Webber in fresh row with Pirelli over tires

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Mark Webber has blasted Pirelli’s Formula One tires again after Sergio Perez suffered a tire explosion during the Korean Grand Prix.

Webber was following Perez at the time and picked up tire damage himself by running through the debris.

“That is how it is,” said Webber to The Telegraph after the race. “The drivers aren’t super important – it is what other people want.”

“The tyres are wearing a lot and they also explode a bit. But that is for Pirelli to sort out.”

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery responded to Webber’s latest complaints, saying: “There are two issues here that Mark is conflating.”

“Firstly the situation with Sergio’s tire. It was nothing to do with delaminations earlier in the season. He had a major lock-up and flat-spotted.”

“The other issue about degradation is the same old story.”

Fernando Alonso also complained about Pirelli’s tires during the weekend, leading to a stinging response from Hembery in which he told Alonso to consult the “soon to be four-times-champion” Sebastian Vettel on how to get the best out of the rubber. Hembery later apologized for his remarks.

Hembery said Perez’s failure was no cause for concern: “We have been able to determine very quickly that it was the result of a flat spot caused by a lock-up under heavy braking.”

“We’re obviously on exactly the same construction as we raced here last year, so there’s no underlying problem, while flat spots or punctures have just always been an integral part of racing.”

Video highlights from Stage 12 of Dakar Rally, 2 stages remain

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Thursday’s Stage 12 of the 40th Dakar Rally not only closed the overall standings gap in at least two classes (cars and trucks), two other classes (bikes and quads) failed to get going due to weather conditions.

The full video highlights of Stage 12 will air on NBCSN on Friday at 7 pm ET, but here are some of the highlights from Thursday’s action:

CARS

2018 Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah wins Stage 12 of cars

BIKES

 Stage 12 cancelled due to weather conditions

 

TRUCKS

Ton van Genugten edged out Martin Kolomy in Stage of, while Federico Villagra and Eduard Nikolaev both faced an uphill battle to finish fourth and third respectively.

QUADS

Even though the Quads were also impacted by weather issues on Thursday, Ignacio Casale, the 2014 Dakar winner, continues to make his case for a second overall victory in the quads.