The final stage of Dakar 2022’s opening week saw Joan Lascorz and The Buggy Masters maintain their top ten position overall.
A 348 kms special and 214km link made up the southern loop course around Riyadh on Friday ahead of the much anticipated rest day. It will be well needed too, after Lascorz battled with fever throughout Friday’s ordeal.
The Spaniard’s body does not adequately regulate temperature due to his quadriplegia and while cleared for covid, the cold desert nights mean that Lascorz is unable to rest optimally. Added to the accumulated fatigue and the stress of racing a fever appeared as a thermoregulatory reaction; something the ex-Superbike rider had faced during his recent competition schedule.
Despite this, the #447 buggy completed the special in 17th position, 23 minutes from the victor and just three minutes short of 13th, while maintaining their hold on the top ten overall.
“Now I feel somewhat better (after the stage), but I have spent the whole night with a fever, I have gone to the stage taking medication and during the race I was shivering from the cold,” Lascorz explained this evening.
“For the rest, it went well, we went fast, but as always we depart behind, with all the dust, with many stones in the road and it’s risky to pass. I am overtaking some buggy but not enough to make the times of the leaders. I will have to top ten at some stage to get ahead. We are already tenth in the general classification, but I need to do it in one stage to be able to start with the flatter track, with less dust, less stones and ruts… and for the buggy to have a higher cruising speed.
“Tomorrow, finally, is rest day. We have reached Dakar’s half point; I don't know if many people thought I’d achieve it, but here we are! I hope I can fully recover tomorrow and be able to go out 100% the day after tomorrow and push harder than I'm doing now.”