In the early hours of Saturday morning in Saudi Arabia, the start was given for the first stage of this year’s Dakar, with the participants embarking on more than 500 kilometers of road, 414 of which was the stage. CFMOTO Thunder Racing Team pilot Antanas Kanopkinas, who spent more than seven hours on the track, took the eighth place in the quad category today according to provisional results.

“The day is finally over and I’m glad that I still saw the sun on the way back to the bivouac – that was one of the goals. The next task was to drive as safely as possible while conserving the tires, but it turns out that I still punctured one, although I didn’t even felt it. The fact that they keep their shape even when punctured is very good news, and our initial days of experimentation and worries with the tires may have been in vain. The most important thing is, of course, that this situation has been resolved – you can drive even with an empty tire”, said the racer after returning to the bivouac and said that he felt tired, and the rest of the plan for the evening was to get a shower, eat and go to bed as early as possible.

The rider of the CFMOTO Thunder Racing Team team was one hour behind the class leader, the Brazilian M.Medeiros, but as he said before the start, the goal of this Dakar is to reach the finish line, so he will consistently strive for it.

On Sunday, the participants will have to cover an even greater distance: 192 kilometers of crossings and a 463 km of stage await them. The organizers call this stage “XXL” because of the distance and promise that in the first kilometers there will be about 30 kilometers of dunes, and most of the route will consist of fast straights. The athletes will finish on Sunday evening in the city of Al Duwadimi, located near the Saudi capital Riyadh.