After one week of ridding the South-American roads, Mario is judging this Dakar 2017 edition as the “toughest Dakar rally, he took part”.
After one week of rally, Mario reached the 20th rank in the general ranking.
The beginning of its race was full of good news for him. After the withdrawal of the pilot Antoine Meo and also his Mexican substitute Ivan Ramirez, the Portuguese driver was the choice of the official KTM team to replace these two pilots. As the Portuguese driver already had an official model, the decision by the Austrian training was undoubtedly the most accurate.
So Mario had now the opportunity to benefit from the help of the official team.
After reaching the TOP 30 in the two first stages, Mario kept the pace during the other stages of the weeks to be 20th on the 9th of January.
Nice story of Mario:
On the fifth of twelve stages of the Dakar 2017, Mario finished 12th fastest rider. Good performance overall but it is not the main part of the story. During this stage Mario proved that the Dakar rally is not only a race but also a story between pilots. During the stage, Mario stopped his race to provide assistance to Ivan Jakes, a Slovakian rider who had fallen and fractured his wrist. Mario lost 17 min but it was not the objective today. Helping a participant was more important. That is the Dakar Spirit. Finally the organization credited him with the 17min of time he used up helping the Slovakian rider.
So now Mario is starting the second week of the rally. He is more than happy to still be in the rally as the riding conditions are tough and that no mistakes are possible!