Having tackled over 2,000 km in Argentina, the surviving competitors took on Chile’s Atacama Desert in stage four of the Dakar Rally. A number of competitors have already withdrawn or retired from event but what’s more unfortunate is the death of 39-year-old Polish rider Michal Hernik. The reason of his death is yet to be found although the organisers insist that Hernik didn’t show “any external signs of an accident.”
BIKES: BARREDA EXTENDS LEAD WITH STAGE 4 WIN
Spain’s Joan Barreda extended his lead at the top of the standings after winning the stage four on Wednesday by two minutes from Marc Coma, as he searches for his maiden Dakar Rally win.
However, unlike his clear-cut stage two win, this wasn’t as easy an affair as the HRC Honda driver would have probably liked. Barreda trailed four-time Dakar Rally winner Marc Coma at the first checkpoint and while he was able to claw back the lost time, his countrymen always remained hot on his heels.
Meanwhile, yesterday’s stage winner Matthias Walkner had a disappointing outing after his brief off-course foray left him languishing in 22nd place.
Coming to the part we are most interested in, CS Santosh continued his steady streak in his first ever Dakar Rally outing, crossing the finish line in 58th place. The Indian rider from Bangalore now lies 50th overall. Also managing consistent results was TVS Sherco’s Alain Duclos, who finished stage four in an impressive seventh place.
Joan Barreda (Honda) 3:27:28
Marc Coma (KTM) +1:59
Pablo Quintanilla (KTM) +2:49
Jordi Viladoms (KTM) +10:44
Ruben Faria (KTM) +10:55
Javier Pizzolito (Honda) +11:29
Alain Duclos (TVS Sherco) +12:51
Laia Sanz (Honda) +13:48
Stefan Svitko (KTM) +13:51
Michael Metge (Yamaha) +14:32
CARS: AL-ATTIYAH CONTINUES CHARGE AT THE FRONT
Not surprisingly, the cars category saw Nasser Al-Attiyah top the timesheets in stage four, with his dominant showing continuing on Wednesday. The Qatari driver crossed the chequered flag with a time that was 2 minutes 40 seconds quicker than his Mini teammate Nani Roma who finally got his act together after three bumpy days in Argentina.
Coming in at number three was Al-Attiyah’s closest challenger for the overall lead, Giniel De Villiers. However, with a eight minute margin between the two, the Argentine driver will have to do something special to prevent the title going in his rival’s favour.
Peugeot’s Stéphane Peterhansel led the stage four at CP5, before slipping the order with a flat tyre, eventually crossing the line in fifth.
Nasser Al-Attiyah (Mini) 3:09:18
Nani Roma (Mini) +2:40
Giniel De Villers (Toyota) +2:57
Yazeed Al Rajh (Toyota) +3:25
Stéphane Peterhansel (Peugeot) +5:28
Bernhard Ten Brinke (Toyota) +6:10
Ronan Chabot (SMG) +11:23
Christian Leviell (Toyota) +17:06
Leeroy Poulter (Toyota) +17:17
Erik Van Loon (Mini) +17:31
QUADS: SONIK EXTENDS LEAD
The quads category saw Rafal Sonik take an easy victory in stage four, with a margin of 3 minutes and 26 seconds from fellow Yamaha driver Ignacio Casale.
With this result, the Polish driver has close to a four minute advantage from Sergio Lafuente with Casale a further 10 minutes behind in the overall standings.
Rafal Sonik (Yamaha) 4:11:35
Ignacio Casale (Yamaha) +3:26
Mohammed Abu-Issa (Honda) +13:14
Sergio Lafuente (Yamaha) +13:54
Jeremias González Ferioli (Yamaha) +21:08
Ricardo Vinet (Can-Am) +21:47
Pablo Copetti (Yamaha) +28:36
Kees Koolen (Honda) +31:11
Daniel Mazzucco (Can-Am) +35:38
Christophe Declerck (Yamaha) +35:48
TRUCKS: NIKOLAEV REGISTERED STAGE VICTORY NUMBER TWO, KARGINOV PENALIZED
Eduard Nikolaev was officially declared the winner in stage four of the trucks category of the event after Kamaz teammate Andrew Karginov was penalised by a minute.
The Russian duo finished three seconds of each other initially before the penalty kicked in, putting Nikolaev 57 seconds ahead in today’s standings.
Finishing six minutes behind was Ayrat Mardeev, who saw his overall lead cut to just 1 minute 57 seconds after today’s result.
Ales Loprais and Hans Stacey finished fourth and fifth down the road and their results correspond with their overall position in the trucks standings.
Eduard Nikolaev (Kamaz) 2:06:54
Andrew Karginov (Kamaz) +57
Ayrat Mardeev (Kamaz) +6:10
Ales Loprais (MANS) +10:57
Hans Stacey (Iveco) +11:26
Dmitry Sotnikov (Kamaz) 16:43
Martin Van Den Brink (Renault) +27:05
Marcel Van Vliet (MANS) +27:28
Tomáš Vrátný (Tatra) +33:39
Peter Van Den Bosch (Daf) +34:30