The stage was won by American and Honda factory team rider Ricky Brabec who moves further ahead in outright first as the competitors reach a valuable half-way rest day in the gruelling event.
Toby, who is the title holder chasing his third Dakar victory and KTM’s record 19th consecutive win, finished 11th.
He had been just nine minutes off the leader in second outright, but now slips one spot to third, some 25 minutes off the pace.
Top 5 rankings
|1||9||MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020||23H 43′ 47”|
|2||5||ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING||24H 04′ 43”|
|3||1||RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM||24H 09′ 26”|
|4||17||MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020||24H 09′ 28”|
|5||12||MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020||24H 16′ 45”|
Down in the dunes
The 455km special sage was 100% sand dunes which usually favour Toby who has won the Australian Finke race a record four times and the Hattah Desert Race five times.
However, he ran into some bad luck.
“Today’s stage started out really good,” Toby says.
“We were navigating really well from the front and I was only losing small amounts of time on the riders who started behind me so I was quite happy with the way I was racing, but unfortunately around the 400km mark my rear tyre fell off!
“I have no idea why this would have happened but I’m super grateful that Andrew Short pulled up and gave me his wheel which allowed me to get to the finish as quick as possible so thank you again for this mate.
“Overall I’m pretty gutted that this is how we finished up today but I guess that’s just how it goes sometimes.”
Toby can be expected to come out fighting in the second week of the rally as he usually does.
Meanwhile, Queensland veteran competitor Rodney Faggotter (Yamaha) was 16th, moving up three outright spots to 13th.
Fellow Aussie Ben Young (KTM) again finished a respectable 60th in his second Dakar, but dropped two spots to 66th.
Matthew Tisdall (KTM) finished 104th out of 117 stage finishers and is up six places to 107th outright.
Toby aids firefighters
Like many Aussie sports stars and celebrities, Toby 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.
Jack Miller’s MotoGP helmet
The auction is open worldwide until on Sunday (12 January 2020) at 5pm (AEST).