- Husqvarna’s Pablo Quintanilla bags his first stage win of this season
- KTM’s Toby Price closely follows him to finish second
- Hero MotoSports withdraws from the rally
After the cancellation of stage 8, riders hopped back on their steeds to compete in stage 9 yesterday which spanned across 886km route from Wadi Al Dawasir to Haradh in Saudi Arabia. In a surprising turn of events, Husqvarna’s Pablo Quintanilla emerged fastest on the day outpacing erstwhile stage winners from Honda and KTM. Notably, this was Pablo’s first stage win in the 2020 season of Dakar Rally.
It was a close battle between Pablo and KTM’s Toby Price with the latter trailing the winner consistently. It was in the last section of the stage that Pablo secured a 1m54s lead with Toby finishing second. Clinching the third position was Honda’s Joan Barreda who clocked an impressive timing despite having a small crash. Following Joan was his teammate Ricky Brabec who, although finished fourth on the day, is leading the overall standings courtesy of his commendable timing throughout.
The Indian team Sherco TVS saw its sole rider competing in the rally, Adrien Metge, slip a few positions as compared to the previous stage. As opposed to his 13th rank in the seventh stage, Adrien finished 19th this time, continuing to be in top 20. Riding in the ‘Dakar Experience’ category, TVS’s another rider Harith Noah stood 29th, showing a progress from the previous stage.
It’s worth noting that the Indian team Hero MotoSports has withdrawn from the 2020 Dakar Rally following the tragic demise of its rider Paulo Goncalves in stage 7. In the proceeding stage, the riders will move from Haradh to Shubaytah covering a distance of 608kms including 534km special and 74km liason.