Ricky Brabec lost his way on Wednesday in Stage 3 of the Dakar Rally. Finishing 12th in that stage cost him and he was ranked seventh in the overall standings, but Brabec came roaring back in Stage 4. He won his first stage of the year by a margin of six minutes, 19 seconds over Matthias Walkner.
“I needed it,” Brabec said at Dakar.com. “Yesterday was tough on me and I lost a lot of time. Today I really, really needed to push with the marathon night and motocross start tomorrow. It kind of helps me because tomorrow I can kind of just hang back and have the stage under my control and finish where I want. With the motocross start it makes it easy to manage.”
Robby Gordon and his Team Speed teammates were originally listed as failing to start Stage 4 due to a clerical error. Gordon completed the stage 40th with a time of six hours, 28 minutes and 38 seconds. Blade Hildebrand is also still running. The third teammate Cole Potts is not racing in Stage 5, but is eligible to return.
Here are some of the other highlights:
In the cars class, Nasser Al-Attiyah has won at least two stages in nine of the past 10 Dakars. … Stephane Peterhansel finished close behind, but lost another 1:52 to the overall leader. … Jakub Przygonski rounded out the top three. … Sebastian Loeb suffered three punctures on the stage and was riding on a deflated tire at the end in fifth place. He lost 12:23 on the stage and now trails the overall leader Al-Attiyah by 50 minutes.
Overall: Al-Attiyah holds an advantage of 8:55 over Peterhansel and 20:51 over Nani Roma
In motorcycles, Ricky Brabec made up all the ground he lost in the last stage plus a lot more to win. … Matthias Walkner fell 6:19 behind with Toby Price ending the stage 7:07 back. … Sam Sunderland took a fall in the rock and lost 13:35 to Brabec, but still managed to finish fifth. … Pablo Quintanilla had a tough outing and finished 14th on the stage.
Overall: Ricky Brabec holds an advantage of 2:19 over Quintanilla and 4:22 over Price.
In side by sides Sergei Kariakin keeps improving. After finishing eighth in Stage 1, he has stood on the podium in each successive stage with thirds in Stage 2 and 3. This is his first win of the season. … Rodrigo Piazzoli and Gerard Farres Guell round out the top three. … Casey Currie had navigation issues and a puncture before finishing ninth in the stage.
Overall: Kariakin holds an advantage of 11:26 over Guell and 30:00 over Piazolli
In quads, Nicolas Cavigliasso won his third stage of the year and has not finished worse than second so far in 2019. … Twenty-three year old Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli finished second to score his third podium of the year. … Alexandre Giroud rounded out the top three.
Overall: Cavigliasso holds an advantage of 1:00 over Ferioli and 2:00 over Gustavo Gallego
In trucks, Andrey Karginov got off to a slow start with a sixth-place finish in Stage 1 and a seventh the following day; he’s won the last two stages to make up for that and sits second in the overall rankings. … Martin Macik and Airat Mardeev round out the top three. … Overall leader Eduard Nikolaev finished fifth in the stage and gave up more than 13 minutes to his closest challenger Karginov. … After a spectacular crash yesterday, Siarhei Viazovich powered on to finish fourth in the stage.
Overall: Nikolaev holds and advantage of 4:58 over Karginov and 8:39 over Dmitry Sotnikov
Joan Barreda  (Stage 1), Matthias Walkner  (Stage 2), Xavier de Soultrait  (Stage 3) and Ricky Brabec  (Stage 4)
Nicolas Cavigliasso  (Stage 1, 2 and 4) and Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli  (Stage 3)
Nasser Al-Attiyah  (Stage 1 and 4), Sebastien Loeb  (Stage 2) and Stephane Peterhansel  (Stage 3)
Reinaldo Varela  (Stage 1), Francisco Lopez Contardo  (Stage 2), Gerard Farres Guell  (Stage 3) and Sergei Kariakin  (Stage 4)
Eduard Nikolaev  (Stage 1 and 2) and Andrey Karginov  (Stage 3 and 4)
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