Dakar: Bonetto wins Stage 3 quads; Mardeev rumbles to truck lead (VIDEO)


Argentine quad racer Lucas Bonetto scored a home win in Tuesday’s Stage 3 of the Dakar Rally, while Rafal Sonik fell from the overall lead in the category.

Bonetto trailed countryman Sebastian Halpern at the second checkpoint by three minutes, but roared down the stretch to beat Halpern to the finish by 58 seconds.

Sonik finished third in the stage at 2 minutes, 14 seconds back of Bonetto, and with Ignacio Casale being late to start on Tuesday, it appeared that the Pole had extended his overall edge.

But Dakar officials hit Sonik after the stage with a 15-minute time penalty for reasons that remain undisclosed.

With that, Uruguay’s Sergio Lafuente has now assumed the overall lead by a mere 11 seconds over Casale, with Halpern in third at seven and a half minutes behind and Sonik now fourth at just over 10 minutes back.

As for the trucks, Ayrat Mardeev followed up his podium finish on Monday with a stage win on Tuesday that pushed him to the overall lead.

The KAMAZ driver has had a steady start to the Dakar with finishes of sixth and third preceding his triumph from San Juan to Chilecito.

Defending truck champ Andrey Karginov, another KAMAZ racer, finished second on Tuesday behind Mardeev by roughly two minutes. Third place went to Gerard de Rooy, the 2014 runner-up from Iveco, who finished four and a half minutes out.