The 13th stage of Dakar 2023 was all about surfing the dunes. Ross Branch and Sebastian Buhler finished among the top ten riders, with 8th and 10th position respectively. Franco Caimi finished 11th. After finishing the infamous Empty Quarter, the riders moved north, from Shaybah to Al Hofuf. The SS 13 was just 153 km, but the liaison stage was over 500 km. Despite being a short stage, it was all dunes and the morning sun made it all the more difficult to correctly estimate the drop-off on the dunes.

Franco Caimi had a tough day in Stage 13, owing to the injuries he sustained from the crash in the previous stage. However, he managed to finish in the 11th fastest time, and his consistent performance so far in the race has rewarded him a place in the overall top-10.

Franco Caimi said, “The special section was really challenging for me today. I am suffering from leg injuries from yesterday, and I felt much pain today at every dune jump landing. The stage hence felt very long and difficult. Anyway, I’m happy to be here, and looking forward to the last stage tomorrow.”

Sebastian Buhler and Ross Branch rode comfortably, avoiding major risks, and yet finished well in the top-10 places.  After 13 stages at Dakar 2023, Buhler is placed at the 14th position, and Ross at the 16th, in the overall Rally GP class standings.

The final stage of Dakar 2023 edition will be a short and fast 136 km special along the shores of the Arabian Gulf, plus another 280 km to ride in liaisons. This edition of the Dakar Rally will end with grand celebrations on the seafront podium at Dammam – a befitting end to the 8500+ km trip across the country, that started from the west coast 15 days ago.