Dakar 2020, stage two: Branch roars to victory. Sunderland on top overall

A 367 km special put Sunderland on top overall

The second day of the rally offered the riders the first glimpse of navigation skills. Toby Price and Ricky Brabec, lost time while Sam Sunderland moved on top of the overall standings. The riding skills were put to the test and Ross Branch took advantage to win stage two.  

The second day of the 2020 Dakar Rally took the riders to Neom. It seemed that private KTM rider Ross Branch was ready to push his bike through the Saudi Arabian dunes and after completing the 367 km of stage two, the rider from Botswana was first 01m24s ahead of Sam Sunderland (KTM). Third place was taken by Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna).
 

With his result, Sunderland moves on top of the overall standings of the 2020 Dakar Rally followed by Quintanilla and Kevin Benavides (Honda).
The Benavides brothers completed the top five of the day, Honda’s rider Kevin finished fourth fastest while Luciano on his KTM was fifth.

It looked like it should have been Joan Barreda’s (Honda) day. He was comfortably leading after 159 km of the stage, 1m01s ahead of Branch and 1m18s ahead of Quintanilla. Navigation was a key factor as the road-books were handed out just several minutes from the start of the stage. So, Barreda completed the second stage sixth fastest.

First stage winner, Toby Price (KTM) lost a lot of time on day two of the 2020 Dakar. It seems that navigation was a challenge for the rider as well and he finished only 15th losing 12m13s to Branch. 
It was a bad day for first stage second place rider Ricky Brabec (Honda) who completed the stage 11th.

The second day of the 2020 Dakar was unfortunate for Laia Sanz (GasGas) who crashed at the beginning of the stage and lost 20 minutes. Daniel Nosiglia (Honda) suffered a crash 141 km into the stage which forced him to retire from the rally due to a head injury. The rider was taken to hospital.  

Overall standings after stage two

1. Sam Sunderland (KTM), 7h05m22s
2. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna), 1m18s
3. Kevin Benavides (Honda), 1m32s
4. Matthias Walkner (KTM), 2m00s
5. Ricky Brabec (Honda), 4m11s
6. Ross Branch (KTM), 4m19s
7. Luciano Benavides (KTM), 6m01s
8. Joan Barreda (Honda), 6m09s
9. Toby Price (KTM), 7m34s
10. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda), 8m34s






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