Dakar Rally 2022, Stage 9: Seth Quintero on cusp of win record; Americans charging


Seth Quintero scored his seventh consecutive victory during Stage 9 of the 2022 Dakar Rally, leading a solid Tuesday for surging Americans in the Saudi Arabian desert.

Quintero finished just over 2 minutes ahead of teammate Cristina Gutierrez Herrero. By winning the 491-kilometer loop around Al Dawadimi in light prototype, the San Marcos, California, native has nine victories — one short of the record set by Pierre Lartigue during a 17-stage Dakar in 1994.

With three stages remaining, Quintero, 19, will have ample opportunity to break the mark in his OT3-02 — though the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team driver is out of contention for the class title because of a Stage 2 mechanical failure. He has won every stage since then, embodying his “never give up” attitude (which he detailed in this recent interview with NBC Sports).

DAKAR RALLY ON NBC: How to watch nightly coverage at the Olympic Channel

NEVER GIVE UP: Seth Quintero focused on breaking Dakar Rally stage win record

“We had a smooth day,” Quintero said Tuesday. “A really rocky day, so we were trying to not get a flat tire. Definitely, I drove pretty consistently and conservatively. There are no team orders out here, we’re definitely fighting for our own goals. Cristina is still in the game for the overall, so hopefully, she keeps on climbing up those ranks, and obviously I’m in the hunt to break the record for the most stage wins.

“We’ve got a few stages to go and we need a few more to break the record, so hopefully we can get them and click that record off. Cristina is a very fast, consistent and smooth driver. She really doesn’t make any mistakes so it’s not going to be easy for us to try to break that record. There are fifty other people in this class that can obviously win the race. Everyone in this class is a stellar driver. It’s definitely not going to be easy, but I hope that we can get it done.”

An American class champion at the 2022 Dakar Rally still is a strong possibility after Stage 9. In SSV, Austin Jones expanded his overall lead to 14 minutes with a runner-up finish Tuesday. In Quad, Pablo Copetti, who was born in Argentina and became a U.S. citizen two years ago, scored a victory and is 24 minutes behind Alexandre Giroud.

“I will take risks,” Copetti said. “I need to reduce the gap and I want the win. The only way to win is just to try to reduce the gap so I have to go full gas.”

In the bike category, 2020 champion Ricky Brabec finished third in Stage 9 and improved to 12th overall, 35 minutes off leader Matthias Walkner. Brabec, the first American to win a Dakar class title, is surging again in the second week after finishing first and second at Dakar in Saudi Arabia the past two years.

In the car division, three-time Dakar Rally champion Nasser Al-Attiyah maintained a comfortable lead of nearly 40 minutes with a third place. Giniel de Villiers won in Stage 9 of the 2022 Dakar Rally for his first podium this year.

“Today we had another really good run, without any big bushes,” Al-Attiyah said. “Now we also have a good lead, so we are quite happy. Toyota have looked in good shape today, with first, second and third. The BF Goodrich tires are really working very well today because it was a mix of stones, gravel and sand.

“We are quite happy to have this good run every day. It’s not easy but we are happy to be coming close to the finish in Jeddah.”

Here are the stage winners and the top three overall in each category after Stage 9 of the 2022 Dakar Rally:


Stage 9 winner: Giniel De Villiers (ZAF), 2:23:08. Overall: 1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT), Toyota Gazoo Racing, 30:10:04; 2. Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Bahrain Raid Extreme, 30:49:09; 3. Yazeed Al Rajhi (SAU), Overdrive Toyota, 31:08:48.


Stage 9 winner: Nacho Cornejo (CHL), 2:29:30: Overall: 1. Matthias Walkner (AUS), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 30:14:03; 2. Sam Sunderland (GBR), GasGas Factory Racing, 30:16:15; 3. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team, 30:17:59. Other U.S. notables: 10. Andrew Short, Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team, 30:49:02; 12. Ricky Brabec, Monster Energy Honda, 30:49:57; 13. Mason Klein, BAS Dakar KTM Racing Team, 30:51:27. Withdrew: Skyler Howes, Husqvarna Factory Racing.


Stage 9 winner: Eduard Nikolaev (RAF), 2:38:43. Overall: 1. Dmitry Sotnikov (RAF), Kamaz-Master 32:43:53; 2. Eduard Nikolaev (RAF), Kamaz-Master, 32:52:44; 3. Anton Shibalov (RAF), Kamaz-Master, 33:25:11.

Light prototype

Stage 9 winner: Seth Quintero (USA), 2:50:04. Overall: 1. Francisco Lopez Contardo (CHL), EKS — South Racing, 35:47:12; 2. Sebastian Eriksson (SWE), EKS — South Racing, 37:07:03; 3. Fernando Alvarez (ESP), South Racing Can-Am, 38:53:33. Notable: 8. Seth Quintero (USA), Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team USA, 51:20:22.


Stage 9 winner: Marek Goczal (POL), 3:00:52. Overall: 1. Austin Jones (USA), Can-Am Factory South Racing, 37:14:28; 2. Gerard Farres Guell (ESP), Can-Am Factory South Racing, 37:28:15; 3. Michal Goczal (POL), Cobant-Energylandia Rally Team, 37:30:55.


Stage 9 winner: Pablo Copetti (USA), 3:18:58. Overall: 1. Alexandre Giroud (FRA), Yamaha Racing – SMX -Drag’on, 38:06:16; 2. Pablo Copetti (USA), Del Amo Motorsports/Yamaha Rally Team, 38:30:47; 3. Kamil Wisniewski (POL), Orlen Team, 40:44:18.


DAY 1: Nasser Al-Attiyah takes overall lead as Audi drivers struggle

DAY 2: Sebastien Loeb wins; Austin Jones takes SSV lead

DAY 3: Led by Seth Quintero’s rebound victory, U.S. drivers and riders shine

DAY 4: Overall leader Nasser Al-Attiyah wins stage after penalty

DAY 5: Petrucci becomes first MotoGP veteran to win bike stage at Dakar

DAY 6: Quintero continues impressive win streak in lightweight prototype

DAY 7: Loeb wins in overall; Jones retakes SSV lead

DAY 8: DTM champion Mattias Ekstrom wins first stage

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Motocross season opener: Jett Lawrence rockets to the top

SuperMotocross Rankings season opener
Align Media

As the SuperMotocross season heads outdoors, the NBC Power Rankings change significantly with results from the Motocross opener at Fox Raceway in Pala, California. The Power Rankings assign a numeric value to each individual moto (90 points maximum) as well as the overall standings (100 points) and averages that number over the past 45 days. Included in the Power Rankings are results from the final five Supercross rounds, which fit into that 45-day timeframe.

Dylan Ferrandis finished on the podium in his first race back after experience a concussion in Supercross Round 4 at Houston. – Align Media

It didn’t take long for Jett Lawrence to rocket to the top of the SuperMotocross rankings – only about 74 minutes in fact. Lawrence dominated his first moto and beat his teammate Chase Sexton, the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross champion, to the line by 10 seconds. He had to fight a little harder for the second moto win as Sexton stalked him throughout the race and ended up less than a second behind.

Beginning this week, we have added the SuperMotocross points’ ranking beside the rider’s name and in one fell swoop, Lawrence went from being unranked in the 450 class to 26th. To qualify for the inaugural SuperMotocross’ guaranteed 20 positions that automatically make the gate for the three-race championship series, Lawrence needs to be inside the top 20 in combined Supercross and Motocross points. The bubble is currently held by Justin Starling and Lawrence needs to make up 44 points to overtake him.

Sexton’s second-place finish in the overall standings at Fox Raceway marked his ninth consecutive top-five finish. After the race, Sexton compared the battle he had with Lawrence to the one he experienced with Eli Tomac in last year’s Pro Motocross championship. These two riders had a significant advantage over the field in Pala, but there is still a lot of racing to be completed.

MORE: Jett Lawrence wastes no time, wins first 450 race

After missing 13 rounds to a concussion, Dylan Ferrandis told NBC Sports that he was not going to do anything risky in the season opener at Fox Raceway. If he dialed back his effort at all, one would be hard-pressed to notice. He finished third in both motos and was third in the overall standings. Ferrandis began the weekend just outside the top 20 in combined SuperMotocross points and climbed to 19th. In the next few weeks, he will get a little more breathing room over the cutline and then challenge for wins.

Adam Cianciarulo’s three-race streak of top-five finishes ended with a sixth-place overall at Fox Raceway, but that was enough to advance him one position in the NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings and land him eighth in the combined points standings. His individual motos were moderate, but Cianciarulo is still battling the effects of injury and a nagging loss of strength in his wrist.

Aaron Plessinger returned from injury in the Supercross season finale to finish second at Salt Lake City. He added another top-five to his season total and now has six of those in the 13 rounds he’s made. With Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac not currently racing in Motocross, Plessinger has an opportunity to rise to the third seeding in short order.

450 Rankings

Driver (SMX rank) Power
1. Jett Lawrence (26) 93.33 NA
2. Chase Sexton (1) 92.36 1 -1
3. Dylan Ferrandis (19) 89.00 NA
4. Adam Cianciarulo (8) 82.89 5 1
5. Aaron Plessinger (5) 81.20 9 4
6. Justin Hill (9)
Not racing MX
79.75 8 2
7. Ken Roczen (4)
injured | Not racing MX
79.13 3 -4
8. Jose Butron (30) 75.67 NA
9. Lorenzo Locurcio (29) 75.00 NA
10. Eli Tomac (2)
74.50 2 -8
11. Dean Wilson (10)
Not racing MX
72.88 7 -4
12. Cooper Webb (3) 71.17 6 -6
13. Jerry Robin (32) 70.33 NA
14. Justin Barcia (6)
70.00 4 -10
15. Kyle Chisholm (15) 65.36 11 -4
16. Dante Oliveira (36) 65.00 NA
17. Shane McElrath (11)
Not racing MX
63.63 12 -5
18. Ryan Surratt (38) 63.33 NA
19. Josh Hill (13)
Not racing MX
62.38 13 -6
20. Justin Starling (20)
Not racing MX
62.13 19 -1

Motocross 450 Points

A bad start to Moto 1 at Fox Raceway was not enough to deter Hunter Lawrence. Neither was the fact that he was riding with sore ribs after experiencing a practice crash earlier in the week. He was a distant 10th to start the first race and for most of the 30 minutes, it seemed he would finish off the podium. Lawrence did not win the 250 East Supercross championship by giving in to hopelessness or pain, however.

Lawrence picked off one rider and then another until he found the battle for the top five in front of him at the halfway point. Once the field started to lap riders, Lawrence used the opportunity to continue forward through the grid. He passed third-place Jo Shimoda with two laps remaining and challenged Maximus Vohland for second on the final trip around Fox Raceway, but had to settle for the final spot on the podium. Lawrence dominated Moto 2 and claimed the overall victory in Pala.

Justin Cooper made his first start of the season at Fox Raceway and earned enough NBC Power Average points to climb to second. Partly this was due to consistently strong runs in both motos and a 5-4 that gave him the fifth position overall, but he is also not weighed down with moderate Supercross results. It will take a week or two to see where his strength lands him on the grid.

Motocross 250 Points

In only his third Pro Motocross National, Haiden Deegan scored a second-place finish in the overall standings. – Align Media

RJ Hampshire may feel he has something to prove after finishing second to Jett Lawrence in the 250 SX West division. He certainly rode like that was the case in Moto 1 and easily outpaced the field on his way to victory lane. In Moto 2, he crashed twice on Lap 1 and dropped back to 39th. It took half of the race to get inside the top 20 and salvage points. By the end of the race, he was 11th and while that was enough to get him on the overall podium, it cost him points in the NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings.

Haiden Deegan surprised the field in Houston in his 250 Supercross debut by finishing fifth. At the time, he said his strong result was because there were no expectations. He echoed that statement after the Motocross season opener. His second-place finish in the overall standings was enough to project him five positions up the SuperMotocross Rankings. In 11 rounds in the combined series, Deegan has earned seven top-fives and a worst finish of eighth.

Jo Shimoda did not make his first Supercross race of 2023 until late in the season. He finished fourth on the hybrid track of Atlanta, which had some similar elements to Fox Raceway. His fourth-place finish in Moto 1 of the Motocross opener made it seem likely he would score an overall podium, but a sixth in the second race cost him points in the NBC Power Rankings in a field that promises to be extremely tight.

250 Rankings

Driver (SMX rank) Power
1. Hunter Lawrence (1) 89.56 2 1
2. Justin Cooper (42) 84.67 NA
3. RJ Hampshire (3) 83.67 3 0
3. Haiden Deegan (4) 83.67 8 5
5. Jo Shimoda (16) 82.33 7 2
6. Guillem Farres (46) 79.33 NA
7. Levi Kitchen (6) 79.11 5 -2
8. Max Anstie (5) 77.83 12 4
9. Max Vohland (8) 77.50 14 5
10. Enzo Lopes (10) 76.00 11 1
11. Mitchell Oldenburg (13) 74.25 16 5
12. Carson Mumford (19) 71.22 17 5
13. Jordon Smith (7) 70.56 9 -4
14. Ryder DiFrancesco (48) 70.33 NA
15. Chris Blose (12) 67.00 13 -2
16. Chance Hymas (27) 66.00 19 3
17. Tom Vialle (9) 65.78 18 1
18. Jett Reynolds (55) 63.33 NA
19. Michael Mosiman (28) 62.33 20 1
20. Garrett Marchbanks (64) 59.00 NA

* The NBC Power Rankings assign 100 points to a Main event winner in Supercross and overall winner in Motocross. It awards 90 points for each Moto, Heat and Triple Crown win. The points decrement by a percentage equal to the number of riders in the field until the last place rider in each event receives five points. The Power Ranking is the average of these percentage points over the past 45 days.

POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 13 AT ATLANTA: Justin Barcia leapfrogs the Big 3
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 11 AT SEATTLE: Cooper Webb, Eli Tomac overtake Chase Sexton
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 10 AT DETROIT: Chase Sexton narrowly leads Webb
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 8 AT DAYTONA: Chase Sexton unseats Eli Tomac
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 7 AT ARLINGTON: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Eli Tomac
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 6 AT OAKLAND: Perfect night keeps Eli Tomac first
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 5 AT TAMPA: Chase Sexton, Cooper Webb close in
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 4 AT HOUSTON: Eli Tomac rebounds from A2 crash, retakes lead
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 3 AT ANAHEIM 2: Consistency makes Ken Roczen king
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 2 AT SAN DIEGO: Ken Roczen moves up, Chase Sexton falls
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 1 AT ANAHEIM 1: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence gain an early advantage