x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Novitskiy in one-way traffic

Team X-Raid's Leonid Novitskiy has all but secured victory in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, just three days into the five-day race.

France's David Casteu navigates hard terrain in the Empty Quarter yesterday.
France's David Casteu navigates hard terrain in the Empty Quarter yesterday.

Team X-Raid's Leonid Novitskiy has all but secured victory in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, just three days into the five-day race. Novitskiy leads Laurent Rosso by more than two-and-a-half hours in the cars section, meaning he does not need to take any unnecessary risks over the final stages today and tomorrow. "Abu Dhabi's Empty Quarter is not so easy to master, but my lead is allowing me to respect the terrain and navigate the sands very well," he said.

Rosso sits in second place, with Abdul Bari bin Sugat third. Mark Powell was forced to retire for the day because of a technical fault, but he vowed to return today to resurrect his challenge for a podium finish. The Briton David Mabbs was forced to miss all of yesterday's racing with a transmission problem. @Email:sport@thenational.ae