Rallying – Motorcycle leader Brabec out of Dakar, Al-Attiyah leads cars
Monster Energy Honda team’s US biker Ricky Brabec gestures next to his Honda during the Dakar Rally Stage 8 between San Juan de Marcona and Pisco, in Peru, on January 15, 2019. Franck Fife/Pool via REUTERS
LIMA (Reuters) – Honda rider Ricky Brabec’s hopes of becoming the first American to win a Dakar Rally disappeared in the Peruvian sands on Tuesday after an engine failure forced him to retire while leading.
Australian Toby Price took over at the top of the motorcycle standings on a KTM, leading Chilean Pablo Quintanilla by just over a minute after the sandy eighth stage from San Juan de Marcona to Pisco.
“My wrist is on fire now, so it’s been a long stage, 360 km, but we’ve made it here to the finish and there’s just two more to go — this is a good thing,” said Price, who was racing with a wrist injury.
“There’s times when you can rest it and when you can’t, but it’s just difficult.”
Brabec, who also retired last year with an engine breakdown, had started the day with a lead of seven minutes and 47 seconds but his participation ended in bitter disappointment just 56km down the road.
In the car standings, Qatar’s two times Dakar winner Nasser All-Attiyah stretched his lead to 46 minutes and 29 seconds for his South African Toyota team.
France’s nine times world rally champion Sebastian Loeb won the stage, his fourth victory of this year’s event in a privately-entered Peugeot, to move up to third overall and behind Spaniard Nani Roma.
Stephane Peterhansel, a 13 times Dakar winner, dropped to fourth.
The rally, which switched from Africa to South America in 2009 for security reasons and is now held entirely in Peru, finishes in Lima on Thursday.
Writing by Alan Baldwin in London; Editing by Ken Ferris
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