The Dakar Stewards have taken two days to define themselves, but finally and before the blatant evidence provided in his report by the FIM to the FIA, the South African Giniel de Villiers, Dakar champion in cars in 2009, and who is classified in fourth position in the present Dakar together with his co-driver and compatriot Dennis Murphy have been sanctioned with five hours of time in stage 2. Exemplary punishment for running over and incurring in failure to help and says goodbye to their aspirations for a final podium since they will now be left to 5h49’15 “from the leader Al Attiyah.
In his official appearance, the South African explained that “We have not heard any alarm signal from Sentinel. We do not doubt that we have received a signal. The problem is that the Sentinel button is located on the ground on the passenger side. During the selective section , the passenger’s feet jump from side to side and can easily, accidentally, press the button. When we reached the dune, we saw the motorcyclist and I dodged him so as not to injure him. At the bottom of the dune, we turned around to we made sure that the rider was not injured. We did not feel the shock of the motorcycle when landing. Then we continued the selective section “.
“We are very embarrassed that something like this happens. We apologize very much for this incident. We are also willing to compensate for the costs of rebuilding the bike.”
“Fortunately, the rider was no longer close to his bike and did not suffer any injuries. However, the bike is destroyed.”
De Villiers, following the example of Nani Roma’s eve with the Italian malle-motorcycle rider whom he also ran over, met with the Moroccan rider Mohamed Said Aoulad Ali at the FIM jury office and reached an agreement for the which will cover the cost of replacing the destroyed motorcycle. He will also pay the driver the registration fee for the Dakar Rally 2023. The driver has stated that he is very satisfied with this agreement.
But he has not exempted him from exemplary punishment for his recidivism, since the day before he did not help the Chilean César Zumarán either: “The stewards consider the behavior of the crew as an infringement of the regulations that must have consequences. has voluntarily contacted the pilot, has apologized and will pay for the damages caused, the commissioners consider that it is necessary, but also appropriate, to impose a time penalty “, a penalty that is appealable. The decision of the stewards is immediately binding even on appeal, as it concerns an infringement.