Yamaha’s Van Beveren leads impressive entries for Hail Bajas

Adrien Van Beveren
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Updated 03 December 2020

Yamaha’s Van Beveren leads impressive entries for Hail Bajas

Yamaha’s Van Beveren leads impressive entries for Hail Bajas
  • 31 motorcycles and 21 quads are participating in the FIM-sanctioned race
  • The event is being organized by the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation

JEDDAH: Yamaha’s official factory rider Adrien Van Beveren leads impressive entries in the motorcycle and quad categories for the forthcoming two Bajas in Hail that will run from Dec. 10-12 and Dec. 14-16.

The Frenchman is registered in the entry list that stands at 31 motorcycles and 21 quads for the FIM-sanctioned event being organized by the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation. It gives competitors the perfect opportunity to test their navigational techniques before the Dakar Rally in January.

Rally officials will release the FIA car, truck and national category entries on Saturday.

Van Beveren is one of a talented crop of cross-country riders and has won stages on the Dakar Rally, leading the event in the past. He suffered a wrist injury last year, but is back to full fitness and finished second at the Andalucia Rally in southern Spain in October.

The Yamaha WR 450F rider will be using the back-to-back Bajas in Hail to finalize his preparations before the Japanese manufacturer goes up against the likes of KTM, Honda, Husqvarna, Sherco and Hero in the Dakar.

His main international rival could well be young rider Konrad Dabrowski at the helm of a KTM 450 Rally as part of the Duust Rally Team. The Pole is the son of former professional rider Marek Dabrowski, who spent the latter part of his career competing on FIA World Cup events on four wheels with the Overdrive Toyota team.

Saudi riders dominate both the bike and quad categories, but Ali Ashoor, Rashed Al-Hassan, Othman Al-Ghfeli and Rashid Abdullah represent the UAE in the two-wheel section, and Khalifa Al-Raeesi will tackle the event on a Honda TRX 450 ER quad. Kuwait will be represented by Mohammed Jaffar on his KTM.

Among the Saudi riders are several who have tackled the Hail International Rally in the past, including Mishal Al-Ghuneim (KTM), Sufyan Al-Omar (Honda) and Sultan Al-Masoud (Yamaha Raptor). Al-Omar and Al-Masoud finished second and third in their category behind Riyadh Al-Oraifan at the Hail International Rally in February 2020.

Baja Hail 1 will offer 592 km of competition in a route of 890 km through the Al-Nafud desert. Baja Hail 2 has a slightly shorter format, offering 479 km of competition in a route of 780 km.

Full details of coronavirus precautions and requirements for foreigners planning to attend the event are available on the website bajahail.com.

Both Hail Bajas will run under the supervision of the Hail Regional Development Authority, in co-operation with the General Authority for Tourism and National Heritage and the General Authority for Sport.

 


Man Utd retain top spot after Liverpool stalemate, Spurs sparkle

Man Utd retain top spot after Liverpool stalemate, Spurs sparkle
Updated 18 January 2021

Man Utd retain top spot after Liverpool stalemate, Spurs sparkle

Man Utd retain top spot after Liverpool stalemate, Spurs sparkle
  • It is the first time these two old foes have been involved in a title race together since 2009 when United, then at their peak, held off Liverpool’s challenge

LONDON: Manchester United held onto top spot in the Premier League after grinding out a dour 0-0 draw at title rivals Liverpool, while Tanguy Ndombele’s stunning strike sealed Tottenham’s 3-1 win at Sheffield United on Sunday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side had the better chances in a strangely subdued clash between two of English football’s bitterest rivals.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker saved well from Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba in the second half, but neither side deserved to win.

United are three points clear of third placed Liverpool and two ahead of second placed Leicester.

United are top after the New Year for the first time since Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013 thanks to nine wins in an 12-match unbeaten run. Leaving Anfield unscathed is a solid result for United as they chase a first title in eight years, but they might feel it was a missed opportunity to pile pressure on injury-hit Liverpool given their recent struggles.

It is the first time these two old foes have been involved in a title race together since 2009 when United, then at their peak, held off Liverpool’s challenge.

But there was little feel of a seismic encounter as both teams largely played with the handbrake on at an empty and silent Anfield.

Liverpool are well short of the dynamic form that carried them to the title last season and the Champions League in 2019.

Jurgen Klopp’s team have now gone four league games without a win and are without a goal in their last three top-flight matches.

Liverpool defender Joel Matip wasn’t fit enough to feature, so Jordan Henderson had to play as a makeshift center-back alongside fellow midfielder Fabinho.

Despite that setback, Liverpool dominated a cautious first half with over 65 percent of the possession.

They lacked a cutting edge in the final third and Roberto Firmino shot wide before Mohamed Salah volleyed over.

It took United 34 minutes to have a shot and they almost took the lead from it as Bruno Fernandes whipped his free-kick inches wide.

In an equally scrappy second half, Fernandes forced a good save from Alisson when his effort from Luke Shaw’s cross was turned away by the Brazilian’s foot.

Thiago Alcantara’s strike was well saved by David De Gea, while Alisson made another fine stop to deny Paul Pogba’s close-range shot.

At Bramall Lane, Tottenham took an early lead through a rare goal from Ivory Coast defender Serge Aurier.

Harry Kane’s 19th goal of the season — the England captain’s fourth in his last six games — increased Tottenham’s advantage before half-time.

David McGoldrick got one back for bottom of the table United in the second half, but Ndombele’s sublime lob, flicked over his shoulder from an acute angle, wrapped up the points.

The wonder-goal was the latest sign of Ndombele turning his Tottenham career around.

The 24-year-old’s fine form is a stark contrast to his struggles in his first season after arriving from Lyon, with Mourinho admitting the player had to change his mindset to get back on track.

“He is incredible. For me sometimes you can score a great goal isolated from your performance. In this case the goal confirmed his performance. It was really, really good,” Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho said.

Fourth placed Tottenham are on a seven-match unbeaten run in all competitions after winning at Bramall Lane for the first time since 1975.

Manchester City host Crystal Palace in Sunday’s late match.