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Ferreira & Palmeiro Back on the Podium at Dakar During Stage 7

Ferreira & Palmeiro Back on the Podium at Dakar During Stage 7

X-raid Yamaha Supported Team’s Dakar Rookie João Ferreira and his co-driver Filipe Palmeiro secured their second T3 podium of the 2023 Dakar Rally as they finished the seventh stage in third, with Ignacio Casale and Alvaro Leon making it two YXZ1000R Turbo Prototypes in the top five.

Due to the thunderstorms and flooding that had affected the area surrounding Riyadh, Stages 7 and 8 saw the organizers make an impromptu switch into “Marathon” mode. Usually, this means the drivers are not allowed any assistance from their teams and mechanics after the end of the first stage and must fix any issues encountered on their own while staying in a separate bivouac before returning to their teams after the second stage of the marathon segment.

Due to the short notice of the announcement, teams were allowed to meet the drivers after the Stage 7 special, with a two-hour window allotted to enable them to work on the SSVs. The Saturday route was modified accordingly and saw the crews take on over 800kms following on from a combined total of over 900km on Stage 6.

Stage 7 started with a 288km liaison from Riyadh to the start of the special, followed by a 333km timed section, after which the competitors were allowed their allocated two-hour vehicle service time. Then they had to travel a further 240km to the marathon bivouac in Al Duwadimi, where they will spend the night. A marathon stage not only makes it physically more demanding for the crews but also brings an extra element of tactics into play. The lack of assistance available means that finishing both stages often becomes the priority over pace.

Despite all the changes to the schedule, one thing remained consistent, the outright pace of the Portuguese pairing of Ferreira and Palmeiro. The duo had already claimed the YXZ1000R Dakar project’s first podium on Stage 4 after finishing in second, and they followed that up with another superb drive to third on Saturday.

Leading the way up until the final waypoint, when they were overtaken and affected by the dust trail kicked up by a truck, they completed the special in three hours, 41 minutes and 35 seconds, less than two minutes behind the stage winner. Unfortunately, due to not being able to complete the third stage after a technical issue, Ferreira will not be counted in the final classification as a Dakar finisher. Still, even so, the young driver has already impressed in his debut outing at the legendary race.


The Chilean duo of the three-time winner in the Quad category at Dakar, Casale and his co-driver Leon showed their strength once again, as they made it two X-raid developed Yamaha YXZ1000Rs in the top five, finishing the stage just two minutes and six seconds behind their teammates. This result means they are now 10th overall in the T3 general classification as the leading Yamaha machine.

Ahmed Alkuwari Fahad (QAT) and Manuel Lucchese (ITA) had another solid drive, with the pairing competing in their first Dakar together, ending the special in 19th.  Leading the all-female charge in the T3 Lightweight Category, Annett Fischer (DEU) and Annie Seel (SWE) continued the consistency that saw them finish 15th in class last year. They completed the stage in 22nd and moved up to 13th overall as they look to defend their Women’s Trophy.

Competing in her 14th consecutive edition of the rally, Dakar Legend Camelia Liparoti and co-driver Xavier Blanco finished in 26th after experiencing a technical issue and carrying out some running repairs to their machine during the stage. Ricardo Porém (PRT) and Augusto Sanz (ARG) were in fifth after the first waypoint before they suffered a minor crash that saw them lose time, but they managed to fix their vehicle and finish in 37th.

After a night in the Al Duwadimi marathon bivouac for the crews, Stage 8 features a 95km liaison to the start of a 346km special, followed by a further 383km liaison that will see them reunited with the X-raid Yamaha Supported Team in Riyadh, marking the third day in a row they will have had to complete over 800km. The route involves a mixture of mountainous terrain plus the classic dunes associated with Dakar and will prove another stern test for all involved.

Camelia Liparoti

Yamaha Motor Europe ROV Racing Coordinator

“Today saw another great drive by João and Filipe, securing their second podium of the rally, which, along with Ignacio and Alvaro in fifth, shows just how far the X-raid developed YXZ1000R Turbo Prototype has come. It was a long, tough day; I had a small issue, and so did Ricardo, but we managed to get to the end of the stage. The atmosphere between the team is amazing and makes even the most challenging days fun. After over 900km yesterday, we had to switch into marathon mode at the last minute. This always makes it more challenging, but each crew made it to the finish of the special, and we have the second part tomorrow, Stage 8, which is over 800km long. It will be another tough day, but this is Dakar, and we know what we have to do.”

Dakar Rally 2023

Stage 7 Provisional Results

3. J.Ferreira & F.Palmeiro 3h 41m 35s +1m 58s
5. I.Casale & A.Leon 3h 43m 41s +4m 04s
19. A.Alkuwari Fahad & M.Lucchese 4h 20m 41s + 41m 04s
22. A.Fischer & A.Seel 4h 23m 47s +44m 10s
26. C.Liparoti & X.Blanco 4h 29m 48s +49m 11s
37. R.Porém & A.Sanz 5h 32m 23s +1h 52m 46s

General Classification

10. I.Casale & A.Leon 38h 36m 35s +6h 53m 23s
13. A.Fischer & A.Seel 40h 47m 08s +9h 03m 56s
18. R.Porém & A.Sanz 42h 43m 56s +11h 00m 44s
20. A.Alkuwari Fahad & M.Lucchese 43h 32m 26s + 11h 49m 14s
21. C.Liparoti & X.Blanco 44h 10m 14s +12h 27m 02s
38. J.Ferreira & F.Palmeiro 76h 45m 15s +26h 49m