The two-day challenge, where athletes dived into the dunes of the Empty Quarter and had to cover more than 600 kilometers without the help of mechanics, became a game-changing stage for many. It is not for nothing that it is said that even the locals do not dare to venture into this desert the size of France. Antanas Kanopkinas, who started the Dakar Rally for the first time on a CFMOTO quad bike, covered almost the entire route at a solid pace and without major challenges, but everything changed when he ran out of fuel just a few kilometers before the finish line.
"Two days were really very interesting, the driving was great and we ran out of fuel with only ten kilometers to go. Within an hour and a half, several motorcyclists stopped and gave one and a half liters of gasoline. Until the finish, I didn't drive on the track, but around it - I wanted to overtake a large massif of dunes while saving the fuel I already had. After straying off the track, I ran out of fuel again," said A. Kanopkinas and told that from the place where he stopped, there were only four kilometers and seven hundred meters to the finish line in a straight line.
When it started to get dark and there was no other way out, the athlete had to call the help of the organizers to evacuate him from the track. Unfortunately, this less than five kilometer ride by the organizers cost the team more than 6 hours penalty on the results table.
And that's not all. Since the bivouac is approximately 800 kilometers away from the finish, it is likely that the organizers will deliver their quad to the team only on Sunday night. So while the rest of the teams are spending the whole day on technical repairs and rebuilds of key components, the CFMOTO Thunder Racing Team hopes to have time to do at least a couple of hours of inspection before Sunday's start.
"Now there are many discussions with the organizers and the federation. They themselves are confused about this situation. Made a lot of confusion for themselves and us instead of the whole solution costing them five minutes of work. Life happened, that is Dakar. We do not give up, we are preparing and putting together a work plan according to the current situation. Today, basically everyone fixes their vehicles, changes suspension, repairs engines. It seems that we will not have this luxury and will continue the Dakar with the equipment that we will get back after this stage", commented A. Kanopkinas.
Already on Sunday, the participants will go to the track again, where 873 kilometers will be waiting for them, of which 483 will be a speed stage.