Quintanilla regains Dakar lead with stage win

Monday 14th January, 2019 - 7:40am


Pablo Quintanilla pic: RockstarHusky Twitter


Husqvarna rider Pablo Quintanilla is back in the lead of the Dakar Rally after edging Kevin Benavides in Stage 6 from Arequipa to San Juan de Marcona.

As little as 11 seconds separated the two until Quintanilla (Chilean) started to take control late in the stage and ultimately won the day by 1:52s.

Ricky Brabec made a strong start to the stage but ended up sixth-fastest and dropped to second in the general classification, 4:38s behind Quintanilla.

“It was a hard stage,” said Quintanilla.

“I attacked from the beginning, caught Kevin and overtook him.

“At km 290, I had a problem with the road book and was unable to read it, so I had to follow Kevin.

“We were near the finish when I realised I was running out of fuel so it was a blessing in disguise to have to ride behind because, if I’d kept on attacking at the same pace, I would’ve run out of petrol.

“In the end, it was a tough and stressful day, but it’s a fantastic finish.”

Toby Price is the lead KTM rider in third overall, although the Australian slipped to 5:17s from the lead of the rally after being fourth-fastest to San Juan de Marcona.

Benavides (Honda, Argentinean) is just over eight minutes behind Quintanilla overall and Adrien van Beveren (Yamaha, French) the last rider within 10 minutes.

Van Beveren was credited with time back after stopping to attend to Lorenzo Santolino (Sherco, Spanish), who crashed.

Last year’s champion Matthias Walkner is sixth, after which the leaderboard starts to split with the Austrian’s KTM team-mate Sam Sunderland (British) now over 20 minutes from the lead.

Stage 7 is a 323km loop around San Juan de Marcona, plus 64km of liaison.

General classification: Bikes

Pos Rider Nat Make Time/Gap
1 Pablo QUINTANILLA CHI Husqvarna 020:45:13
2 Ricky BRABEC USA Honda +00:04:38
3 Toby PRICE AUS KTM +00:05:17
4 Kevin BENAVIDES ARG Honda +00:08:01
5 Adrien VAN BEVEREN FRA Yamaha +00:09:32
6 Matthias WALKNER AUT KTM +00:10:46
7 Sam SUNDERLAND GBR KTM +00:21:06
8 Stefan SVITKO SVK KTM +00:31:56
9 Xavier DE SOULTRAIT FRA Yamaha +00:38:04
10 Andrew SHORT USA Husqvarna +00:38:56 comment policy

Comments require approval before being published. reserves the right to deny any post that is abusive or offtopic.

Users are encouraged to flag/report comments which should be removed.

Some comments may require approval before being published which can take up to 48 hours.

For support, please contact [email protected] has been established to provide a daily motorsport news service to the industry and fans in Australia and internationally.

Read the promise

Subscribe to our daily newsletter, the best way to get your news first, fast, and free!