Just 11 seconds lead for Sunderland after 453 km of riding
The fourth day of the 2020 Dakar proved to be a good one for Sam Sunderland (KTM). The rider just won 11 seconds ahead of the Honda’s Jose Cornejo. Today’s stage had 672 km with 453 km of special. Here is what happened.
The fourth day of the 2020 Dakar Rally took the riders from Neom to Al-ʿUla on a 672 km journey. The special stage had 453 km an all the riders were keen on reducing the lost time on the previous stages. Full of sandy stretches and gravel sections, the road took the competitors close to Nabatean temples.
Ricky Brabec seemed to pull ahead, but halfway to the course he lost three minutes and Toby Price (KTM) and Kevin Benavides (Honda) took advantage to move ahead.
It was Sunderland’s day who was approximately 2 minutes behind at the last checkpoint to snatch the win by only 11 seconds from Cornejo. Benavides had to accept the third place with Ross Branch (KTM) and Paulo Goncalves (Hero) having to settle for fourth and fifth place.
Adrien van Beveren' (Yamaha) had a crash that ended his 2020 Dakar Rally on stage three and his teammate Xavier De Soultrait also crashed on the same stage being forced to continue the rally with an injured wrist. This seemed to be too much for the rider and he had to retire after completing 300 km of stage four. Franco Caimi took on the task to represent Yamaha’s main rider to finish sixth in front of Brabec and Price.
Joan Barreda (Honda) crashed and lost 17 minutes to Sunderland, while KTM's Matthias Walkner lost even more time, 24 minutes, from Sunderland.
Top in the overall standings so far is Brabec with a 2m30s lead over Benavides and Cornejo. KTM’s best result is from Price in fourth and Sunderland in fifth while Walkner sits on ninth position.
Stage four results:
1. SAM SUNDERLAND (KTM), 04h24m40s
2. JOSE CORNEJO (HONDA), 04h24m51s
3. KEVIN BENAVIDES (HONDA), 04h25m26s
4. ROSS BRANCH (KTM), 04h25m46s
5. PAULO GONÇALVES (HERO), 04h27m02s
6. FRANCO CAIMI (YAMAHA), 04h27m16s
7. RICKY BRABEC (HONDA), 04h27m39s
8. TOBY PRICE (KTM), 04h27m50s
9. JOHNNY AUBERT (SHERCO), 04h28m43s
10. SKYLER HOWES (HUSQVARNA), 04h29m43s
1. RICKY BRABEC (HONDA), 15h06m43s
2. KEVIN BENAVIDES (HONDA), 15h09m13s
3. JOSE CORNEJO (HONDA), 15h15m14s
4. TOBY PRICE (KTM), 15h18m52s
5. SAM SUNDERLAND (KTM), 15h20m54s
6. PABLO QUINTANILLA (HUSQVARNA), 15h24m35s
7. JOAN BARREDA (HONDA), 15h32m03s
8. LUCIANO BENAVIDES (KTM), 15h33m13s
9. MATTHIAS WALKNER (KTM), 15h33m46s
10. SKYLER HOWES (HUSQVARNA), 15h41m11s
Sam Sunderland received a five-minute penalty for exceeding 30km/h in a speed limit zone. As a result, he dropped to eighth in the stage four results. The win was handed to Jose Cornejo (Honda) followed by Kevin Benavides (Honda) and KTM rider Ross Branch.
Stage four updated results:
1. JOSE CORNEJO (HONDA), 04h24m51s
2. KEVIN BENAVIDES (HONDA), 04h25m26s
3. ROSS BRANCH (KTM), 04h25m46s
4. PAULO GONÇALVES (HERO), 04h27m02s
5. RICKY BRABEC (HONDA), 04h27m39s
6. TOBY PRICE (KTM), 04h27m50s
7. JOHNNY AUBERT (SHERCO), 04h28m43s
8. SAM SUNDERLAND (KTM), 04h24m40s
9. SKYLER HOWES (HUSQVARNA), 04h29m43s
10. LORENZO SANTOLINI (SHERCO), 04h31m15s
Updated overall standings after Stage four:
1. Ricky Brabec (Honda), 15h06m43s
2. Kevin Benavides (Honda), +2m30s
3. Jose Cornejo (Honda), +8m31s
4. Toby Price (KTM), +12m09s
5. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna), +17m52s
6. Sam Sunderland (KYM), +19m11s
7. Joan Barreda (Honda), +25m20s
8. Luciano Benavides (KTM), +26m30s
9. Matthias Walkner (KTM), +27m03s
10. Skyler Howes (Husqvarna), +34m28s
The organizers of the 2020 Dakar Rally made an update to the stage three times due to a technical problem on the GPS. As a result, the stage ends at checkpoint #53, at the 389 km mark meaning that the last 38 km of the stage doesn’t count.
The decision helps some riders who had some navigation issues on yesterday’s special and lost time. Toby Price (KTM) and Xavier De Soultrait (Yamaha) are between those riders who got lost and needed time to find the right track.
Price said that his issue was that the GPS showed him a checkpoint in the wrong position.
"Right at the end, there is a WPC [Control Waypoint, to which no directions are supplied by GPS] that was… it’s in the roadbook but not in the correct place," Price said. "So I spent a lot of time trying to find this and lost a lot of time there.
Finally found it. But the WPC is not meant to have an open arrow [on the GPS]. And the arrow opened for it, and it was sitting basically on the top of a rocky mountain ridge. So I thought there might have been a road on the backside of it.
So I tried to climb up and over and get to the other side and yeah, just a bit of chaos and carnage," Price concluded.
The riders who benefited the most from the stage three update were Price and his teammate Matthias Walkner who now finished the stage fifth and fourth.
Stage three of the 2020 Dakar was still won by Ricky Brabec (Honda) but his gap was reduced from 9m39s to only 5m56s.
Kevin Benavides (Honda) moved to third completing the hat trick for Honda while Joan Barreda (Honda) dropped from third to sixth in yesterday's stage timesheet.
Stage three updated results:
1. RICKY BRABEC (HONDA), 03h29m31s
2. JOSE IGNACIO CORNEJO FLORIMO (HONDA), 03h35m27s
3 KEVIN BENAVIDES (HONDA), 03h36m53s
4. MATTHIAS WALKNER (KTM), 03h37m44s
5. TOBY PRICE (KTM), 03h38m06s
6. JOAN BARREDA BORT (HONDA), 03h38m35s
7. LUCIANO BENAVIDES (KTM), 03h42m01s
8. XAVIER DE SOULTRAIT (YAMAHA), 03h43m26s
9. PABLO QUINTANILLA (HUSQVARNA), 03h45m01s
10. SKYLER HOWES (HUSQVARNA), 03h45m14s