Xavier Blanco, Ricardo Ramilo’s co-driver, defected from the Dakar in the middle of the stage after arguing with him

The relationship between the driver and the co-driver during a two-week raid like the Dakar has to be fluid and friendly above all. Not only because both of them risk their lives and because communication must be correct so that they are better sportingly. However, it is not always possible.

Very seldom does the blood reach the river, and in this case, it has been very little. At kilometer 170 of the timed special of the penultimate stage of the Dakar, something unthinkable happened: the co-driver got out of the car and the driver decided to leave him lying in the desert.

Ricardo Ramilo and Xavier Blanco, of the Buggy Masters Team, have broken the plates in the middle of a very hard day, after days of tension. The organization has summarized it very briefly during the live narration: «After a disagreement during the day’s special, Xavier Blanco, Ricardo Ramilo’s co-driver, got out of the vehicle at km 170 and did not want to get back up . Ramilo has resumed the race alone. A member of the team has been in charge of going to look for the co-pilot ».

Blanco has sent an audio to a group of friends who have quickly started running through the bivouac, first, and among specialized journalists later. has had access to the same, where the already ex-copilot of Ramilo has shown his anger.

«My decision was based on the behavior of the pilot in my face. Arrogant … Apart from being a pilot and co-pilot, we are people and we have to respect each other. It was not the first time, nor the second, until I decided to get off, “says Blanco, who is by no means a rookie: he was co-pilot of Chus Puras in 2020.

The problem has not been only because of the bad relationship between the two, but rather because of Ramilo’s reckless and sometimes dangerous attitude. «When I see that my life is at risk and the pilot ignores it, I decided to get out of the car. Then, what he has done has left me. It has literally abandoned me in the middle of the desert. I did not want to go back upstairs and he said, ‘Well, I’ll leave you there, take it for the ass,’ “he says. Blanco had to wait to be picked up, watching the Can-Am Maverick X3 go off in the distance.

Team support

Ramón Ramilo is a person with a very intense character. You just have to watch the videos of the team, in which he himself shows his vehemence.

He describes himself as “bearer of the Olympic torch in Barcelona’92, mentally ill of motorcycles, king of the world’s used motorcycle tire, apnea 4 minutes and 35 seconds, Spanish runner-up and motorcycling champion” … An extensive curriculum and a complicated character, as shown by the complaints of his former co-driver.

«The team is all together. We have been putting up with this character for fifteen days. If you have seen the videos you will have been able to realize the level of this character. Therefore, you can draw conclusions “, ditch Blanco, protagonist of one of the most surreal incidents in the history of the Dakar.