Meoni dies on Dakar
Two-time Dakar winner Fabrizio Meoni has died after an accident on stage 12 of the Dakar rally.
The KTM rider, who was holding second place in the race, crashed minutes after refuelling at checkpoint one on a particularly dangerous section of the route. He was found moments later by Yamaha rider David Fretigne who let off his distress beacon and called for help.
Race director Etienne Lavigne explained: "He fell after checkpoint one at 10:15. We sent a helicopter, which arrived at 10:36. His heart had stopped when we found him. Unfortunately, 45 minutes of resuscitation could not restart it."
Lavigne went on to express the regret of everyone on the Dakar: "We loved him deeply, he was someone who had had a big impact on the Dakar. He was a great guy, who loved a laugh. We're deeply saddened by this news."
Meoni had previously announced that this would be his last time competing on the gruelling rally.
KTM is currently considering whether to pull all of it’s riders out of the race.
The day’s stage was won by Marc Coma with Cyril Despres taking second place. The riders only found out about Meoni’s death 10km from the end of the stage.