Kevin Benavides gets his first stage win of the rally
Toby Price (KTM) is second in the special in front of Matthias Walkner (KTM), Sam Sunderland (KTM) and Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna). Toby Price leads in overall standings 1'58 ahead of Sam Sunderland, 2'29 on Benavides and 11'16 Quintanilla.
The third day of racing got underway this morning from the camp at M’Hamid, at the foot of the dunes, for the second leg of the marathon stage. Riders had left the bikes in the parc ferme the night before – only the competitors themselves were allowed to work on the machines with no external mechanical assistance permitted.
Team HRC’s Argentinean rider Kevin Benavides, setting off from seventh position, was determined to make up the lost time from yesterday’s debacle. The rider had been stopped and forced to get off the bike by the Moroccan army at gunpoint. Today, with the bad experience firmly behind him, he got his first taste of world championship victory with a stage win. He took the lead 200 kilometres into the special and arrived in Erfoud with a difference of 51 seconds over Toby Price, the nearest second place rival. Kevin moves up from fifth to third place in the overall standings just three minutes off first place.
As the race got underway American Ricky Brabec unexpectedly stopped. The rider did what he could to try and find out what the problem was, but was effectively out of the race at kilometre 50 on the day. Once he had ruled out the possibility of a mechanical failure, Brabec checked over the electrical system. Subsequently, he was able to get the bike running again and back on to the nearest road, heading straight back to the bivouac.
Overall standing after 3 stages
For a complete classification list click here