2023 Abu Dhabi Wasteland Problem: Al-Attiyah, Quintanilla lead Prologue


Nasser Al-Attiyah would possibly have gained the 2023 Dakar Rally through over an hour, however Sébastien Loeb left the opener with the International Rally-Raid Championship T1 lead due to his degree wins. Nonetheless, Al-Attiyah temporarily made his want to leapfrog him recognized through being the quickest four-wheeler within the Abu Dhabi Wasteland Problem‘s Prologue degree forward of Loeb and his fellow Prodrive Hunter Guerlain Chicherit.

Al-Attiyah dusted the seven-kilometre Prologue, supposed as a warmup leg forward of the five-day rally and is due to this fact no longer counted within the ultimate effects, in 4 mins and forty-five seconds. Chicherit was once 4 seconds again with Loeb 3rd and ten seconds in the back of the chief.

“Tough to optimise the whole thing as a result of we had been opening that degree and there have been the strains from the motorbikes nevertheless it was once in point of fact cushy sand to nearly lavatory us down,” mentioned Loeb, who celebrated his forty-ninth birthday on Sunday. “Perhaps I may reduce a little extra throughout some corners however I believe one of the automobiles following did this much more. For any such quick degree it was once all just right regardless that. No drawback in any respect ahead of we in point of fact get started this rally day after today.”

Pink Bull additionally persevered to determine themselves as the most productive programme in T3 as Seth Quintero led a podium sweep. Quintero edged out his Pink Bull Off-Highway Junior Staff spouse Mitch Guthrie through lower than a 2nd with Cristina Gutiérrez only a 2nd off; Yamaha’s João Ferreira was once the highest non-Pink Bull in fourth.

Gutiérrez, who positioned 10th total, would be the first FIA access to start Degree #1 on Monday. The highest ten finishers within the Prologue had been authorised to make a choice (in opposite order, that means Gutiérrez picked first) after they start the primary leg, with Al-Attiyah set to head in 10th.

In T4, every other Pink Bull motive force Rokas Baciuška didn’t have to fret about Dakar winner Eryk Goczał as {the teenager} was once in France ahead of fending off to school, which mainly gave him unfastened rein over the category as he crowned the Prologue. Pau Navarro, one among 4 W2RC-eligible drivers within the elegance, completed 3rd with Mansour Al-Helei in 2nd.

Whilst the Hunters fell simply shy of starting the ADDC with a 1–2, Monster Power Honda Rally Staff accomplished it on two wheels as Pablo Quintanilla and Adrien Van Beveren led the way in which. Their team-mate Ricky Brabec, having recovered from his damaged vertebrae in Dakar, was once 6th. Sandwiched between the Hondas had been a couple of KTMs in Toby Value and Mason Klein plus Ross Department on his Hero.

“It was once a brief one however an excessively technical monitor,” Quintanilla commented. “The sensation was once just right. We began from in the back of and there have been numerous strains within the curves. Once in a while it was once rather tough to head, however I controlled to do a just right Prologue. Now I’ve a just right place for day after today so we will be able to stay pushing to stay our lead.”

Tobias Ebster, who isn’t racing for W2RC issues, was once the absolute best working Rally2 motorbike in 9th and twenty-two seconds off Quintanilla. Amongst the ones eligible for issues, Toni Mulec was once 12th total with Konrad Dąbrowski a place again, the latter working his first rally of 2023 after appendicitis sidelined him for Dakar.

Abdulaziz Ahli, back-to-back reigning winner of the ADDC on Quads, recorded the biggest margin of victory of the Prologue as he beat Rodolfo Guillioli through twenty-eight seconds.

Attrition was once no longer a priority because of the Prologue’s quick duration, however that didn’t imply there weren’t some who skilled hassle. Tim Marklund, snowmobile champion making his début in a world rally raid, suffered a damaged suspension simply 200 metres into the Prologue and positioned 16th in T4. Fellow Swede Mattias Ekström, competing in T3 for the primary time after racing a T1 at Dakar, inadvertently ran the degree along with his Can-Am in 2×4 mode as an alternative of four×4 and completed 8th at school; he joked it was once “Sandbagging 3.0”.

Prologue winners

Elegance Quantity Competitor Staff Time
T1 201 Nasser Al-Attiyah Toyota Gazoo Racing 4:45
T3 302 Seth Quintero Pink Bull Off-Highway Junior Staff 5:14
T4 400 Rokas Baciuška Pink Bull Can-Am Manufacturing unit Staff 5:19
RallyGP 7 Pablo Quintanilla Monster Power Honda Rally Staff 5:00
Rally2 96 Tobias Ebster* SRG Motorsports 5:22
Quad 174 Abdulaziz Ahli Abu Dhabi Staff 5:57
* – Now not competing in International Rally-Raid Championship



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