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The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team is deeply saddened by the passing of Dakar Rally legend Paulo Goncalves on stage seven. On what has been a hugely emotional day for all involved in the event, the popular Portuguese rider, competing in his 13th Dakar, lost his life following a fall midway through today’s special.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna wishes Paulo’s friends, family and Hero MotoSports team their sincerest condolences at this difficult time.

Pela Renet – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Rally Team Manager: “First of all I would like to wish Paulo’s family and friends my deepest sympathy on what has been a terrible day for all of rally sport. It’s very difficult to come to terms with what has happened today and for sure it affects all of us in the bivouac. Out of respect for Paulo’s family, tomorrow’s stage has been cancelled. I believe it is the right decision and gives the riders some time to come to terms with what has happened. We know the risks in our sport, but we always hope that something like this will never happen. However, we have to accept this now, and in honour of Paulo we have to continue.”