2023 Dakar Rally: Jose Cornejo tops stage 12 results – decisive Price takes race lead
2023 Dakar Rally stage 12 results – fast and furious day in the dunes sees Jose Cornejo take the win for Honda but crucial time bonuses and mighty efforts from leading riders finds Toby Price as the new race leader.
Dakar ’23 stage 12 in a nutshell:
- If other stages of the 2023 Dakar Rally have seemed like they were over and done before the rest of the world had got out of bed, then race day number 13 (12 plus the prologue) must take the biscuit.
- Riders began the 185km just before 7am, with a total running time of two hours, this was a stage which took the course cars two days to plot. Today, riders were out the special before people had even finished having breakfast here in the Shaybah bivouac at 9am local time.
- It was a fast and furious day for the return leg of the marathon stages with no major navigation issues, just who could read the dunes best. Riders know it is crunch time with just three days of racing left and today mattered big time.
- The leading three riders on the ground were all KTM Group riders, Luciano Benavides, Toby Price and Daniel Sanders but on the timing screens there were at least six riders all in contention.
- Overall rally leader at the beginning of the stage, Skyler Howes made a slower start to the day relatively, from fourth place off the line, and it cost the American. Unusually for Skyler, he never got in a position to benefit from time bonuses (he needed to get past his Husky teammate) and finished the day nearly three minutes down on the stage winner.
- Daniel Sanders was out front for much of the stage, collecting the bonus time points to cross the finish line first. Over three minutes of time bonuses were well worth Chucky’s trouble as it elevated him from a top 10 place to second on the day.
- Could there have been a game plan to have the fast guy in the sand guide the way for their multi-coloured teammates behind? If so, it worked.
- Measure Sanders’ and Price’s performance with the guy who started just in front of them, Luciano Benavides though and you can see how hard Toby was pushing for the race classification today – Luciano dropped nearly five minutes and finished 12th.
- For the efforts Price collected 1.18 of time bonus which helped him finish third on the stage and take over as the new rally leader but by a slim 28s.
- Starting in 10th place, Kevin Benavides was in the right place to benefit from following tracks laid down by all of the above riders and it felt like if you want to win this thing, now was the time. But K Ben didn’t factor in the time bonuses and couldn’t quite match the pace out front, coming home fifth and two minutes down.
- As has happened in previous Dakars, the fastest rider as the race concludes was Nacho Cornejo who led Honda’s charge with Adrien Van Beveren and Pablo Quintanilla also in the mix of some incredibly close times in the top 10.
- AVB remains the next best rider on the overall classification, equalling the top three riders this second week. The trouble is, as the Honda team boss Ruben Faria (a successful Dakar rider himself) pointed out yesterday, they all lost too much time in week one and it is all a bit late now.
- 14th for Romain Dumontier just ahead of Michael Docherty (15th and on precisely the same finishing time) hands the Rally 2 class lead back, just 23s ahead of Paulo Lucci.
- Charan Moore finished 6.37 better than Javi Vega in the Original, Malle Moto class today. Vega still leads by two and a half minutes after Moore took an engine change two days ago.
Stage 12 provisional results:
Overall standings after stage 12 – Rally GP:
Overall standings after stage 12 – Rally 2:
Photo Credit: MCH Photo + Rally Zone