In the unassisted bikers’ category, Benjamin Melot has won a second consecutive special. He has overtaken Charan Moore in the general rankings to climb onto the third step of the provisional podium, 1 hour and 27 minutes behind Arūnas Gelažninkas and a little more than half an hour behind Milan Engel.
On completion of stage 8, Sam Sunderland has regained the lead in the bike category general rankings, making it the 6th day in this position for the GasGas rider. He has even managed to increase his lead on the end of the special and now lies 3’45 ahead of Walkner and 4'43 ahead of Van Beveren. Pablo Quintanilla, 4th in the general rankings, has moved to within 5'30'' of the leader thanks to his 2nd place on the day’s special. The other Honda rider, Joan Barreda, is 5th, 14'38'' behind the leader. Santolino has moved into 6th position but the gap between the top of the rankings has increased threefold. The Sherco rider now trails the new general standings Sam Sunderland leader by 21'09''. Mason Klein, who could already be called the revelation of this 44th edition of the Dakar, achieved the day’s fifth best time, 8'08'' behind the winner and now occupies 10th place, 35'26'' behind the Englishman, and three minutes behind none other than Toby price! Privateer Štefan Svitko is in front of the Australian, in 8th place, 27 minutes behind the only official GasGas rider left in the race.
After 280 km, Sam Sunderland (GasGas) boasted the day’s best time, 2’02’’ in front of Walkner and 2’10’’ ahead of Quintanilla'. Van Beveren trailed the Englishman by 6'59'' meaning Sunderland is the virtual general rankings leader ahead of VBA and Walkner. Less than thirty seconds separated the KTM and Yamaha rider in this battle for provisional second place in the general standings. Cornejo and Barreda lost time a little further on whilst looking for a waypoint. They have already reached the finishing line, but only when Sunderland arrives will we know the outcome of the day.
After 201 km, Sam Sunderland is still setting the pace on the day’s special. The British rider now has a lead of almost two minutes over Matthias Walkner. Pablo Quintanilla is the day’s leading Honda rider, 2’22’’ behind the Englishman. Adrien Van Beveren, now more than 6 minutes behind the current stage leader’, has lost the lead in the virtual general rankings to Sunderland.