Honda has stamped its authority on the 2020 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia by dominating the top four overall positions after day three and the second day of the super marathon.
Meanwhile, Aussie two-time winner and current title holder Toby Price was running in the top four when he and Frenchman Xavier de Soultrait veered 900m off the track.
He lost valuable time trying to navigate his way back on track. There was also controversy when a waypoint wasn’t where it was indicated on the road book.
Toby remains in ninth place, biding his time for an attack in the second week of the gruelling event.
The Monster Energy Team took five of the top five slots for the 504km stage led by American Ricky Brabec (top photo), while Tony came in 35 minutes later in 11th.
He is 38 minutes from Brabec in overall timing in his fight to defend his title and pick up a 19th consecutive Dakar win for KTM.
The two-day super marathon stage is a field leveller as riders have to do their own work on bikes and even teammates can’t help.
Top 10 outright rankings
|1||9||MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020||11H 17′ 56”|
|2||17||MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020||11H 32′ 58”|
|3||12||MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020||11H 33′ 10”|
|4||7||MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020||11H 34′ 08”|
|5||2||RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM||11H 35′ 52”|
|6||16||RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM||11H 37′ 40”|
|7||5||ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING||11H 39′ 21”|
|8||3||RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM||11H 52′ 34”|
|9||1||RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM||11H 56′ 19”|
|10||10||MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA RALLY TEAM||12H 11′ 56”|
The three other Aussies in the motorcycle category have not yet finished.
Tomorrow’s 453km special stage is equal parts stony and sandy.
Toby aids firefighters
Like many Aussie sports stars and celebrities, Toby (right) is raising money for the bushfire appeal.
He is auctioning his starting jersey and pants for firefighters
Toby is also doing his bit for the current critical bushfire situation by auctioning his starting jersey and pants with proceeds going to the NSW Rural Fire Service.
Current highest bid is still $13,001.
Auction closes on 18 January at 5pm (AEST).
If you can’t bid, please donate on this link.
The auction is open worldwide until Friday at 5pm (AEST).