translated from Spanish: Joseph I. Cornejo: «The fourth place in the Dakar is for now the best of my career»

With his mind set on resting and spending time with his family and friends he arrived in Iquique very early in the morning José Antonio Cornejo, driver of the Honda team who was fourth in the Dakar of Saudi Arabia, becoming the youngest driver in obte know that place in the most demanding and dangerous race in the world. About 8 hours remained in Santiago the 25-year-old 6-month-old North Man from Paris. He rested for a few hours and left in the early morning to the Tarapacá region where very early he landed at the General Diego Aracena International Airport.Nacho Cornejo participated for the fifth time in the Dakar, being in 2020 his best performance and grazing the podium, having won his first two stages that led him to be the big surprise in the motorcycle category. He was the youngest driver to finish fourth in the history of the competition, which left the driver and the Monster Energy Honda Team very happy.The driver will take two to three weeks of vacation to resume sports activity in mid-February and once the team or decide what strategy will be faced during the five-date World Cross Country Rally Championship, the first being between March 20 and 26 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. In Iquique, Nacho Cornejo held a press conference at the Cornejo Motos store where he indicated, among other assessments, that his purpose in the Dakar was to have been on the podium, which for 7 minutes 37 seconds could not achieve, after covering a total of 7,856 miles through the Saudi desert for two weeks.» I went to Saudi Arabia with the attitude of being among the pointers, of being on the podium and I almost achieved it. I think it was very good to be in the top five in the Dakar. My early years at the rally were not easy, but now I’m happy where I am and how I’ve been treated. I’m very motivated for what’s coming,» he said. The most frustrating moment of the race was in stage 7, when Pablo Goncalves crashed and died. It was terrible (…) I found out when I got to camp. Luciano Benavides (Argentina’s KTM pilot) told me. I didn’t stop crying with my helmet on until I got to the motor home. I’m never going to forget that moment. He (Goncalves) was very funny to win or lose. He was always making jokes. He was a great guy,» he added. Continuing his experience in Saudi soil, Cornejo noted that «stage 9 was the one I was most afraid of, I do not know how to call it, but it was the stage after Paul’s death (Goncalves), because stage 8 was suspended for motorcycles and quadbikes. It was the longest stretch (891 kms). I ran very out of the race.» Regarding KTM’s interest in joining his ranks, the servant at Iquique stated that «I know it was published that the KTM team is interested in me, but I owe allegiance to Honda with whom I have a contract until 2021. I am very happy with them, so I appreciate the words of Jordi Viladoms (Team Manager of KTM), who congratulated me on my performance at the end of the race». Finally, the young national driver acknowledged that what has been done in Saudi Arabia «so far is the best result of my sporting career, over the 2016 Junior World Title. I’m happy with my performance in the Dakar 2020.»

Original source in Spanish

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