Viladoms forced to retire with electrical problems.
It was touch and go whether the bikes would even depart due to the heavy rains and adverse conditions however organizers took the decision to race and it was to bring the end for many riders. Stage 8 started with a high speed dash across the Bolivian salt flats of Uyuni and then returned riders back into the mountains and the dunes of Chile’s Atacama Desert.
The combination of salt and rain was a disastrous combination for many riders and Viladoms was not spared from the mayhem. After assisting team-mate Marc Coma at a refueling point to help unclog his machine Viladoms himself fell victim to an electrical problem and was forced to retire from the Dakar.
"This stage should have never have started. Last night we thought that the morning start would be canceled and we could not believe that the organziers took the decision to go ahead. I knew that the salt and water combination would be a mechanical disaster and that the electronics would suffer. The result was inevetiable – and now I’m out of the Dakar as are many other riders. The organizers did not take into account the safety of the riders and this is the result."
CLASSIFICATION STAGE 8 – Uyuni to Iquique - 24 liaison; 781 km special (Total 805 km) - second half of marathon stage:
1. Pablo Qunitanilla (CHI, KTM): 2h:56m:19s
2. Joan Pedrero (ESP, Yamaha): +00m:11s
3. Stefan Svitko (SVK, KTM): +00m:12s
4. Toby Price (AUS, KTM): +00m:41s
5. Lila Sanz (ESP, Honda): +02m:36s
6. De Soultrait (FRA, Yamaha): +06h:36s
7. Alain Duclos (FRA, Sherco): +06m:42s
8. Hans Vogels (NLD, KTM): +07m:34s
9. Marc Coma (ESP, KTM): +07m:37s
10. Ruben Faria (POR, KTM): +07m:44s
Jordi Viladoms (ESP, KTM): retired
OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER STAGE 8:
1. Coma (KTM): 28h:51m:12s
2. Goncalves: +09m:11s
3. Qunitanilla (KTM): +11m:11s
4. Price (KTM): +15m:56s
5. Svitko (KTM): +26h:30s
6. Faria (KTM): +34m:34s
7. Duclos: +58m:08s
8. Casteu (KTM): +01h:10m:48s
9. Sainz: +01h:18m:51s
10. Pedrero: +02h:06m:10s
Jordi Viladoms (ESP, KTM) retired