After the judges decided to impose time penalties on Sebastien Soundey and Kamil Wiśniewski, Rafał Sonik was the leader of the race at the start of the second stage. During Monday’s two sections, the Polish and French riders shared the wins, and the latter took the lead again.
‘When I saw that the first part of the special stage is the same as the one for UTV vehicles, I knew that it will be wide and fast. Sebastien drives the same quad as me, but his suspension is higher and he can take more risks while driving on rocks. He’s known for fast, daring driving, which sometimes makes him win, and sometimes means that he’s off the race,’ commented Sonik.
The six-times winner of the World Cup lost almost 15 minutes, because he drove an extra dozen or so kilometres, when he trusted the fans who directed him to a short-cut. ‘They showed me to drive left, and I thought this is a by-pass for quads. When I realised that they directed me to an easier and shorter path, I turned back. I didn’t want to cheat,’ he underlined.
Kamil Wiśniewski also run out of luck at this stage. ‘I got thrown to the side at one of the turns and at the end of braking, I hit rocks. The quad rolled to its side. Nothing happened to me, but putting the 200 kg machine turned out to be a challenge. I had problems with starting the engine, and when I finally did it, it turned out that I don’t have enough power and I won’t be able to drive up the hills. I drove off the stage, the service repaired the quad and I could participate in the second section,’ he said.
The second part of the stage was very successful for both Polish riders. ‘It was a very technical route, full of rocks and steep uphill sections. It was narrow and you had to be very careful not to hit the boulders on both sides of the path with the wheels. Sebastien must’ve gotten lost, because I caught up with him and we drove through the last kilometres close to each other. The final result is still on the table, in particular as the marathon stage begins tomorrow,’ said SuperSonik.
‘I’m in awe of Rafał and Sebastien. My four-wheel drive was barely able to make it through the mountains that appeared in front of us during the second section. They drive Yamahas 450, with a rear drive, and I have no idea how they managed to drive uphill,’ added Kamil Wiśniewski, who is currently on the third place.
On Tuesday, the riders will cover 270 km on the way north-east, to Sa Itria. This will be the first day of the marathon stage, which also means that the riders may not be helped by the service team. Any failure might cost them their chances of winning.
Results of the second stage:
1. Sebastien Souday (FRA) 01:40.39
2. Rafał Sonik (POL) + 14.45
3. Kamil Wiśniewski (POL) DNF
1. Rafał Sonik (POL) 01:39.49
2. Kamil Wiśniewski (POL) +1.46
3. Sebastien Souday (FRA) +11.44