Fortunately Pharaons temperatures decreased a bit, so the rally’s fourth stage, a loop starting and arriving in Bahariya Oasis, has been enjoyable for everybody apart from motorbike leader, Juan Carlos Salvatierra, who fell down by the end of special stage for having relaxed too much.
Bolivian seriously damaged his Speedbrain, loosing fork oil and radiator water. Fortunately, both Cardona and Sonik stopped to get water from their camel-back, so Salvatierra could finish the stage. Today 315 km stage winner has been Nicolas Cardona with an advantage of three minutes on Rafal Sonik’s quad and of ten minutes on Salvatierra.
Salvatierra still maintains competition leadership , but his advantage has now reduced to 21 minutes. Stefano Chiussi is third overall, but the surprising Italian fell down and dislocated his shoulder. He only has a three minutes advantage on Sonik that tomorrow will have the concrete opportunity to grab the podium.
Juan Carlos Salvatierra: “A very exciting stage really suffered in its final part. I was riding well but at km 240 I was too relaxed and I fell down. I was not going fast but bike is seriously damaged. Radiator was loosing water and I was seriously worried. I stopped every 20 km and Cardona and Sonik gave me water. Tomorrow I will not open the track, so I just have to control.”
Nicolas Cardona: “Today was a technical stage with some difficult series of dunes, with even some cut dunes, where I took some risks. Even navigation was not easy. I found Salvatierra in the last dunes and I stopped to give him water, then I had a relaxed riding, and opened the track in the final. Without first day penalty, it would have been an amusing competition.”
Rafael Eraso: “We are trying each day to safeguard bike and body even because I’m still recovering from Dakar hand injury. I was very tired at km 230 and I stopped to have an analgesic. After that I felt better and I could get my rhythm again. I hope not to have problems tomorrow and to get to Pyramids.”
Stefano Chiussi: “Ten km by the arrival, I lost concentration for a moment, I bumped a stone, and I fell down. I dislocated my shoulder but fortunately, Stefano Turchi stopped and helped me to relocate it again. I made the last kilometers suffering a terrible pain. I think that third place fight is now on Sonik favor, I have just three minutes of advantage on him, and tomorrow it will be almost a miracle for me to finish the competition.”