Euphoric, it could not be otherwise. that’s how it was Al-Attiyah when he got out of his Toyota just after finishing the last stage and certify his fourth Dakar, the first he has won in Saudi Arabia, something that excites him especially for doing it so close to home. The Qatari acknowledges that it has not been easy for him to manage his advantage for so many days because he always wants to go on the attack. He thanks his co-driver Baumel and celebrates that they are the best.

—Congratulations, your fourth victory in a Dakar.

—Yes, the last one was in 2019. Now we have a new T1+ regulation with which we are very happy. There were three strong teams with all chances of winning. We did a good job, Matthieu (Baumel) and I, the team… We have all been very good from the beginning. I want to thank everyone for the support they have given us. This victory was very important for me because the race is in our region, so I am very happy.

“Why did you win?”

-Because I’m the best (laughs). Matthieu and I are a good couple and we make a strong team. We have done a good job and I am proud of it.

“Did you especially want to win in Arabia?”

—People have been waiting for it since 2020, when the Dakar came here. But we were second in the previous two editions, now I’ve won and it’s a great feeling. I’m very happy.

—The Toyota T1+ has been great.

—The team has done a great job to build the car in a year, bring it here and win, and that is something that is not easy. We didn’t have any problems during the race because we were careful, it’s a new car and now we know it can hold up. We will go for the World Cup.

“He took command from the beginning and never let go…

“We’ve had the race under control from the start, yes. And then we made a pretty big difference after the rest day. We have tried to manage the second week, losing a few minutes with ‘Seb’ (Loeb). It hasn’t been easy for me because I usually go all out and it was about controlling every day. It is an incredible victory.

—Do you want the Dakar to continue in Arabia?

I love the Dakar. In a week or ten days we will think about the next one. We are lucky to have the race here and I want to thank the Saudi government for letting us enjoy their amazing scenery.

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