At km 299, three quarters into today's special, Cornejo is still in control by 1'18' over Kevin Benavides, 3'09' over Barreda and 5'37' over Santolino. Van Beveren is 9'03' down, but his direct competitors for the overall are far behind, with Walkner at 22'09' and Sunderland and 25'17'. VBA is still in the virtual lead. This could be the first major change of the second week.
Maciej Giemza and Jan Brabec went through km 298, three quarters of the way through, in 12th and 13th place, beating a biker of the calibre of Quintanilla! Only Xavier de Soultrait, who used to be a factory rider, is ahead of these two among the pure private competitors who go head to head with the pros.
VBA and Yamaha are not the only ones who stand to profit from stage 7. Sherco's Santolini moved up to second place in the virtual overall at km 259, 7′13″ behind the Frenchman. Walkner is trailing the leader by 8′02″, followed by Sunderland at 8′31″ and Benavides at 9′28″. We have a Frenchman in first place and a French bike in second!
Starting in 22nd place this morning, Cornejo has turned the pecking order on its head at the last three checkpoints. 259 km into the stage, he leads the special by 1'03' on Benavides, 2'55' on Barreda, 4'22' on Luciano Benavides and Xavier de Soultrait at 4'34', 5 seconds ahead of Toby Price. Santolino is within 5 minutes of the leader and Brabec is 5'52' down.Meanwhile, Adrien Van Beveren is pulling off a coup in the general standings! He is 12th at 7'27', good enough to take 12'15' back on Walkner and 15'22' on Sunderland, putting the Frenchman in the virtual lead at this time check. It's almost 150 km from here to Ad-Dawadimi.