Toby Price has won his second stage in a row but Matthias Walkner still holds an enviable lead with just one day of the 2018 Dakar Rally remaining.
Price (KTM Official, Australian) was second to the first waypoint but led all the way thereafter as the Bikes completed a shortened 369km special stage in two parts of a day totalling over 900km.
Similarly to Stage 11, the most recent encounter for Bikes after the cancellation of Stage 12, Kevin Benavides (Honda Team, Argentinean) was next best on the day with a time 2:03s slower than Price.
He threatened to snatch the stage win but the result was still enough to keep him in second in the general classification, over five minutes ahead of the Australian.
Walkner (KTM Official, Austrian) again took a conservative approach to the stage to set the fourth-fastest time, 11:32s off that of Price and 9:29s behind Benavides.
Last year’s runner-up now has 22:31s in hand with just one stage sitting between he and a first Dakar Rally win.
Price looks good for at least a top three result with his similar advantage over Antoine Meo (KTM Official, French).
Meo was the early stage leader and ran second beyond the neutral zone but lost out to Benavides on the day and set the third-fastest time.
Rodney Faggotter (Yamaha Official, Australian) gained another two positions overall to sit 16th (+3:51:36s), while Scott Britnell is 57th (+22:33:01s).
The fortnight-long journey comes to an end from late tonight (AEDT) with a 120km loop around Cordoba.
Cars report to follow on Speedcafe.com
General classification: Bikes
|5||3||Gerard FARRES GUELL||ESP||KTM||+1:01:19|
|9||29||Daniel OLIVERAS CARRERAS||ESP||KTM||+2:39:33|
|10||68||Jose Ignacio CORNEJO FLORIMO||CHI||Honda||+2:40:17|