Ruben Faria was a hometown hero today in the second stage of the Dakar Rally, held between Portimao and Malaga, Portugal, the Portuguese Dakar rookie winning his first-ever special stage on his KTM to back up yesterday’s second-place finish.
In muddy conditions, Faria used his local knowledge to clock a time of one hour, 37 minutes, 7 seconds to beat Gauloises KTM’s Isidre Esteve by over a minute. It was Portugal’s eight special stage win in the history of the rally and the third for a motorcyclist from the European country.
Third on the day went to Gauloises KTM’s David Casteu, who clocked his first-ever podium finish in the race.After finishing fourth yesterday, Portuguese privateer Helder Rodrigues rode his Yamaha to fourth again today, besting Repsol KTM’s Marco Coma.
Defending champion Cyril Despres ended up 11th today, losing over three and a half minutes after winning yesterday’s stage.
The overall standings now has Esteve at the top with Coma second. Faria was given a 12-minute time penalty yesterday for being late to the start of the special test and is well behind.