Pirelli blame debris for Massa’s punctures

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Formula One’s official tire supplier Pirelli believe Felipe Massa’s punctures during the Bahrain Grand Prix were caused by debris.

Massa was forced to make extra pit stops on lap 17 and 36 during yesterday’s race after suffering right-rear tire failures.

“Looking at the tires the initial analysis is that the first one had a very small cut in the top of the tire,” said Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery, adding the likely cause was “parts from another car”.

“The second tire had a big cut in the sidewall, very aggressive,” he added. “There were no reports of contact with Felipe so we still need to talk with Ferrari about what happened but as we say, initially, two very big cuts for the tire.”

Massa’s two problems left him 15th in the race, ending his 13-race streak of consecutive top ten points finishes.

“I was really unlucky in this race and even if it’s true that many things can happen in this sport, I can’t find an explanation for why so many of them have to be negative,” bemoaned Massa after the race. He added he’d experienced understeer during the race but did not believe it was related to his tire failures.

Recapping the 2018 Dakar Rally with “best of” video highlights

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.

NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.

Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.

So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads

Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup

MORE: Stage 13 wrapup

MORE: Stage 12 wrapup

MORE: Stage 11 wrapup

MORE: Stage 10 wrapup

MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions

MORE: Stage 8 wrapup

MORE: Stage 7 wrapup

MORE: Stage 6 wrapup

MORE: Stage 5 wrapup

MORE: Stage 4 wrapup

MORE: Stage 3 wrapup

MORE: Stage 2 wrapup

MORE: Stage 1 wrapup