Petrucci loses maiden Dakar podium due to penalty

Danilo Petrucci

Danilo Petrucci has lost what would have been a career-first Dakar Rally stage podium as a result of a 10-minute penalty.

The two-time MotoGP race winner was initially classified third on Stage 4, the longest of the event, on his Tech3 KTM entry.

However, Petrucci was later pinged for speeding in a controlled zone, dropping him to 15th in the day’s classification.

It has been a challenging first Dakar Rally for the Italian, who looked like missing the event due to a positive COVID-19 test before that proved to be false.

He also broke an ankle in a recent training accident, and failed to make the finish of Stage 2 due to a technical failure.

With regulations having allowed him to rejoin the event with a big penalty, Petrucci is now 130th overall and 103rd in the Rally 2 group.

GasGas Factory Racing’s Sam Sunderland continues to lead the rally, with 2018 champion Matthias Walkner in second spot at exactly three minutes back on his Red Bull KTM.

Daniel Sanders is top Australian in fourth overall on his own works GasGas entry, while Red Bull KTM’s two-time champion Toby Price has slipped to 16th.

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