Dakar Rally 2016 Stage 11 Results
For the second time of the Dakar Rally 2016, Red Bull KTM’s Antonie Meo earned a stage win. The Frenchman’s second stage win arrived at Dakar Rally 2016 Stage 11, which was initially supposed to take riders 442 miles from La Rioja to San Juan with a 268-mile timed special.
But due to “exceedingly difficult weather conditions caused by the extreme heat and the large number of riders in difficulty” the timed stage was halted after 150 miles.
When the stage wrapped up, Meo finished just 18 seconds ahead of his teammate and overall leader Toby Price, who earned five stage wins aboard his KTM 450 Rally. Third went to Husqvarna’s Pablo Qintanilla, who finished over two minutes behind.
Following stage Meo, who is now third overall behind Quintanilla, said: “In the beginning I quite quickly caught up to Goncalves and after that I rode pretty well. At one moment I thought I had made a mistake in the navigation so I turned back, but in fact I was good. So Pablo (Quintanilla) caught up to me. After that I had a big crash because I didn’t see well in the dust, but after the refueling I was better in the navigation and it was really great. I made a gap to Pablo and after that I rode alone and it was good for me.”
With two stages remaining, he also commented on his chances of a podium: “It’s difficult to say because tomorrow I need to open the track and it looks like it is going to be another crazy stage. But I’ll try my best and we will see.”
Price currently has the lead by more than 35 minutes ahead of fellow KTM pilot Stefan Svitko, who won Dakar Rally Stage 10. Price said Thursday was a long stage: “It’s the third day from the end and it seems to be getting harder and harder, so they are definitely driving us into the ground at the moment. But yeah, it was a good day. We started off third and I caught the guys in front and then sat behind them a bit.
“They made a mistake and I got past them, but then so did I. I fixed it quite quickly but they had got past me so I just sat there for a while. Then they made another mistake and I was good to go and I rode all the way to the finish. We’ve built the overall lead a little bit more, so hopefully I can make the last two days a bit more comfortable. We’ve still got a lot to go so for sure it’s going to be a long one and very tiring.”
Now he is ready to tackle the final two stages before reaching the 2016 Dakar Rally’s end at Rosario: “As long as we don’t lose 15 minutes in both these stages I think we will be fairly good. I’ve got to do it nice and smooth, look after the bike and make sure we rest up enough. Hopefully we’ll be in good shape. We’re another day closer, but for sure, it’s been a hard one. I can’t smell victory yet, not yet. I won’t smell victory until I cross the finishing line on the last day.”
Dakar Rally 2016 Stage 12 Terrain
Riders face a daunting 578-mile stage on the penultimate day including 299 miles of timed special. They will move into semi mountainous terrain with tight, vegetation-lined tracks, and will need all their concentration to avoid making any mistakes. The penultimate overnight stop will be in Villa Carlos Paz (courtesy of KTM).
Dakar Rally 2016 Stage 11 Results
1. Antoine Meo (FRA), KTM, 5 hours 19 minutes 08 seconds
2. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, +18 seconds
3. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Husqvarna, + 2 minutes 18
4. Helder Rodrigues (POR), Yamaha, + 6.02
5. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha + 12.09
Dakar Rally 2016 Overall Standings:
1. Price, 40 hours 08 minutes 30 seconds
2. Svitko, + 35.23
3. Meo, + 43.46
4. Quintanilla, + 45.19
5. Benavides, +57.05