Dakar Rally 2018: Stage 4

Dakar Rally 2018: Stage 4

Sunderland, riding for dominant team KTM and leading the overall rankings coming into the stage in San Juan de Marcona, withdrew after injuring his back while entering a jump according to the rally organizers.

He got going after nearly half an hour at a standstill, but his Peugeot was soon stuck again and lost another two hours waiting for assistance.

Ten Brinke finished Stage 5 third, only 4m32s behind Peterhansel. He wasn't alone, however, as numerous top drivers lost time in the same area.

"At the first dunes, we went into a big hole and got stuck for 30 minutes, before it happened a second time".

"Luckily the stage was divided into two sections", said Al-Attiyah, "and we were able to catch up with our technical crew between the sections".

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Qatar's Nasser al-Attiyah, a two times Dakar victor and leader after the opening day, fell to fourth in his Toyota and was 58 minutes adrift of 13 times victor Peterhansel, who was third in the stage. We lost pressure in one of the tires.

Al-Attiyah quickly found his rhythm again, however, and clawed back time throughout the remainder of the stage to finish fifth, having lost only 16 minutes to Peterhansel despite the gearbox change. Nevertheless, the Indian rider is still in contention and completed the day in 56th place overall.

Briton Sunderland (Red Bull KTM), the defending champion, came back from a rough race on Sunday to finish first in the motorbike category for the second time in three stages and take a lead of almost five minutes over Argentina's Kevin Benavides (Monster Energy Honda). The Kamaz driver leads the overall classification by 58:05 over Federico Villagra of De Rooy.

Willem du Toit (KTM) posted his worst stage result yet on the Dakar, finishing 78th - but still moved up two places to 66th overall, while Gerry van der Byl posted his best finish yet in 112th, and moved up eight places to 111th. The trucks and the cars, therefore, were the first to discover the stage, even before their riders, as they made their way through the sands of Tanaka, traversing through 30km or so of mountain dunes.

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