Australian Toby Price aiming for his third Dakar victory, goes into Saturday’s rest day in Ha’il at the top of the leaderboard. Price won two of the first six stages of the Saudi Arabian event and now holds a slim lead of two minutes 16 seconds over Honda’s Kevin Benavides following Friday’s stage, with the top seven split by just over six minutes. Joan Barreda of Spain took his third win of the race on this stage.
After the day was done, Price praised Benavides and another Honda rider, Jose Ignacio Cornejo, for their speed opening the road, admitting he was content to follow the pair once he caught up with them.
“Got to give credit where credit is due, Kevin and Cornejo running at the front today, the pace they were doing, they navigated extremely well and did an amazing job,” said Price. “I pushed hard at the start to try and make a bit of time, and it took a while to catch them, but once we got onto the back of them I just tried to stay smooth and consistent.
Barreda’s 27th Dakar Stage Win
Joan Barreda’s third stage win on this edition of the Dakar means he enters the history books alongside his countryman Jordi Arcarons, who also boasts 27 stage wins on his roll of honor, and with whom he shares the characteristic of never having won the Dakar, despite his talent and experience on the rally.
If the Honda rider wishes to rectify this situation, he will have to make up time on the leading trio led by Toby Price, who has a small advantage over Kevin Benavides and Ignacio Cornejo, both less than three minutes behind.
Last years’ winner, American Ricky Brabec, enjoyed his strongest run in several days in stage 6, finishing fourth for Honda, despite losing three minutes with a minor navigational error. He goes into the rest day 13th overall and with a 19m56s deficit on Toby Price.
Bike Leaderboard After Stage 6:
|3||Jose Ignacio Cornejo||Honda||2m57s|
|5||Xavier de Soultrait||Husqvarna||3m41s|