Motorcycle Racing News Dakar/FIM Cross Country Rallies 2020 Dakar Rally: Stage 8 Canceled in Memory of Goncalves

2020 Dakar Rally: Stage 8 Canceled in Memory of Goncalves

Due to the death of the Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves during Sunday’s stage seven of the 2020 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia, stage eight was canceled.

Officials canceled Monday’s stage as a tribute to Goncalves, who was competing in his 13th Dakar Rally. He died Sunday after crashing his Hero MotoSports 450RR Rally bike at mile 176. He was in 46th position overall.

2020 Dakar Rally: Stage 8 Canceled in Memory of GoncalvesDakar Officials say a medical helicopter was dispatched, and medics found Goncalves unconscious after going through cardiac arrest. He was flown to Layla Hospital in Saudi Arabi, where he was officially pronounced dead.

The last motorcycle rider to die during the “world’s toughest endurance race” was Michal Hernik, who was found dead during stage three of the 2015 Dakar Rally. He didn’t crash and died of hyperthermia and dehydration

Goncalves, born May 2, 1979, spent the last six seasons competing with the Monster Energy Honda team before joining the Indian manufacturer Hero.

Goncalves earned three Dakar stage wins with Honda, and finished runner-up in 2015 behind the now-retired Marc Coma (KTM). Gonclaves clinched the title of FIM Cross-Country Rallies world champion in an epic triumph in Morocco. In 2014, he finished second in the world championship, and third in 2015 and 2017.

Honda offered the following comment about Goncavles.

“I am shocked, and deeply saddened at the news of Paulo Gonçalves passing away,” says HRC President Yoshishige Nomura.

“Paulo joined the during 2013 season, the year that Honda returned to the Dakar, and played an invaluable role in enhancing the racing bike’s competitiveness. His friendly, jolly personality made him a driving force for the team and charmed motorsports fans worldwide. HRC appreciates Paulo’s tremendous achievements and his immeasurable contribution as a Honda rider, and expresses its deepest condolences to his family and friends.”

Leading the Dakar Rally is Goncavles former teammate Ricky Brabec. The Californian suffered engine troubles and subsequent DNFs in the past two rallies while leading. This year – now more than ever as a tribute to Goncavles – Brabec will look to finally take the title from KTM, which claimed the past 18 Dakar titles.

2020 Dakar Rally Overall Standings (after 8 of 12 stages)

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Time/Gap
1 BRABEC Ricky 9 USA Monster Energy Honda Team 28:25’01
2 QUINTANILLA Pablo 5 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team +24’48
3 CORNEJO José Ignacio 17 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team +27’01
4 PRICE Toby 1 AUS KTM Factory Racing Team +28’44
5 BARREDA Joan 12 SPA Monster Energy Honda Team +29’39
6 WALKNER Matthias 2 AUT KTM Factory Racing Team +33’04
7 BENAVIDES Luciano 16 ARG KTM Factory Racing Team +38’58
8 HOWES Skyler 59 USA Klymciw Racing +01:15’02
9 CAIMI Franco 22 ARG Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team +01:15’31
10 SVITKO Stefan 19 SLO Slovnaft Team +01:19’41

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling.

24 of the Best Retro Motorcycles For Under $10k (2020 Models)

Although going retro can be expensive when buying a new motorcycle, there are plenty of excellent wallet- and credit-friendly choices in the visually appealing...

Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle 131 Crate Engine Unveiled for Tourers

Harley-Davidson has unveiled its newest Screamin' Eagle crate engine - one that makes the popular 120R crate motor seem small in size. Meet the Screamin'...

Triumph Partners With Bajaj Auto: New Models Coming

Britain’s Triumph Motorcycles and India’s Bajaj Auto Limited will be working together to produce Triumph motorcycles in the 200cc to 750cc range. The two...

2019 Yamaha Niken GT Two-Up Test: Passenger-Friendly Motorcycle

We’ve reviewed the quirky-looking 2019 Yamaha Niken GT a couple of times, and comprehensively covered the technical side of the three-wheel motorcycle. Based on...

2020 Triumph Thruxton RS Test: Retro-Modern Motorcycle

The city of Albufeira is a sight for travel-weary eyes. Located in the Algarve region of Portugal on the Mediterranean coast, I dare say...

2020 MotoGP Schedule: 20-Round FINAL Calendar (Dates, Circuits, Tests)

Dorna has finalized the 2020 MotoGP schedule, which features some significant changes over the 2019 calendar. The 2020 MotoGP calendar grows one round to 20...