Stage four of the 2021 Dakar Rally provided the longest stage of the event at 813 kilometres, ensuring a gruelling day in the saddle for all competitors. Included was one of the shortest specials at 337 kilometres, which comprised of hardpack tracks and plenty of faster sections, all testing the mettle of each rider. With the stage now complete, and with many kilometres of racing ahead of them, all Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team riders have safely reached the Saudi Arabian capital city of Riyadh.
Ross Branch was the second fastest rider through all but two checkpoints of stage four as he set a blistering pace aboard his Yamaha WR450F Rally. Enjoying the hardpack, fast and rocky terrain, Ross remained composed after a slight navigational error just 50 kilometres from home to secure his fourth place finish.
The fast and rocky terrain found on stage four proved to be challenging for Adrien Van Beveren. Opting to focus on his navigation in order to minimise mistakes and maintain his consistency, the Frenchman completed the stage as the 10th fastest rider. With sandier stages ahead, Van Beveren is working towards stage results that will propel him up the provisional overall classification.
Following his strong seventh place finish on yesterday’s stage three, Franco Caimi had his sights firmly set on posting another strong result, hoping to improve his overall position in the rally. Frustratingly, a couple of mistakes proved costly and, compounded by the fast pace of the special, the Argentine was unable reach higher than 15th by the end of the stage.
Much like his more experienced teammate Adrien Van Beveren, Jamie McCanney continues to ride consistently, placing 16th on stage four. Benefitting from one-minute starting intervals at the beginning of the stage courtesy of his 14th place finish yesterday, the 26-year-old was fortunate to avoid dust and enjoyed riding his own race. Following his largely untroubled ride, the Manxman successfully completed yet another Dakar Rally stage.
Leaving Riyadh and heading north to Al Qaisumah, stage five of the 2021 Dakar Rally will provide a challenging day of racing. Littered with rocky tracks and tough sand dunes, patience is needed to deliver a mistake-free stage as the rally moves nearer the halfway point.