Sara Garcia speaks on how 2022 Dakar Rally is going having already raced 3 Dakar’s in Original by Motul class

Sara Garcia speaks on how 2022 Dakar Rally is going having already raced 3 Dakar’s in Original by Motul class

Sara Garcia speaks on how 2022 Dakar Rally is going having already raced 3 Dakar’s in Original by Motul class. It was in 2019, Sara encountered her first taste of racing Dakar in the final chapter of the Rally in South America. Cruel realities struck with mechanical failure and forced withdrawal.

Sara Garcia competing in 2022 Dakar Rally with Pont Grup Yamaha. Image Team.

Not to be out-done by mere incidences, Sara pursued her long-held goal racing The Dakar in Unassisted class in 2020. Challenging- yes! Sleep deprived and pushed to physical limits maintaining bike, Sara made history as first female to finish Original by Motul category- a celebration she would also repeat in 2021.

Racing 2022 Dakar Rally came with couple of surprises. Most importantly, Sara gained full support from Yamaha Europe to compete in Bike category with assistance. 2nd: on arrival at Jeddah, pre Prologue and start of Stages, Sara’s PCR test came back positive. Having taken all precautions, with negative tests on departure, it was an anxious wait to have re-test return negative- and Sara was good to go!

Sara: ‘I thought every Stage would be a present so I was really lucky to be here and race Dakar. It is really amazing I have Yamaha Official Racing support and I can relax. I sleep in the cabin of the truck, have my clothes dry at night, and I have hot water- this is really special for me to have assistance’.

With experience and knowledge banked in upper-most mind, Sara’s goal to maintain good rhythm on bike, through-out Stages remained key to gaining all important finish at end of Stage 12. So much so, Sara’s focus steered clear of inevitable distractions, such as checking standings day-by-day, to put all concentration on attacking each Stage with determination and perseverance to reach the bivouac before night fell.

Sara Garcia competing in 2022 Dakar Rally Stage 4. Image ASO.

Sara: ‘I really didn’t have a look at the qualifications, only the first 2 days because I felt so good in my rhythm and I was keeping a good place in the scratch. But then, in the first Stage I had – not really a crash- I cut a huge downhill in the dune and I didn’t realize there was a little dune at the bottom. My fork did a huge compression and my right arm started to feel alot of pain’.

‘I felt I had broken my bone, but I could move my arm, move it smoothly, so when I got back to the bivouac I had an X-ray. My bones were ok, but my arm was so sore with the inflammation. I had to take racing slower and lower my rhythm in the next Stages. I stopped looking at the qualifications- because I only want to survive and to cross the Final Stage’.

With Rest Day giving Sara bit more time for her arm to recover, there is no doubt racing Dakar- with or without Assistance is the hardest work: mentally demanding, physically draining and emotionally taxing on everyone. From riders, drivers and co-pilots, to Team crew and mechanics who work well into the night making sure vehicles are ready-to-race in so many hours, the 2nd week of Dakar is all about maintaining survival mode.

Currently standing 2nd in Bike Ranking Rally 2 Women’s Trophy, and 81st in General classification, Sara remains in tune with the over-riding mission to get to the final finish. In Spanish: desearle a Sara todo lo mejor!

2022 Dakar Rally Stage 9 from Wadi Ad Dawasir to Wadi Ad Dawasir with total of 491kms and 287kms timed, January 11th.

Header Photo Sara Garcia Stage 7 Image: ASO.

Words: Sharon Cox.

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