Americans Ricky Brabec and Skyler Howes are sixth and seventh overall after very different race days of their own, with Howes finishing a strong third on the day and Brabec more than five minutes off the winning pace in 15th.
In the car class, inaugural FIA World Rally Raid Champion and defending race winner Nasser Al-Attiyah won his first stage of the year, extending a streak of at least one stage win per year that dates to 2007. The stage win pulled the Toyota driver to second overall, just 2:12 behind Stage 1 winner and Audi racer Carlos Sainz, who finished third today behind Al-Attiyah and Erik Van Loon.
After missing last year’s event, Mitch Guthrie Jr. made up for lost time by finally winning his first Dakar stage in Lightweight Prototype today, beating overall leader Chaleco Lopez by 1:25. Seth Quintero is still in search of his first stage win of the year after taking 12 of them in 2022, but he also remains second overall in the class. Guthrie Jr. in fourth overall and AJ Jones in fifth ensure that Americans make up the majority of the top five.
The SSV class saw Marek Goczal follow up his son Eryk’s Stage 1 victory by taking both the Stage 2 win and overall lead today with a win of more than nine minutes. Completing the timed class winners were Alexandre Giroud in quads, who won his second stage in a row, and Ales Loprais, who took over the overall lead in trucks after Martin Macik finished more than an hour off the pace.
2023 Dakar Rally Stage 2 winners were as follows:
- Bikes: Mason Klein, 5:23:04
- Quads: Alexandre Giroud, 6:21:06
- Cars: Nasser Al-Attiyah, 5:00:26
- Lightweight Prototype: Mitch Guthrie Jr., 5:38:31
- SSV: Marek Goczal, 5:45:31
- Truck: Ales Loprais, 5:38:18
2023 Dakar Rally class leaders are as follows:
- Bikes: Mason Klein, 9:38:28
- Quads: Alexandre Giroud, 11:16:34
- Cars: Carlos Sainz, 8:34:26
- Lightweight Prototype: Chaleco Lopez, 9:37:36
- SSV: Marek Goczal, 10:07:18
- Truck: Ales Loprais, 9:40:37
Coverage of today’s Dakar Rally action will debut on Peacock at 6:30PM ET. Tomorrow’s Stage 2 will see racers trek to Ha’il, with 447 kilometers of special stages that bring them through a series of challenging canyons.