Sanders loses Dakar lead due to penalty

Daniel Sanders was among those given a penalty

Daniel Sanders was among those given a penalty

Red Bull GasGas’s Daniel Sanders has lost the overall lead of the Dakar Rally after he was among several riders to be penalised following the completion of Stage 1.

The Australian had set the pace on the 367km special which saw competitors head down the coast from the Sea Camp, but has now had two minutes added to his time.

With various sanctions now applied, Sanders drops to sixth on the day at 1:50s behind new stage winner, Monster Energy Honda’s Ricky Brabec.

In the overall standings, he is fifth, 45 seconds behind Brabec, who also becomes the new leader in that classification at 19 seconds over Red Bull KTM’s Kevin Benavides.

Fellow Red Bull KTM rider Toby Price moves to third overall, 39 seconds behind Brabec, having initially been classified 1:54s off the pace before Sanders, among others, were hit with time penalties.

In fact, a total of 43 were issued.

The most common was for ‘Over speed SS’, ‘SS’ being ‘Selective Section’, which is tracks or section of road open to the public that are not counted as part of the special.

Among the riders pinged for that offence were both Sanders and Joan Barreda Bort (Monster Energy JB Honda), the latter of whom had been classified second overall, although he only had the one minute added to his time.

Pablo Quintanilla (Monster Energy Honda) was slapped with an extra two minutes and Joaquim Rodrigues (Hero Motosports) copped a full six of them.

Matthias Walkner (Red Bull KTM), however, had 12:26s credited to his stage time after stopping to assist Sanders’ team-mate, fellow Dakar champion Sam Sunderland, who crashed just 52km into the special and was airlifted to hospital.

Walkner is now officially 10th overall, 5:26s behind Brabec.

CLICK HERE for extended highlights of Stage 1

Overall classification: Bikes Top 10, Updated

Pos Rider Nat Team Time/Gap
1 Ricky BRABEC USA Monster Energy Honda Team 04:14:10
2 Kevin BENAVIDES ARG Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +0:00:19
3 Toby PRICE AUS Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +0:00:39
4 Joan BARREDA BORT ESP Monster Energy JB Team +0:00:45
5 Daniel SANDERS AUS Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing +0:00:45
6 Mason KLEIN USA BAS World KTM Racing Team +0:01:14
7 Pablo QUINTANILLA CHI Monster Energy Honda Team +0:02:07
8 Adrien VAN BEVEREN FRA Monster Energy Honda Team +0:04:17
9 Skyler HOWES USA Husqvarna Factory Racing +0:05:12
10 Matthias WALKNER AUT Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +0:05:26

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