Sport Motorsport Dakar Rally: Tyre problems hamper Price’s title defence

Dakar Rally: Tyre problems hamper Price’s title defence

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Toby Price during stage six of the Rally Dakar 2020 between Al-Hai and Ryadh in Saudi Arabia. Photo: AAP
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Australia’s defending champion Toby Price suffered a setback to his Dakar Rally hopes when tyre problems saw him finish 11th in Friday’s sixth stage, dropping him a place to third overall.

The two-time bike category winner, was forced to stop after 425 km of Friday’s leg, costing him around eight minutes on the day.

But he revealed afterwards he was at least able to finish the stage after borrowing a wheel from American rider Andrew Short.

“Today’s stage started out really good, we were navigating really well from the front .. I was quite happy with the way I was racing,” Price tweeted after the race.

“But unfortunately around the 400km mark my rear tyre fell off! I have no idea why this would have happened.”

Price wrote he was “super grateful” to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider Short, who “gave me his wheel which allowed me to get to the finish as quick as possible.”

He added: ‘Thank you again for this mate!”

Price’s American rival, Ricky Brabec (Honda), claimed victory, followed in second place by Spanish teammate Joan Barreda, but Friday’s setback saw KTM rider Price end 16 minutes 33 minutes behind the stage winner, 25.39 overall.

It was Brabec’s second stage win in and he enters the halfway point with a 21-minute advantage over Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) in the general classification, the Chilean finishing fourth to scale up to second place overall.

Argentine Kevin Benavides (Honda) fell from second to fifth after his bike also suffered technical problems just 44km from the finish line.

Stephane Peterhansel won the sixth stage of the car category with Spaniard Carlos Sainz stretching his overall lead to almost eight minutes after finishing ahead of Toyota’s defending champion Nasser al-Attiyah by seven minutes and 48 seconds.

French veteran Peterhansel remained third overall, 16 minutes and 20 seconds off the lead, with Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed al-Rajhi fourth in a Toyota.