Klein leads, Price second after Dakar Stage 2

Dakar 2023 Stage 2

Mason Klein won Stage 2 of Dakar 2023. Picture: Charly Lopez/ASO

Mason Klein is the new Dakar Rally leader after taking out Stage 2 in the Bikes as fellow KTM rider Toby Price moved to second overall.

Klein (BAS World) was quickest on the 430km special from the Sea Camp to Al Ula, which featured canyons and then a chain of dunes, and now holds sway in the overall classification by 1:41s.

While Price is next-best, it looked like another Australian might be top of the standings at the conclusion of the second stage proper, namely Daniel Sanders.

The Red Bull GasGas rider was fastest or second-fastest at every waypoint up to and including Kilometre 386, where his margin was 56 seconds over Klein, but then dropped several minutes in the last 44km.

CLICK HERE for Sanders reaction

While a handful of Rally GP riders are still yet to reach the finish, it looks like Sanders will be classified ninth-quickest on the day, with the top five rounded out by Klein, Sebastian Buhler (Hero Motosports), Skyler Howes (Husqvarna Factory), Ross Branch (Hero Motosports), and Price (Red Bull KTM).

Overall, it is the United States’ Klein from Price, Joan Barreda Bort (Monster Energy JB Honda) at 2:03s off the pace, Kevin Benavides (Red Bull KTM) at 2:25s back, and Sanders in fifth at another 30 seconds in arrears.

CLICK HERE for Price reaction

Ricky Brabec (Monster Energy Honda) began Stage 2 as the overall leader but lost around 10 minutes by the halfway mark and recovered little of that.

The 2020 Dakar champion is now sixth overall, 4:21s from the top, ahead of Howes, Pablo Quintanilla (Monster Energy Honda), Matthias Walkner (Red Bull KTM), and Buhler, with Adrien Van Beveren (Monster Energy Honda) 11th at 8:57s off the pace.

Rally 2 competitor Michael Docherty (HT Rally Raid Husqvarna) threatened to pull off a major upset when he led at the first two waypoints and was only 27 seconds slower than Sanders to Kilometre 186, but drifted thereafter and was usurped by the majority of the Rally GP riders.

They will be heading through the canyons again when they embark on Stage 3, which includes a 447km special linking Al Ula with Ha’il.

CLICK HERE for extended highlights of Stage 2

Overall classification: Bikes Top 10

Pos Rider Nat Team Time/Gap
1 Mason KLEIN USA BAS World KTM Racing Team 09:38:28
2 Toby PRICE AUS Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +0:01:41
3 Joan BARREDA BORT ESP Monster Energy JB Team +0:02:03
4 Kevin BENAVIDES ARG Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +0:02:25
5 Daniel SANDERS AUS Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing +0:02:55
6 Ricky BRABEC USA Monster Energy Honda Team +0:04:21
7 Skyler HOWES USA Husqvarna Factory Racing +0:05:11
8 Pablo QUINTANILLA CHI Monster Energy Honda Team +0:05:16
9 Matthias WALKNER AUT Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +0:08:18
10 Sebastian BÜHLER GER Hero Motosports Team Rally +0:08:34

Join the discussion below in the Speedcafe.com comments section

Please note: Speedcafe.com reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]