On the penultimate day of the 2021 Dakar Rally, arguably one of the toughest seen this year, GASGAS Factory Racing’s Laia Sanz has placed 19th on stage 11 to record her best stage result of the event so far. Enjoying a much more positive day, Laia broke free from her competitors’ dust early on and was able to ride her own race while battling all the way to the finish. In doing so she delivered her best ride of the rally with just one day of racing remaining.
Laia Sanz: “I was in dust again today but fortunately, just for the beginning, maybe 100 kilometers or so. Once we were into the dunes I could escape the dust and ride my own lines. I passed some riders and I felt really good today, despite the stage being really long. Overall, I’m happy. Happy with how the stage was for me today and happy that I’m one step closer to the finish.”
With a couple of difficult stages thankfully now in Laia’s rear-view mirror, stage 11 proved to be a good one for the GASGAS RC 450F Rally racer as she was able to enjoy all 464 kilometers of today’s special. Despite a little traffic early on, once she broke free and into clean air it was plain sailing to the finish line in Yanbu on the Red Sea coast. Overall, just 200 kilometers against the clock now remain for Laia as she goes after her 11th Dakar Rally finish.
The final stage of the 2021 Dakar Rally takes place tomorrow. Following less than ideal pre-event preparation, Laia's goal of reaching the finish line of this year’s race is still firmly in place and very much in sight. All being well, a steady ride through the final stage will complete another Dakar Rally for both Sanz, and GASGAS Factory Racing.
Results (provisional): Dakar Rally 2021, stage 11
1. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 4:35:12
2. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 4:37:52
3. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 4:41:36
19. Laia Sanz (GASGAS) 5:24:49
Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 11)
1. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 45:01:44
2. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 45:05:56
3. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 45:08:57
18. Laia Sanz (GASGAS) 51:07:48