You are about to leave this website. Are you sure?

I agree, take me there

Casale & Leon Storm to Fourth on Stage 6 at Dakar

Casale & Leon Storm to Fourth on Stage 6 at Dakar

X-raid Yamaha Supported Team’s Chilean duo of Ignacio Casale and co-driver Alvaro Leon secured a superb fourth place in the T3 class during a shortened sixth stage in Saudi Arabia, with all of the YXZ1000R Turbo Prototypes finishing inside the top 24.

Stage 6 at the 45th edition of the Dakar rally featured a revised route after the planned bivouac in Al Duwadimi was unusable due to flooding. Therefore, the crews started Friday with a 285km liaison to the start of the timed special, which was reduced to 357km, before a further 297km liaison to the new location of the bivouac in Riyadh, with a combined total of over 900km.

Torrential rain would hit the stage, but only on the second liaison as the crews approached Riyadh, meaning the special, a mixture of soft sand, dunes, rocky trails and dried riverbeds, luckily, was unaffected.

After a day of attrition in the challenging dunes on Thursday, the team worked through the night to service and repair the X-raid developed YXZ1000R Turbo Prototypes. Despite a late finish and an early start on Friday, the six X-raid Yamaha Supported Team crews bounced back on Stage 6 with strong performances that saw each crew make up time on their rivals in the general classification.

Three-time winner of the Quad category at the rally, Dakar Legend Casale, battled for victory with his co-driver Leon throughout the special, just as they did during Stage 5. Unlike the previous day, though, when a technical issue a short distance from the finish line saw them finish in 30th, the duo danced through the dunes to end the stage in fourth, their best result in the T3 class so far. Their time of three hours, 42 minutes and 21 seconds saw them finish just two minutes and 38 seconds behind the eventual stage winners and move up two places to 11th in the general classification as the leading Yamaha crew.

Portuguese driver and Dakar Rookie Joao Ferreira showed great pace once again alongside his more experienced compatriot co-driver Filipe Palmeiro. Following on from his Stage 4 podium, they ended the special in 15th place, although due to not finishing Stage 3, they will not be classed as official finishers of the rally.

Less than 20 seconds behind their teammates were Ricardo Porém (PRT), making his fourth appearance in the rally, and his rookie co-driver Augusto Sanz (ARG), who continued their impressive Dakar with another solid drive to 16th.

The all-female crew of German driver Annett Fischer and her Swedish co-driver Annie Seel showed their consistency again. After finishing as the leading Yamaha on the previous stage, the winners of the Women’s Trophy in the T3 class in 2022 followed that up by finishing in 19th to advance two places in the general classification up to 13th.

Dakar Legend Camelia Liparoti and co-driver Xavier Blanco bounced back from a technical issue on Stage 5 to finish in 23rd, just 29 seconds ahead of Ahmed Alkuwari Fahad (QAT) and Manuel Lucchese (ITA) in 24th.

The heavy rain in Riyadh and the surrounding areas continue to affect the Dakar, with Stages 7 and 8 swapped and switching into marathon mode. Saturday will begin with a 288km liaison leading to the start of the 333km special. After this, drivers will only be allowed a two-hour window for assistance from their mechanics. They will then drive a further 240km to the site of the original seventh-stage bivouac in Al Duwadimi, meaning a total of 861km for the day. There the crews will stay overnight before Stage 8 sees them returning to the Riyadh bivouac.

Camelia Liparoti

Yamaha Motor Europe ROV Racing Coordinator

“I am so happy about today. Yesterday was very tough for all the drivers, although Annett and Annie had a good result, even they suffered from some technical issues. Honestly, everyone should feel like a hero for finishing the stage within the allotted time yesterday, but it meant that some of us did not get back to the bivouac until after midnight, and we lost a lot of time, but this is Dakar. With that in mind, today was a great stage for the X-raid Yamaha Supported Team as everybody made up places in the general classification. Tomorrow should be interesting with the announcement of the marathon mode for Stages 7 and 8, but after the last few days, the whole team feels ready to take on anything.”  

Dakar Rally 2023

Stage 6 Results

4. I.Casale & A.Leon 3h 42m 21s +2m 38s
15. J.Ferreira & F.Palmeiro 4h 7m 8s +27m 25s
16. R.Porém & A.Sanz 4h 11m 41s +31m 59s
19. A.Fischer & A.Seel 4h 32m 52s +53m 9s
23. C.Liparoti & X.Blanco 4h 45m 12s +1h 5m 29s
24. A.Alkuwari Fahad & M.Lucchese 4h 45m 41s + 1h 5m 58s

General Classification

11. I.Casale & A.Leon 34h 52m 54s +6h 57m 32s
13. A.Fischer & A.Seel 36h 23m 21s + 8h 27m 59s
16. R.Porém & A.Sanz 37h 11m 33s +9h 16m 11s
21. A.Alkuwari Fahad & M.Lucchese 39h 11m 45s +11h 16m 23s
22. C.Liparoti & X.Blanco 39h 41m 26s +11h 46m 4s
39. J.Ferreira & F.Palmeiro 73h 3m 40s +45h 8m 18s