The start of the second half of the 2020 Dakar Rally has been overshadowed by the untimely death of Paulo Goncalves – the experienced rally racer who for many years has competed shoulder-to-shoulder with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and its riders.

Casting a dark shadow over the 741-kilometre stage, the experienced 40-year-old Portuguese racer was competing in his 13th Dakar.

As a mark of respect, tomorrow’s stage eight from Wadi Al-Dawasir to Wadi Al-Dawasir has been cancelled, for the motorcycle class, by event organisers ASO.

The Red Bull KTM Rally team and all at KTM wish Paulo’s family, team and friends their sincerest condolences.

Jordi Viladoms – KTM Rally Team Manager: “It has been an extremely sad day for the rally family and of course we send our condolences to Paulo’s family and friends. He was very much loved in the paddock – not only a great rider but also an amazing person and a legend of our sport. Obviously, the news has shocked us deeply, but no one more so than Toby, who was the first to reach Paulo after his crash. We are thankful that in respect for Paulo’s loved ones, and to pay tribute to a great man, tomorrow’s stage will be cancelled for the motorcycles. A day without racing will give all riders the chance to remember Paulo and clear their heads before continuing on Tuesday. Of course, we all hope for a safe finish to the event.”