Yesterday, Danilo Petrucci became the first person ever in the history of the world to win both a MotoGP race and a Dakar Rally stage. And he did it in his first ever attempt at the Dakar Rally.
And he didn’t just win by fluke, either. He didn’t just pull a good result out of the bag thanks to all his competitors falling at the wayside. Since the beginning of the event he’s showed serious speed and he won fair and square.
I wonder if more riders from the MotoGP paddock will follow in his footsteps. He isn’t the first, MotoGP star to take on the Dakar. Who can remember Jurgen van den Goorbergh? He’s competed in the Dakar Rally no less than 12 times, in various classes.
What about Carlos Checca? He too is making his Dakar debut in 2022, in the car class. He’s not having as much success as Petrucci, though.
No, Danilo is doing something really special. I don’t know if it’s a feat that’ll ever be repeated. And I’m absolutely positive it’ll never happen the other way round; Dakar winner to MotoGP winner. Never in a million years.
And you can see just how much it means to the lad, in the video below. Like most people that get anywhere in bike racing, or any sport for that matter, there’s usually been a massive amount of sacrifice. But the tough times make the good times even sweeter. And you can see from Petrux’s eyes in this video just how much the win means to him.
Today didn’t go as well for the KTM rider. Winning yesterday meant he opened the stage today, and conditions were apparently pretty sketchy. He was quickest to the first waypoint, but then had a massive crash on an unsighted rock. He remounted (after loosing a good five minutes) and cracked on to the next way point where the race was stopped early due to the difficult conditions. After all that he finished today’s stage in 40th. Unfortunately, thanks to a breakdown on day two, he won’t feature in the overall results anyway.