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Dakar 2018, Stage 3: Sunderland retakes lead, Barreda suffers

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Dakar 2018, Stage 3: Sunderland retakes lead, Barreda suffers
By:
Jan 8, 2018, 3:28 PM

Sam Sunderland has retaken the lead of the 2018 Dakar Rally in the bikes category after winning the third stage, as overnight leader Joan Barreda lost considerable time.

#1 Red Bull KTM Factory Team: Sam Sunderland
#5 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda: Joan Barreda
#8 Red Bull KTM Factory Team: Toby Price
#8 Red Bull KTM Factory Team: Toby Price
#5 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda: Joan Barreda, #14 Monster Energy Honda Team Honda: Michael Metge
#19 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing: Antoine Meo
#47 Honda: Kevin Benavides

Defending champion Sunderland picked up his second win of the rally - and the fourth of his Dakar career - on Monday's 296km Pisco - San Juan de Marcona test, having slipped to fourth overall on Sunday.

The Dubai-based Briton led through the opening three waypoints, before losing the lead to KTM teammate Toby Price and then Husqvarna's Pablo Quintanilla, who was set to win the stage until dropping some four minutes in the closing stages.

That opened the way for Sunderland to take honours by 3m03s from nearest rival Kevin Benavides (Honda), with Quintanilla slipping to fifth behind Price and Ricky Brabec (Honda).

It means Sunderland now leads the rally by 4m38s from Benavides, Quintanilla and Price, while Brabec has moved into the top five at the expense of Matthias Walkner (KTM), who dropped nine minutes to Sunderland.

While KTM now has three of its riders in the top six overall, the stage dealt a blow to the hopes of rival marques Honda and Yamaha.

Honda's Barreda, who went into the stage with a slim 2m30s lead, dropped almost 28 minutes after a late navigational error, while Yamaha's Xavier de Soultrait lost 13 minutes making the same mistake.

Lead Yamaha rider Adrian van Beveren, second overnight, also dropped 12 minutes and now lies seventh overall, 10m37s off the lead.

Antoine Meo (KTM), Michael Metge (Honda) and Franco Caimi (Yamaha) make up the overall top 10. Barreda lies 15th, 22m45s behind Sunderland.

Watch video highlights of Day 3...

Dominant Casale reigns supreme in quad race

Chilean Ignacio Casale recorded his third straight stage win in the quad category, significantly strengthening his grip on the overall lead.

Casale was just 1m43s clear of reigning champion Sergey Karyakin after the first two stages - but the Russian ended the Monday test 24 minutes off the pace.

He remains Casale's nearest rival, but is now under immediate pressure from Pablo Copetti and Alexis Hernandez.

Peruvian Hernandez ran Casale closest through Pisco - San Juan de Marcona, taking nine more minutes to complete the timed special.

Standings after Stage 3 (Bike category top 10):

Pos. Rider Bike Time/Gap
1

 Sam Sunderland

KTM 6h44m23s
2

 Kevin Benavides

Honda 4m38s
3

 Pablo Quintanilla

Husqvarna 5m00s
4  Toby Price KTM 7m28s
5  Ricky Brabec Honda 8m00s
6  Matthias Walkner KTM 8m50s
7

 Adrien van Beveren

Yamaha 10m37s
8  Antoine Meo KTM 10m54s
9  Michael Metge Honda 11m32s
10  Franco Caimi Yamaha 13m02s
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About this article

Series Dakar
Event Dakar
Drivers Joan Barreda , Sam Sunderland
Author Jamie Klein