Button accepts blame for first-lap clash

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Jenson Button said he only had himself to blame for the first-lap collision which ruined his race in Abu Dhabi.

“You make your own luck when you start down in 12th – where first-lap congestion is inevitable – and, sure enough, there was a little bit of argy-bargy into turn one,” Button reflected afterwards.

“I duly locked-up both my front tyres, couldn’t slow the car down sufficiently, and drove into the back of Paul [di Resta], which broke my front-wing end-plate.”

Button had to pit early on lap two, which was the third time in four races Button has suffered damage at the start of a race. “It’s a real pity to keep on having first-lap incidents,” he said, “especially when the car is working reasonably well now”.

“I’ve been in a similar situation for the past two races, and things haven’t really gone my way,” Button reflected.

“Still, I managed 44 laps on the prime [tire] – and, in terms of getting the most out of what we had, that felt positive.” That stint was the longest unbroken run by any driver during the race.

“All in all, given how far behind we were after lap two, to finish so close to tenth by the checker wasn’t so bad”.

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.