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2019 Dakar Rally Day 8: Heartbreak For Brabec; Price Inherits Motorcycle Lead

by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via ASO/DPPI

Ricky Brabec’s quest to earn a Dakar Rally win for the United States of America came to a halt on Tuesday with a heartbreaking engine failure in the charge from San Juan de Marcona to Pisco. The Monster Energy Honda rider’s bike let go through 56 of 360 kilometers in the special stage, just after the first waypoint, as he was battling with Toby Price and Sam Sunderland for the lead.

That opened the door for Price to take the overall lead of the event for the first time in 2019, an advantage that he holds by just 63 seconds over frequent front-runner Pablo Quintanilla and his Husqvarna. Defending bike champion Matthias Walkner is third, 6:35 back, after taking his second stage win of the year on Tuesday. Sam Sunderland, Price and Walkner’s KTM teammate, is fourth, while Adrien Van Beveren completes the top five as the best Yamaha rider.

301 AL-ATTIYAH Nasser (qat); BAUMEL Matthieu (fra); Toyota; Toyota Gazoo Racing; Group T1; Class 1; Auto; action during the Dakar 2019; Stage 4; Arequipa – Tacna; peru; on january 10 – Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI

On four wheels, Nasser Al-Attiyah’s pursuit of a third Dakar title remains mostly uninhibited, with the Toyota Gazoo Racing driver piloting his Hilux to second place today. Al-Attiyah has led the event overall after every stage but the second one, where he briefly gave up the top spot to teammate Giniel de Villiers. After giving up over 24 minutes to Al-Attiyah on the day, Stephane Peterhansel has dropped from second to fourth in the standings, with Nani Roma taking advantage and moving up to second, and stage winner Sebastien Loeb in third. However, Roma, remains 46:29 back of Al-Attiyah in the top spot.

Early Side-by-Side results have Chaleco Lopez winning his third stage in a row and fourth overall. Lopez reclaimed the overall lead for the first time since Stage 3 after Reinaldo Varela encountered issues after the first waypoint. American Casey Currie scored his seventh top-10 finish in eight stages, and should remain firmly within the top five upon the completion of the day. Currie is 53:21 clear of fellow rookie Cristian Baumgart for top rookie honors in the class.

Quad leader Nicolas Cavigliasso continued his dominance of the class with his seventh stage win in eight tries, and now leads by over 84 minutes in the overall standings. After finishing in the top five in the previous four stages, Belarus’ Siarhei Viazovich won his first stage of the year in the Truck class, while Eduard Nikolaev continues to lead the overall standings.

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