Stage seven of the 2021 Dakar Rally formed leg one of the rally’s two-day marathon stage. Competitors set off from Ha’il following the event’s rest day and successfully reached the city of Sakaka where riders were then permitted just 10 minutes to prepare their machines ahead of tomorrow’s stage eight, the second leg of the marathon stage.
For the second time in the 2021 Dakar Rally, Franco Caimi was the highest placed Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team rider with the Argentine placing a strong 10th on stage seven. After entering the stage in 12th, the Yamaha WR450F Rally mounted rider maintained a strong and consistent pace throughout the 453-kilometre special, crossing the finish line less than seven minutes behind the stage winner.
After ending week one on a positive note, Adrien Van Beveren began week two with another strong stage result as he continues to work his way up the general classification. As the sixth rider to enter the stage, the Frenchman immediately put his navigational skills to work and in eventually placing 11th he secured another strong result. For tomorrow’s second leg of the marathon stage, Van Beveren will enjoy a strong starting position.
Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team's leading rider going into stage seven, Ross Branch, was putting together another strong ride until a sizable crash 30 kilometres into the special derailed his charge. Fortunate to escape injury but forced to make some running repairs to his Yamaha WR450F Rally, Ross re-joined the race and ended a tough stage in 27th. Now, with no pressure and a highly advantageous starting position for stage eight and leg two of the marathon stage, he'll take to the line with the sole aim of making up for lost time.
Stage eight of the 2021 Dakar Rally will be the second and final leg of the event’s marathon stage. Heading south west to Neom on the Red Sea coast, a diverse landscape awaits where accurate navigation, and bike conservation will be key in ensuring a strong finish on the stage’s 375-kilometre special.