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Dakar Co-Driver Takes Struggling Racer's Bike, Rides Over Obstacle, Gives It Back

oran o'kelly hands his dakar rally motorcycle to a car class co driver, loic minaudier
Dakar Co-Driver Helps Struggling Bike RacerMotorsports on NBC / YouTube

Mathieu Serradori and co-driver Loic Minaudier came into Thursday's 11th stage of the Dakar Rally running sixth among car entrants, less than two hours off the rally lead and just 46 minutes off the event's podium. That meant they were still in the thick of the fight and in position to advance if anything went wrong with a leading contender's car. It also meant the pair had no time to waste watching a motorcyclist slowly navigate an obstacle that their car could pass through with relative ease.

While he is a co-driver in a car for this year's event, Minaudier has previously run and finished the Dakar Rally on a bike. When the pair came across a narrow path blocked by rider Oran O'Kelly walking his bike through the sharp rocks, he put that experience to use.

Yes, Minaudier simply jumped out of the passenger seat of his race vehicle, hopped on O'Kelly's bike, and calmly rode it through the obstacle. His biggest problem was leaving the bike standing on the rocks for O'Kelly, a slight delay that allowed another truck to pass Serradori on the road.

Still, the plan went about as well as it possibly could go. The rider's motorcycle arrived on the other side of the obstacle, the rider was not really delayed himself, and Minaudier and Serradori were able to get back on the road without having to wait any longer. The pair struggled through the rest of the stage and now run tenth, three hours behind now-runaway rally leader Carlos Sainz Sr.

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