Stage 4 of the Dakar Rally 2020 ran from the city of Neom to Al-ʿUla. The 672km stage (453km Special Stage) witnessed plenty of action, with Indian rally outfits showing steady progress. Sherco-TVS riders Adrien Metge (#11), Lorenzo Santolino (#24), and Johnny Aubert (#20) managed to improve upon their overall classification by the end of Stage 4. While Metge is now 11th, another step closer to the top-10, Santolino has gone up from 16th to 14th, and Aubert has now climbed up from 18th to 16th overall.
Hero MotoSports' Paulo Goncalves (#8), despite the heartbreaking end of his title contentions yesterday, went all guns blazing today and finished Stage 4 in an impressive fourth place! However, this hasn't done anything to better his overall classification. It's not all gloom for Hero though, as rider Sebastian Bühler (#32) is showing signs of steady progress. He has climbed up from 23rd overall to 20th. His teammate CS Santosh is also climbing up the leaderboard steadily, going up to 42nd overall after Stage 4 from yesterday's 44th place finish.
In the overall rankings (Bikes), Monster Energy Honda is slowly emerging as a force to be reckoned with. With Honda riders Ricky Brabec & Kevin Benavides already sitting on the overall top two spots after Stage 3, Jose Cornejo Florimo (Moster Energy Honda) finished Stage 4 in second, behind Red Bull KTM's Sam Sunderland. However, Sunderland received a post-stage penalty for exceeding the speed limit and dropped down to 8th place. Consequently, Florimo was handed the stage win. This has pushed him up to 3rd place overall, and it also makes it an overall Honda 1-2-3, for now (Brabec leads overall, followed by Benavides in second). Sunderland remains 6th overall.
In the Cars' category, Stephane Peterhansel drove flawlessly and crossed the finish line ahead of Toyota Gazoo's Nasser Al-Attiyah and his teammate Carlos Sainz. While Peterhansel became the fourth different driver to top a stage this year, his victory has pushed him up to third place overall. Sainz, who had been leading overall after Stage 3, still remains ahead of the pack, but by a narrower margin, as Al-Attiyah is behind him (overall) only by about three minutes. Al-Attiyah had also been penalised for allegedly impeding Sainz.
Overall classification after Stage 4 (Bikes):
1st - Ricky Brabec (Monster Energy Honda)
2nd - Kevin Benavides (Monster Energy Honda)
3rd - Jose Cornejo Florimo (Monster Energy Honda)
11th - Adrien Metge (Sherco TVS)
14th - Lorenzo Santolino (Sherco TVS)
16th - Johnny Aubert (Sherco TVS)
20th - Sebastian Bühler (Hero MotoSports)
42nd - CS Santosh (Hero MotoSports)
83rd - Paulo Goncalves (Hero MotoSports)
Overall classification after Stage 4 (Cars):
1st - Carlos Sainz Sr. (Bahrain JCW X-Raid)
2nd - Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota Gazoo Racing)
3rd - Stephane Peterhansel (Bahrain JCW X-Raid)