Slovenian Dakar Rally racer Simon Marcic has been left with a broken leg after a collision between him and 12-time racer winner Stephane Peterhansel, who currently leads the car section of this year’s race. Marcic was left with a compound fracture of his leg.
The Frenchman successfully transitioned from two wheels to four after becoming Mr Dakar in the mid-90s, winning six times from 1991 to 1998, but has since matched his form in a car to that on a bike by taking another six victories, most recently in 2016, to become one of the legends of the race.
The collision happened as Peterhansel, one of the leading cars away, caught the last of the bikes to start – and the Peugeot driver says he was left with nowhere to go when the KTM rider reversed back into him.
"The biker was in reverse. When he saw me, he braked, and he crashed and I stopped on him. I saw that his leg was broken but he was still conscious. We stayed for about 15 or 20 minutes with him and waited for the medical helicopter. Afterwards, it was really complicated to restart, to drive with a good speed. Not an easy day."
Peterhansel has developed a reputation as an aggressive competitor since his transition from two wheels to four, with a number of incidents in his past, including contact between him and Filippo Ciotti, ending the Italian’s race.
However, there’s no evidence that the Frenchman was in the wrong in yesterday’s crash, and he’s been credited with the time he lost stopping to wait on the medical helicopter to retain his race lead.