Each stage of the Dakar hides hundreds of stories not to see the light and that in the vast majority of cases they speak of solidarity, of shared efforts and struggle in the face of adversity and the elements. However, the fourth stage of the Dakar 2017 left a episode very different, while Laia Sanz showed angry because according to their version, another pilot had deceived when asked by one of the control points, a situation that cost him a half-hour lost to the KTM rider. A setback that overshadowed without a doubt the good stage that was being consolidated Laia Sanz.
Although in a first moment the identity of the pilot was not unveiled, finally it has been known that Joaquim Rodrigues was, in theory, the pilot who cheated on Laia Sanz. The Portuguese, who is contesting his first Dakar at the controls of a Hero Speedbrain 450 Rally, has had to come to the fore to deny to Laia Sanz and refute the words of the pilot Catalan. According to his own version, all this was a misunderstanding without any intent, by the fact that you do not understand the furore that has been generated in the press and on social networks
“Have been difficult days in terms of communication and didn’t know what I was talking about in the press about the situation Laia Sanz” claimed Joaquin Rodrigues in a statement to ‘Autosport.pt’. The Portuguese added: “I Believe that there has been a misunderstanding. Never will deceive an opponent. I have my principles. I am sure that she did not hear what I said, because she spoke of a way point and asked me if I had found it. I said yes and went to high speed. How this history has been able to take these proportions? I’m a rookie on the Dakar, I’m doing my role and I have come to learn“.
In this line, Joaquim Rodrigues concluded: “I have to learn a lot of other pilots with more experience. I don’t think that Laia, the professional that he is, has had this attitude. In any way, if you take bad my words, I can only regret. In the same way I regret the unpleasant words that have been the target yesterday, without any knowledge of cause. I have so much respect for the Spanish riders as by the Portuguese or any other place. My career continues, I am grateful to all those who are with me“.