1/10/2019 11:55:51 PM

Al Attiyah stretches Dakar lead in pursuit of third title

Al Attiyah stretches Dakar lead in pursuit of third title

Arequipa, Peru: Two-time champion Nasser al-Attiyah extended his lead in the Dakar Rally on Thursday, winning the fourth stage between Arequipa and Tacna.

Qatari driver al-Attiyah, the 2011 and 2015 champion, had already won the first stage of this year's event on Monday behind the wheel of his Toyota.

On Thursday, he edged out 13-time champion Stephane Peterhansel, in a Mini, by 1min 52sec and Jakub Przygonski, also in a Mini, by 8min 49sec.

Overall, al-Attiyah leads by 8min 55sec ahead of the fifth stage between Tacna and Arequipa.

In the motorcycling race, America's Ricky Brabec took the stage and top spot in the overall standings on his Honda, finishing 6min 19sec ahead of Austria's Matthias Walkner and 7min 7sec in front of Australia's Toby Price.

Overall, the Californian enjoys a 2min 19sec advantage over previous leader Pablo Quintanilla of Chile while he has a 4min 22sec edge on Price.

Thursday's win for Brabec was particularly uplifting as as he had got lost on Wednesday's third stage.

"I needed it. Yesterday was tough on me and I lost a lot of time," he said.

"My body is still 100%, the bike is still 100%. We'll go back and do a quick review of the bike and then put it to sleep for the night."

Defending champion Walkner fears his race may be over after suffering a nasty fall on the stage.

"Fifty kilometres before the end I did a big jump and landed heavily. First I was thinking, ok, maybe it's broken. It's really painful now," said the Austrian.

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