Dare Devil's Domain
Bike India|March 2018

 The motorcycle category was full of surprises at Dakar 2018

Joshua Varghese

THE DAKAR IS HOME TO THOSE who look forward to a fortnight of rallying across treacherous and challenging terrain the same way we look forward to our pizza delivery. This year, in its 40th edition, the lineup boasted of champions, accomplished Dakar veterans, and rookies who were keen to experience the fabled life-changing experience of the Dakar. the race was flagged off in Lima, Peru, and drew to a finish at Córdoba, argentina, after crossing three countries (Peru, Bolivia, and argentina), covering almost 9,000 km. on to the action then.

Participants were flagged off from Lima at the Las Palmas air base and they set off towards the ica desert. the 31-km-long special was fully off-piste and enabled the riders to get used to controlling their machines on the dunes. the downhill section towards the end of the stage required skill to negotiate and was easily dismissed by sam sunderland (red Bull ktm Factory team) who finished first. Right on his rear wheel was adrien van Beveren (Yamalube Yamaha official rally team).

The 278-km-long second stage was a loop in the Pisco desert. The predominantly off-piste stage tested the riders’ skill in navigation and their agility on the sand. Joan Barreda (monster energy honda team) emerged victorious from this one, closely followed by Beveren and matthias Walkner (red Bull ktm Factory team) in second and third places respectively.

In addition to the desert, the third stage was filled with challenging terrain like a chott (salt lake) and canyons. Furthermore, there was a 15-km-long detour off the main course exclusively for motorcycles and quads. Sunderland regained his lost momentum from the previous day and charged to victory. After Walkner and Beveren surprisingly disappeared further down the order, kevin Benavides (monster energy honda team) stepped up to take second place. He was followed by toby Price (red Bull ktm Factory team) in third. 

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