Al-Attiyah wins Dakar second stage

2012-01-02 23:04

San Rafael - Qatar's defending Dakar Rally car champion Nasser Al-Attiyah rebounded from losing 10 minutes on the first stage by taking Monday's second stage here.

The 31-year-old - who had an engine problem with his Hummer in Sunday's opener - beat Mini's Stephane Peterhansel of France by 54 seconds in the 290km drive from Santa Rosa de la Pampa.

Peterhansel - a six-time Dakar motorcycling champion and three times in the car section - took the overall lead ahead of Al-Attiyah's Hummer team-mate Robby Gordon of the United States.

Al-Attiyah moved up to sixth.

Motorcycling champion Marc Coma had earlier won his 17th career stage in the race.

The Spaniard moved to the top of the standings after winning the 295km second stage which also saw him extend his lead over KTM team-mate and main rival Cyril Despres.

Despres finished second in the stage but was 1min 18sec in arrears of Coma.

First stage winner Francisco "Chaleco" Lopez of Chile was ahead at the first time marker but faded to finish fourth over two minutes behind Coma.

Coma said that he had enjoyed the initial tussle with Lopez.

"Chaleco and me were riding at top speed and let me tell you, the Aprilia is very, very quick," said Coma.

"After that, we arrived at the second part of the special with sand and dunes. It was a lot more technical, with some navigation to do as well. I took the lead and kept riding at a good pace. I'm happy because I didn't get lost. So, it's been a good day for me!" added the 35-year-old.

Despres nevertheless experienced a better day than he had on Sunday - when he finished 13th - and the three-time champion is nearly three minutes adrift of Coma.

"The first special was a good warm-up and this second special has done my confidence good... It was a good day overall," said the Frenchman.

Gniel de Villiers finished 6th and Duncan Vos 18th, both in Toyotas. The other South African, Corbet came 17th today. Overall De Villiers is 4th, Corbett 17th and Vos 18th.

Read more on:    argentina

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