Monster Energy Honda Team’s American rider Ricky Brabec staged an authentic coup d’état at the fourth stage of the Dakar Rally, not only battling to victory on the day, but also storming the first place spot on the overall leader board.

STORY: Matthias Walkner fährt unter Schmerzen auf den zweiten Tagesrang

After getting lost on Wednesday, Ricky Brabec more than made up for it in Tacna. The American was victorious on completion of the first marathon stage and also moved into the lead in the general standings.

Ricky Brabec: “My body is still 100%, the bike is still 100%.”

Ricky Brabec: “I needed it. Wednesday 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 on Friday 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. That’s my plan and I’m really happy with getting the stage win as well as making up a bit of time. My body is still 100%, the bike is still 100%.”

Matthias Walkner: “I managed to get some time back in the overall today, so I’ll aim to do the same tomorrow.”

Following his challenging stage three, Matthias Walkner was the 15th rider to enter Wednesday’s timed special. Immediately pushing hard and making the most of his experience to catch and pass riders ahead of him, the 2018 Dakar Champion maintained his strong pace throughout the day on the fast, treacherous route. A heavy landing from one drop-off caused Walkner to hurt his ankle slightly but the Austrian rider was able to continue to complete the stage and finish as runner-up.

Matthias Walkner: “The day was good for me – the bike is running well and I didn’t crash at all today. I did land quite hard from one jump and thought I might have injured my ankle but it seems to be ok. It’s great here in the bivouac, we are all here together as one team and that feels good. I managed to get some time back in the overall today, so I’ll aim to do the same tomorrow.”

Toby Price: “It was a long stage and a lot of it was made up of rocky tracks and rivers, they are the worst for my wrist.”

Despite a small crash in the latter half of the special, Toby Price put in a great ride to finish as third fastest, less than a minute down on the hard-charging Walkner. Still nursing his injured wrist, the Australian is looking forward to tomorrow’s slightly shorter stage five.

Toby Price: “That was tough today. It was a long stage and a lot of it was made up of rocky tracks and rivers, they are the worst for my wrist. I did have one get-off along the way but luckily not too bad. I’m not comfortable but it is the way it is and I have to work around it. The goal for the rest of the rally is to keep on doing what I’ve been doing and get the best result possible.”

1. Ricky Brabec Racing2. Matthias Walkner3. Toby Price Racing#dakar2019 #stage4

Gepostet von am Donnerstag, 10. Januar 2019

Friday’s 776km stage five will see the first of two mass starts at this year’s event. Riders will set off motocross-style into the Ilo dunes as they contest the 345-kilometre timed special. As the day makes up the second half of the marathon stage, competitors will need to conserve their tyres and machines in order to arrive back at the bivouac safely.

This is what happens when you make a bet with a teammate 💇‍♂or😚? 😂Esto es lo que pasa cuando haces una apuesta con un compañero🔝1⃣5⃣ mío=💇‍♂a Toby Price Racing 🔝5⃣ de Toby=😚 míoAixò és el que passa quan fas una aposta amb un company

Gepostet von Laia Sanz am Donnerstag, 10. Januar 2019

Provisional Standings after Stage Four – 2019 Dakar Rally
1. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 12:33:00
2. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Husqvarna, +2:19
3. Toby Price (AUT), KTM, +4:22
4. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, +5:45
5. Adrien van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, +8:56

INTERVIEW With Ricky Brabec: “What really matters is who crosses the line first.”
STORY: Sam Sunderland Claims Stage Five Dakar Win
STORY: Sam Sunderland Fifth On Dakar Stage Three
STORY: Pablo Quintanilla Takes Control At 2019 Dakar Rally
STORY: Stage 2 Win For Matthias Walkner
STORY: “We Must Slow Down The Dakar!”

LINK: Rally Dakar

photos (c) Marcin Kin & Antonin Vincent, DPPI & ASO,