The second edition of the Dakar in Latin America ended on Saturday. Only 14 of 25 ATV riders finished the competition. It shows how difficult and demanding the race was. The quad category was won by Argentine’s Marcos Patronelli. Surprisingly, the second place was taken by his older brother, Alejandro, who was new to Dakar. Marcos Patronelli was the leader almost all the rally and won 4 of the 14 stages. It took him 64h17m44s to go through almost 5,553 miles of dunes, camel grass, mud and rocks. Alejandro needed 2h22m59s more, while Juan Manuel Gonzalez Corominas – who came third– was 5h07m31s late. What’s interesting, all three of them were riding Yamaha Raptor 700.
It’s hard to describe the cheer of the crowds during the celebratory ceremony in Buenos Aires, as Patronelli is the first Argentinean to win this world’s largest rally. Here is how he commented: “I would never have imagined this, not even in my wildest dreams. It’s incredible that two brothers finish first and second of the same raid! This Dakar was very hard. I cannot say more than that, except that I must thank my team. We are a family pushing hard, doing what it takes. I am also happy for my brother: it’s his first Dakar and he finishes second! Who wouldn’t be proud? (…). I am thrilled and I think that the fact that two brothers finish first and second is just making history. We will celebrate that!”
And he also shared some thoughts about the difficulties during the rally: “The toughest part in this edition is really the stages in Northern Chile: Antofagasta – Copiapo, Iquique – Antofagasta. They were endless and very complicated. Navigation was hard there.”
The next Dakar Rally will take place at the beginning of 2011; however its location has not been decided yet. Despite the difficulties, many participants compliment the route, organization and warm welcome in Chile and Argentina. On the other hand, some say it is high time to go back to Africa where the rally originated 32 years ago.