DAKAR STAGE 4: THE DAILY RESULTS REMIX

The day by day seesaw of results continued for stage 4 of the 2021 Dakar Rally. Joan Barreda of the HRC Honda team took his second stage win, while Toby Price, Ricky Brabec and many other top contenders chose to ride conservatively. It was a fast day whereas tomorrow promises to be more difficult and a late start might well be a big advantage. Skyler Howes started the day fourth off the line, which made navigation difficult and he wasn’t able to keep his overall lead. With a 20th-place finish, he still looks good in fifth. Completing stage four in fifth place, experienced rally racer Xavier de Soultrait now leads the provisional overall standings. The HT Rally Raid rider has shown consistent pace on his factory-supported Husqvarna FR 450 Rally.

Xavier De Soulrait now leads the overall standings on his Husqvarna.

Thursday’s stage five of the 2021 Rally takes riders from the country’s capital of Riyadh through to Al Qaisumah. Although shorter than today at a total of 662km, the 456km special promises to be extremely technical, with tough navigation once again.

Joan Barreda: “Today was a very fast stage, just as we were expecting, with less navigation than in previous days. I went all out and by the time I reached refueling I saw that I had Ricky close behind and Quintanilla in front, so I kept pressing. I didn’t really know what strategy to follow, but seeing as tomorrow will be a very difficult day because of the sand, we kept the pace high. The truth is that I am very happy and satisfied with another stage victory.”

Ricky Brabec: “Today was one of the easier days with a lot of fast tracks. We started at the back so it was basically a free road for us. We don’t stand out in the results – that wasn’t the plan. We didn’t want to go out and win. Someone has got to put a stop to the yoyo effect that we’re having with KTM. I sacked up and I went slow today to try and get in with the rhythm of the main group. So far we are looking pretty good. We are starting tomorrow at the back with the KTM guys. Tomorrow, we’ll have a good push and hopefully get back to the front. Right now we are just 16 minutes out of the lead. That’s nothing. It’s one day. Hopefully, tomorrow we can make up some time and go into the rest day in the top three. Today, I just wanted to sit back and get behind the curve. We are just flip-flopping and the results are changing every day. In order to manage the race, we’ve got to get behind and start fishing for them. We’ll attack tomorrow and see how things look on the rest day. It’s tough out there. We got turned around at one way point. But, in the end, if you look at the times, we are all really close. No stress. Just taking it easy today, to get behind everyone so that we can make up time tomorrow before the rest day.”

Skyler Howes sits in fifth after a 20th place finish on day 4.

Skyler Howes: “The stage started out great for me, I had a pretty good rhythm going and caught up to Matthias Walkner we second guessed the navigation in a wash and did some circles losing quite a bit of time. After that we dropped the hammer and tried to make up for lost time. I had another mishap in the dunes catching a witches eye and going over the bars. But after that Matthias, Xavier De Soultrait and I went full gas all the way to the finish. Bit of an up and down day but the overall isn’t looking bad with plenty of racing left!”

Toby Price: “Yeah it wasn’t a bad stage for me – for sure it was a little easier than on previous days in terms of the navigation, but I managed to make a small mistake after the first checkpoint and was caught by the rider behind. After kilometer 80 we pretty much rode the rest of the stage together, trying to stay out of each other’s dust. I made a couple more small errors later on, which cost me a few minutes, but on the whole, it was a solid stage and I’m happy with the result.”

STAGE 4

1 BARREDA Joan 88 SPA Monster Energy Honda Team 02:46’50
2 EVAN BRANCH Ross 18 BWA Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team +00:05’57
3 SANDERS Daniel 21 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +00:06’09
4 BENAVIDES Luciano 77 ARG Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing +00:06’22
5 DE SOULTRAIT Xavier 12 FRA HT Husqvarna Rally Team +00:07’19
6 RODRIGUES Joaquim 27 POR Hero Motorsports Team Rally +00:07’21
7 CORNEJO José Ignacio 4 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team +00:07’29
8 QUINTANILLA Pablo 2 CHI Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing +00:07’34
9 SVITKO Stefan 11 SLO Slovnaft Team +00:08’46
10 VAN BEVEREN Adrien 42 FRA Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team +00:09’22
18 BRABEC Ricky 1 USA Monster Energy Honda Team +00:12’53
20 HOWES Skyler 1 USA BAS KTM +00:13’13

OVERALL

1 DE SOULTRAIT Xavier 12 FRA HT Husqvarna Rally Team 15:00’25
2 BARREDA Joan 88 SPA Monster Energy Honda Team +00:00’15
3 BENAVIDES Kevin 47 ARG Monster Energy Honda Team +00:03’24
4 EVAN BRANCH Ross 18 BWA Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team +00:04’24
5 HOWES Skyler 9 USA BAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM +00:04’26
6 BENAVIDES Luciano 77 ARG Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing +00:05’321
7 SUNDERLAND Sam 5 GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +00:07’13
8 PRICE Toby 3 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +00:07’47
9 CORNEJO José Ignacio 4 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team +00:08’06
10 QUINTANILLA Pablo 2 CHI Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing +00:09’31
15 BRABEC Ricky 1 USA Monster Energy Honda Team +00:16’21

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