Dakar 2022, al-Attiyah wins on Toyota Gazoo

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Nasser Al-Attiyah, with the Toyota Gazoo Team Hilux pick-up among the cars, Sam Sunderland with the Ktm of the GasGas team among the motorbikes, Alexandre Giroud with a Yamaha vehicle among the quads and Dimitry Sotnikonv (Kamaz) are the winners of the 44th edition of the Dakar, the fourth organized in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Attiyah in Toyota

Among the folds of these results, the fourth success of the Qatari, the second of the British, the first of the French and the second of the Russian, there are also good news for Italy. Thanks to Danilo Petrucci, national motorcycling is once again the protagonist in the Dakar. Riding a KTM, the 31-year-old Petrux won in the fifth stage, becoming the first centaur to win in the MotoGP to also achieve a success in the Dakar. Petrucci had also reached the podium the day before, but was then sanctioned with a penalty that had dropped him in 15th position: “I don’t give a damn. Better still, so I start behind, I don’t have to sail, I pass them all and I win the stage ”, he declared. For him an encouraging debut in the Dakar. After Paolo Lucci (Husqvarna) left the scene, among the bikes the first of the Italians was Giovanni Gritti, 45th with Honda. On the podium, behind Sunderland, the Chilean Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) and the Austrian Matthias Walkner.


However, the best placement ever of this edition was obtained by Italtrans Racing, 15th in the race reserved for trucks and whose outcome, namely the monopoly of the Russian Kamaz crews (4 in the first four positions), was almost obvious. Claudio Bellina, Bruno Gotti and Giulio Minelli faced the Dakar with an Iveco Powerstar. Behind the winner Sotnikov, compatriots Nikolaev and Shibalov.

Sebastien Loeb

In the race reserved for cars, the first Italian of the general is Maurizio Gerini, navigator of the Spanish Laia Sanz: with the Mini JCW of the X-Raid Team the two conquered the 23rd place overall. The first entirely Italian crew, the one made up of Silvio and Tito Totani, in their third Dakar, finished 60th. On board a Nissan Patrol they improved the result obtained in 2012 (65th).


The great automotive challenge was solved by Al-Nattiyah, who resisted the onslaught of Sébastien Loeb, the “cannibal”, who won in almost all the motorsport classes he took part in. The Frenchman will try again, also because the Hunter T1 + buggy developed by Prodrive for the Bahrain Raid Xtreme proved to be competitive: the Frenchman finished second, his teammate Orlando Terranova fourth, behind the Hilux of the Overdrive Toyota team of the home champion , the Saudi Yazeed Al Rajhi. But the headlights were on Audi, which ventured into the Dakar with an ambitious project for which it hired Stéphane Peterhansel, Mister Dakar (14 wins between motorcycles and cars), Carlos Sainz (3 wins) and Mattias Ekström.

Ekstrom on Audi

The manufacturer of the Four Rings has developed an extended range electric-powered buggy, the RS Q e-tron, to compete in the premier class. All three drivers have won at least one stage (Sainz two) for a total of four wins. In particular, after the rest on Saturday, the German cars proved to be able to rival vehicles powered by conventional engines. Swede Ekström managed to break into the Top 10, finishing ninth, while Sainz was barely out of it (12th).

The most famous rally raid on the planet was also marred by an attack before the departure and the death of a 20-year-old French chief mechanic, Quentin Lavallée, who did not survive injuries sustained in an accident on Friday during a transfer.

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