Chile’s Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo won the battle, but Austrian rider Matthias Walkner is now winning the war after Tuesday’s Stage 9 of the Dakar Rally. Cornejo completed the Wadi Ad Dawasir loop stage in 2:29:30, with the previous two winners of the event in Kevin Benavides and Ricky Brabec behind him, but Walkner’s fourth place stage finish enabled him to get past former KTM teammate Sam Sunderland for the overall lead. Walkner now has a 2:12 advantage in the overall standings, slimmest in any class, with just three stages remaining.
In the car class, embattled Toyota driver Giniel de Villiers scored his first stage victory of the year after facing scrutiny throughout the event for multiple collisions with motorcycles. The latter resulted in a temporary five-hour penalty that was later rescinded after it was proven that de Villiers wasn’t at fault, and after pushing through both that and a barrage of negativity on social media, the South African edged out his teammate and countryman Henk Lategan for today’s stage victory by nine seconds. Nasser Al-Attiyah completed the podium sweep for the Hilux vehicles, and extended his overall lead by another minute on Sebastien Loeb.
As was the case yesterday, Seth Quintero and Marek Goczal took the respective Light Prototype and SSV class wins, while Chaleco Lopez and Austin Jones remain in control of those classes. Overall threats Eduard Nikolaev (trucks) and Pablo Copetti (quads) each knocked a handful of minutes out of the overall leads of Dmitry Sotnikov and Alexandre Giroud, respectively, but the latter duo each finished second on stage to limit the damage.
2022 Dakar Rally Stage 9 winners were as follows:
- Bikes: Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo (CHL), 2:29:30
- Cars: Giniel de Villiers (SAF), 2:23:08
- Trucks: Eduard Nikolaev (RUS), 2:38:43
- Quads: Pablo Copetti (USA), 3:18:58
- Light Prototype: Seth Quintero (USA), 2:50:04
- SSV: Marek Goczal (POL), 3:00:52
2022 Dakar Rally overall leaders after Stage 9 are as follows:
- Bikes: Matthias Walkner (AUT), 30:14:03
- Cars: Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT), 30:10:04
- Trucks: Dmitry Sotnikov (RUS), 32:43:53
- Quads: Alexandre Giroud (FRA), 38:06:16
- Light Prototype: Chaleco Lopez (CHL), 35:47:12
- SSV: Austin Jones (USA), 37:14:28
The Dakar Rally takes on its longest remaining stage on Wednesday, with 375 kilometers of fast special stage action taking the bivouac to Bisha. Coverage of Stage 9 will air on the Olympic Channel tonight at 8PM ET, with extended highlights also streaming on NBC Sports digital platforms.