Al-Rajhi holds off Peterhansel to extend lead in Riyadh Rally

Riyadh Rally is being organized by the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, under the chairmanship of Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 29 November 2019

Al-Rajhi holds off Peterhansel to extend lead in Riyadh Rally

  • The Rumah stage victory extends the Saudi driver’s overall advantage to 54 seconds
  • On Saturday, competitors will tackle a shorter section of 160 km through the scenic Saad National Park before a ceremonial finish at Diriyah

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al-Rajhi beat French legend Stéphane Peterhansel by 46 seconds in the challenging second 307 km section through the deserts around Rumah on Friday morning.

The Rumah stage victory extends his overall advantage in the Riyadh Rally to 54 seconds.

Aiming to win the inaugural Saudi Toyota Desert Rally Championship and continue valuable pre-Dakar Rally testing, Al-Rajhi and Northern Irish co-driver Michael Orr clocked a time of 2 hours, 18 minutes, and 40 seconds in a Toyota Hilux.

Like Peterhansel, series rival Yasir Seaidan drove an X-raid prepared MINI JCW Buggy and finished the stage in third, 2 minutes, 41 seconds adrift of the outright leader. Czech driver Miroslav Zapletal slipped to fifth place behind ED Racing’s Essa Al-Dossari and a plethora of Saudi drivers filled the remaining places inside the top 10. Mutair Al-Shammeri was the best of the bunch in sixth, followed by Faris Al-Moshna Al-Shammeri, Sami and Al-Mashna Al-Shammeri and Khalid Al-Remali.

Salman Al-Shammeri moved to the top of the T2 standings for series-production cross-country vehicles with the fastest time, putting the Nissan driver 4 minutes and 41 seconds ahead of Farhan Al-Muharib. Yousef Al-Suwaidi held third overall and Talal Al-Bader moved his Ford up into fourth.

SPEEDREAD

  • Like Peterhansel, series rival Yasir Seaidan drove an X-raid prepared MINI JCW Buggy and finished the stage in 3rd, 2 minutes and 41 seconds adrift of the outright leader.
  • Czech driver Miroslav Zapletal slipped to 5th place behind ED Racing’s Essa Al-Dossari and a plethora of Saudi drivers filled the remaining places inside the top 10.
  • Mutair Al-Shammeri was the best of the bunch in 6th, followed by Faris Al-Moshna Al-Shammeri, Sami and Al-Mashna Al-Shammeri and Khalid Al-Remali.

Saleh Al-Saif extended his advantage in the NUTV section to 1 minute 49 seconds at the wheel of a Can-Am Maverick X3. Yousef Al-Dhaif maintained second position and Khalil Al-Tuwaijri was third. 

Saudi Arabia’s leading rider Mishal Alghuneim hit the front in the motorcycle category with the fastest time of 3 hours 53 seconds. That enabled the KTM rider to forge a 1 minute 20 seconds advantage over Abu Dhabi’s Mohammed Al-Balooshi. His brother Sultan came home in third place after incurring a one-minute penalty and Kuwait’s Abdullah Al-Shatti rounded off the top four.

As both Abdullah Al-Malki and Abdullah Al-Shegawi retired from the quad category, pre-race favorite Abdulmajeed Al-Khulaifi incurred 57 minutes of time penalties and plummeted down the running order before retiring from the day with another fistful of penalties.

Sultan Al-Masoud clocked the unofficial fastest time before any potential penalties were imposed and returned to Riyadh on his Yamaha ahead of Fahad Al-Madah and Sufyan Al-Omar.

The event is being organized by the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, under the chairmanship of Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal and supervision of former International Automobile Federation Middle East champion Abdullah Bakhashab.

The rally runs with the support of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, the General Sport Authority, Abdul Latif Jameel Motors (Toyota), the MBC Group, Al-Arabia outdoors and the Saudi Research and Marketing Group.

On Saturday, competitors will tackle a shorter section of 160 km through the scenic Saad National Park before a ceremonial finish at Diriyah, near Riyadh.


Bangladesh call up uncapped Mahmud for Pakistan tour amid safety debate

Updated 18 January 2020

Bangladesh call up uncapped Mahmud for Pakistan tour amid safety debate

  • Some senior players and coaches have declined to play in Pakistan citing safety concerns
  • Bangladesh will play their T20s in Lahore from Jan. 24 and return to Pakistan for test matches in February

DHAKA: Bangladesh on Saturday called up uncapped fast bowler Hasan Mahmud for their three-match Twenty20 series in Pakistan which has been engulfed by fears over player safety.
Opener Tamim Iqbal returns after skipping a home series against Afghanistan and Zimbabwe and a tour in India. Mosaddek Hossain, Arafat Sunny, Taijul Islam and Abu Hider have been dropped from the squad.
“Hasan is a quick bowler and has a good future. So we thought maybe this is the right time to give him a break,” said Bangladesh Cricket Board’s chief selector MinHajjul Abedin.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim was left out after saying he would not go to Pakistan for security reasons.
A senior BCB official said batting coach Neil McKenzie, spin bowling coach Daniel Vettori and fielding coach Rayan Cook would also not accompany the team.
Mushfiqur, 32, remained adamant that he would not be with the squad when they leave on Wednesday.
“I decided it a long time ago and informed the board. I have submitted a letter too. My family is concerned, and don’t want me to go,” Mushfiqur told reporters late Friday.
He has also kept his name off the draft for the Pakistan Super League T20 tournament.
“There’s no bigger sin for me than not playing for Bangladesh. But I had refused an offer to play in the PSL after finding out that the tournament will be entirely held in Pakistan,” he said.
“I agree that things have improved in Pakistan, but I will gain confidence when I see teams going there for the next two years. I have been to Pakistan before, it is a great place to play cricket.”
Mushfiqur’s absence will be a blow for Bangladesh who are already without suspended all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and lost their two recent Tests in India inside three days. “I wish good luck to our team,” he said.
Bangladesh play their T20s in Lahore from January 24-27 before returning home. They will go back to Pakistan for the first Test starting February 7 and visit again to play a one day international in Karachi on April 3 and the second Test from April 5.
Bangladesh squad: Mahmudullah (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Naim, Nazmul Hossain, Liton Das, Mohammad Mithun, Afif Hossain, Mahadi Hasan, Aminul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Shafiul Islam, Al-Amin Hossain, Rubel Hossain and Hasan Mahmud.