Stage four win grants Brabec Dakar Rally lead
Price ranked third in overall classification with P3 on day four.
A win on stage four of the 2019 Dakar Rally has granted Monster Energy Honda Team’s Ricky Brabec the lead, following yet another shake up in the standings.
The stage marked the first half of the marathon of the event, where riders left Arequipa and headed for the temporary bivouac in Moquegua, receiving no outside assistance from their teams. The 511-kilometre stage included a gruelling 405-kilometre timed special – the longest of the rally.
Brabec lodged a time of 3h40m30s, edging out last year’s champion Matthias Walkner (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) by 6m19s – a crucial result for the number one after a horrid stage three.
Australian Toby Price (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was third, bumping him up to third in the overall classification, and was followed by Adrien van Beveren (Yamalube Yamaha Rally) and Sam Sunderland (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing).
The overall standings now sees Brabec in P1 ahead of former leader Pablo Quintanilla (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) – who battled to 14th in the stage – while Price holds down third over Sunderland and van Beveren.
Australian’s Ben Young (KTM) and James Ferguson (KTM) are now ranked 78th and 101st respectively after recording P67 and P99 results on the day. Compatriot Rodney Faggotter (Yamalube Yamaha Rally) was ruled out of the competition during stage three with a technical issue.
Friday’s 776-kilometre stage five will see the first of two mass starts at this year’s event. Riders will set off motocross-style into the Ilo dunes as they contest the 345-kilometre timed special. As the day makes up the second half of the marathon stage, competitors will need to conserve their tyres and machines in order to arrive back at the bivouac safely.