Wiśniewski on the podium of Dakar, Goczał missed 63 seconds

The 44th edition of the Dakar Rally has ended. The final stage was short. The special stage was 164 kilometers long. The competitors reached Jeddah, where they started their struggles two weeks ago. Kamil Wiśniewski was a historic success. The quad rider reached the finish line of today’s stage in second place and finished the rally in third place. Unfortunately, we lost the podium in the SSV.

Orlen Team sums up

Kamil Wiśniewski scored another podium on the Friday stage. He was second again. He did not hide his joy at the finish line. – Before the rally, I had a clear goal – the podium. I have achieved this goal. I improved the result from the previous year and I am very pleased. I am all the more glad that I am the first rider of the ORLEN Team who managed to achieve this, and it was not my last word – declared Wiśniewski. French Alexandre Giroud triumphed in the general classification of quad riders. Francisco Moreno from Argentina finished second.

Kuba Przygoński finished his 12th Dakar in the 6th place. On Friday, together with Timo Gottschalk, they finished 21st in Jeddah. In the early stages, Przygoński complained this year about the speed of the car. It wasn’t until the fourth episode that he broke through for good.

– We are happy with this sixth position. We fought to the end. This year we had to do our best also in terms of technology. Throughout the rally, we lacked speed in the car, but we couldn’t do anything about it. Together with Timo, we had a few goals, but we came out unscathed from all of them. Even at this last stage, 30 kilometers before the finish line, a turbocharger failure meant that our car stopped accelerating and we were driving at 90 km / h until the end. I hope the next editions will be a bit slower and more technical. I graduated from Dakar for the twelfth time. I showed again to myself that I never give up – said Przygoński at the finish line.

Martin Prokop and Viktor Chytka brilliantly started this year’s competition. In the first stage, they stood on the podium and for a long time held their place in the top ten of the general classification. They missed a chance for a good result in stage 10, when they lost more than four hours to the top due to technical problems. On Friday, they took thirteenth place and finished the rally in 25th place.

The Qatar Nasser Al-Attiyah sealed his fourth Dakar triumph. French Sebastien Loeb finished second and Saudi Yazeed Al-Rajhi finished third.

Maciej Giemza may have reasons to be satisfied this year. The motorcyclist of the ORLEN Team did not start this year’s struggles well. In the first stage, along with a dozen or so competitors, he lost the route and, with a loss of several dozen minutes, he reached the finish line only in the 43rd position. Later, he systematically climbed up, and in the 10th stage he reached the finish line in Bisha in eighth place – the best place in his career so far. In the last stage, he was primarily concerned with the safe completion of the rally. On Friday he was 29th and 18th in the general classification.

– Maybe it is not fully visible in me yet, because fatigue is really taking its toll, but I am happy. At the last stage, the fight for the result was secondary, I wanted, above all, to get to the finish line. I took the rematch for the previous year and this is the most important thing for me – pointed out Giemza.

Konrad Dąbrowski finished 38th today, and he finished the whole rally in 27th place.

The British Sam Sunderland was the best rider of the 44th edition of the Dakar. The second place went to Pablo Quintanilla from Chile, who won in the last stage, and the third – Austrian Matthias Walkner.

SSV

It was an excellent Dakar Rally performed by Cobant Energylandia Rally Team. Looking at the purely sporting aspects and the pace in the individual special stages, the Goczałowie brothers deserved to win this event twice. However, we remember that the Dakar is the most difficult rally in the world. A two-week desert hell, during which mistakes and technical problems happen to everyone. As Marek Goczał said before the start, for all this at the end of the desert crossing you get a “bill”. Dakar wins whoever has the lowest bill.

Just look at the statistics. Marek Goczał and Łukasz Łaskawiec won six stages, and in eight stages they were in the top three. Michał Goczał and Szymon Gospodarczyk won two stages, but were on the podium out of as many as six. As many as three times, brothers from Poland won a double on Dakar routes. All this suggests that the Cobant Energylandia Rally Team riders were the fastest in the SSV class on the routes of the Dakar Rally. Together, they won eight out of the thirteen specials that were played.
Unfortunately, motorsport can be painful and unfair, and not always the one who deserves it wins. During the last special stage at the stage from Bisha to Jeddy, Marek Goczał and Łukasz Łaskawiec took fourth place, while Michał Goczał and Szymon Gospodarczyk were fifth. Unfortunately, it also had consequences for the general classification of the event.

Eventually, the Goczał / Łaskawiec crew lost third place and finished the rally in fourth place. This is the worst place for an athlete, right behind the podium, that they will lose only minutes after eight thousand kilometers traveled. The Goczał / Gospodarczyk crew took fifth place in the general classification of the SSV class. We must point out that these are unofficial results, which are subject to possible protests and judges’ decisions.

– We are at the finish line, it is definitely a great joy for us. We did a lot of good in this rally, we won a lot of stages. After the second day, we had a huge loss, but we managed to make up for a large part of it, it certainly pours into our hearts a lot of optimism for the future. But in the end it is a pity, because we had this podium within our reach – Marek Goczał noted.

– Today we lost this podium, it is really a pity. But such are rallies. The most important thing is that we are at the finish line and I’m here with my family. Family is most important to me – if they weren’t all here, I wouldn’t be riding either. They are my fuel, I race for them. Will we come to the Dakar next year? I have already said – we will stop racing only when three Goczała take the entire podium of the rally – the driver of Cobant Energylandia Rally Team finished.

– I think it was a good rally in our performance. We managed to win a few stages, be on the podium several times. We definitely have a lot of conclusions to draw before next year’s edition – we already know that for sure. It is important that we know what to improve in order to fight for those really highest goals in the Dakar Rally – said Michał Goczał at the finish line.

– We’re learning all the time. As a matter of fact, the rally is not over yet. The judges still have to do their job and maybe my brother will still be on the podium. I would like it very much and I wish it to him with all my heart. Anyway, I’m happy because we’re at the finish line. We drove the most difficult rally in the world. It could have ended differently … but this is what Dakar is like – summed up the younger brother Goczała.

– It was an amazing two weeks full of fighting in the desert. We had a stage today with a huge sand fog, you couldn’t see anything, we ran the tire through it. Additionally, it was a very difficult stage in terms of navigation. Fortunately, we managed to cross it. We are at the finish line and this is the most important thing. I am glad that we are already returning to the country, to our families and to Polish cuisine – emphasized Szymon Gospodarczyk, pilot of Michał Goczała.

The eighth place was taken today by Aron Domżała and Maciej Marton, who took 12th place in the general classification of the rally.

In the truck category, the Petronas Team de Rooy Iveco with Darek Rodewald in the line-up finished fifth. At the last stage, the Fesh Fesh Team with Bartłomiej Boba retired.


About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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