The 10th anniversary start in the Dakar Rally ended at the finish line of the 5th stage for Rafał Sonik. The Polish quad rider struggled with excruciating pain for miles before he reached the bivouac in Arequipa. Since the initial medical checkup indicated two broken bones, instead of setting off to the next SS, Sonik was airlifted to a hospital in Lima the very same night. He will be returning to Poland in a few days to undergo a surgery.
“The pain was massive and every little movement was making it worse. I could barely move my foot, let alone standing and putting pressure on it. On the transfer road, I had to change gears manually, so I knew it was more serious that a bruise,” admits the quad rider.
The rider’s left knee had been hurt during his accident in the Sardinia Rally, but this time it turned out to be broken. The medics at the bivouac emergency room identified two broken bones, a shinbone and a fibula. The same evening, the World Cup champion was transferred to Lima only to have the diagnosis confirmed.
“The organizers always offer help the participants who are not able to finish the race because of the injuries acquired during the rally. I’m already in touch with the doctors in Poland and I will be traveling back home in a few days to undergo a surgery. Only after the operation, I will know how long the rehabilitation process will last, but according to the initial assessment, I will be able to get back on the quad sooner or later,” smiles Sonik.
In the meantime, Sonik Team set off on the road without their leader. Kamil Wiśniewski got the 15th time on the stage from Arequipa to La Paz, losing 14 minutes to the winner, Jeremias Gonzales Ferioli. Consequently, Kamil has secured the 21th position in the general standings, remaining just outside the second ten. Ignacio Casale is still the leader. Among with other racers, Kamil will spend his day off in the highest capital in the world.
Friday is a day free of competition, which means rest for the racers and a lot of intensive work for mechanics, who have to prepare the vehicles for the marathon stage and the second part of the race.
Stage 6 results
1. Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli (ARG) 2:29.06
2. Pablo Copetti (ARG) +1.50
3. Nelson Sanabria (PAR) + 2.18
15. Kamil Wiśniewski (POL) +13.38
1. Ignacio Casale (CHL) 19:47.09
2. Alexis Hernandez (PER) +41.30
3. Pablo Copetti (ARG) +57.16
21. Kamil Wiśniewski (POL) +6:48.34