Lawrence Santolino, in his third participation in the toughest race in the world, he started in a big way, with a fifth position in the first stage of the Dakar 2021. But experience tells him that, far from celebrating his enormous result, he must keep a cool head and keep your feet on the ground. The pilot of Guijuelo he surprised in his first two years by rolling among the best in various stages. He experienced part of the best of the race, but he also saw the worst, with a sharp fall in his first year that forced him to leave and a tremendous compression on a dune with which he was seriously injured in 2020. Now, wait for it to come true tocomplaint that ‘the third time is the charm’ and to be able to finish the Dakar, But for this, Sherco’s assured MD that he preferred not to set specific goals or think about reaching the end. “I would very much like to finish, but my only objective is to do it well every day”, He said. This Sunday he more than fulfilled his plan with a magnificent fifth position and a final stretch of difficult navigation in which he made a difference with the best. That was a huge respite after a year 2020 that, if it was already hard, for him it was a little more.
Lorenzo started 2020 in the worst way, with a severe injury and the death of his mother, a victim of cancer. “It has been a complicated year, due to having to leave the Dakar in a strange way, due to the situation that we have all experienced, due to personal issues, my mother passed away, and due to rehabilitation, which I had to do at home”, said .
“I thought the injury would keep me standing for two or three months, but it was a dislocation of the elbow and the head of the radius had been broken in several places. The doctor told me that he had to be unemployed for 4 to 6 months, although only 4 was precipitous ”. Luckily, he was able to start rehabilitation with his physio in the first weeks, and later he had to do it remotely due to the confinement. In that sense, it was positive that there were no races, since if there had been, it would have forced the machine unnecessarily.
“I didn’t take the bike until June and it was difficult for me to get back on it and get into shape. First it was an enduro bike and I didn’t get on the rally bike until the end of summer “, he remembered MD.
A very special number
After that, the best news was to return in the only race of the year, the Andalusia Rally, finishing on the podium, although he still had doubts about the Dakar, since the route was more similar to the roads he travels in his training sessions than to the desert. In dunes he could only do a test in Morocco with the training bike because the race bike was already on its way to Jeddah. He did not have time to improve it, but yesterday he started in a big way, hoping to be able to point to the sky at the Jeddah goal on the 15th in honor of his mother.
Precisely, the ’15’ is the number that she has chosen: “In the first race I did when I was eight years old, I did not know that I had to wear a number and my mother improvised one and it came out on the 15th”. On his return home, Lorenzo will auction his entire Dakar team in favor of Pyfano, an association that works with children with cancer in Salamanca. His best tribute.