Honda rider Schareina out of Dakar Rally after breaking wrist

Honda rider Tosha Schareina has retired from the Dakar Rally after breaking his wrist in a fall in Saturday's opening stage.

#68 Monster Energy Honda: Tosha Schareina

The first stage of the Dakar Rally got off to a dramatic start as the medical helicopter had to come to the aid of Honda rider Joaquim Rodrigues after a crash at the 82km mark.

But that was not all in the bike category, as overall leader and one of the favourites for victory, Schareina, went down 240km into the stage later in the day.

The Valencian rider, who was in third place, injured his arm in the process, making it difficult for the factory Honda rider to continue any futher. 

Hero's Ross Branch stopped to help him in case he needed medical attention, and that's when it was discovered that there was something wrong with his arm. The incident occured at 11:18 local time, wiping his chances of winning the Touareg Trophy for the first time.

It was later discovered that he had broken his left wrist in the crash.

He finally abandoned his efforts after receiving medical assistance from the Dakar safety team.

"There was a very technical part that, for me as a rider, I could go quite relaxed. That was the mistake," he said. "I caught up with Toby [Price] and Joan [Barreda], I was very comfortable and even too relaxed.

"I made a mistake there, we weren't going very fast, but it was an area where there was all black volcanic rock with only one line, and I caught something with the rear wheel.

"It's always annoying when you're having a great race and one silly mistake [kills all your chances].

"Maybe when you're playing it safe at the beginning of the stage and then when you want to be more relaxed, to have these things happen, it's always angry. The only way to be able to reward all the work that others do for you is to do well, and a crash always leaves a bad taste in your mouth."

At the hospital, Schareina underwent a series of medical tests and will now make a call on getting a surgery done on his broken wrist.

"My wrist is broken, and we think the acromion is broken, but that's on the back burner, so we'll have to see if we need to do it," he said

"We'll have to see if we have to do surgery or not, and see how long it will take to recover, but I'm sure it won't be long.

"Depending on the level of the fracture, if we have to operate, we would set [the trip home] today, and operate tomorrow to start the recovery as soon as possible.

"I think we've had a great season, with the victory in the World Championship, they already take us into account, and now in the Dakar, having won the Prologue and having done this first stage, they already look at us and know that we can be there, but in the end you also have to be regular and finish the same way you started."

#68 Monster Energy Honda: Tosha Schareina

Photo by: Honda Racing

#68 Monster Energy Honda: Tosha Schareina

Before the crash, Schareina had been leading the rally ahead of Branch, with Michael Docherty next up on his KTM Rally2 bike.

Other leading contenders like Ricky Brabec (Honda), Lorenzo Santolino (Sherco TVS) and Kevin Benavides (KTM) were a little further behind, but lost more time in the rocky and sandy areas as they headed for Al Henakiyah.

Bikes wasn't the only category that witnessed drama on the first day of Dakar. The cars division had to be delayed due to an accident involving Overdrive driver Lionel Baud and a spectator.

In a statement, Dakar organiser ASO noted that there was an "incident with a spectator about 200 metres from the start line" and the injured fan was "attended to by the medical services and taken to the nearest hospital."

It followed confusion just before the beginning of the day's proceedings, when Century driver Brian Baragwanath didn't arrive at the start on time, prompting Baud to take on the timed section.

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