Australian motorcyclist Toby Price loses Dakar rally stage victory after speeding violation

Two-time Australian champion Toby Price has been frustrated after his hard-won Dakar rally stage triumph was called off by officials due to a speeding violation.

Off-road motorcycle star Price, who won the motorcycle category in the famous endurance race in 2016 and 2019, believed he had secured the 14th Dakar stage victory of his career after a demanding 346km loop around the Saudi capital Riyadh on Thursday.

However, as he finished four minutes ahead of his rivals after taking the lead at the penultimate checkpoint a few hours after the race, his victory was canceled because he was fined. six-minute penalty.

Authorities have ruled the 34-year-old Gold Coast driver exceeded the race speed limit in some public sections of the rally.

The Red Bull Factory KTM Price rider, whose chances of securing a third overall victory evaporated after a poor start earlier in the two-week race, was relegated to fifth place in the overall standings for the stage, the victory being attributed to Danilo Petrucci.

The Italian is the first MotoGP rider to win a stage on the Dakar.

Price’s compatriot Daniel Sanders finished 13th on the stage, losing pace in the last section, but is still looking for the overall title as he remains fourth.

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The Victorian is just over eight minutes behind the British race leader and his GasGas teammate Sam Sunderland.

In the car section, South African Henk Lategan won despite his driver’s door slamming and two flat tires, while Sébastien Loeb reduced Nasser Al Attiyah’s lead to 35 minutes.

In the SSV category, Australian Molly Taylor and her co-driver Dale Moscatt remain in 10th place, just over 20 minutes behind leaders Rodrigo Luppi de Oliveira and Maykel Justo from Brazil.

“I was driving to the first checkpoint with the swing door. Then I managed to fix this, I buckled up and couldn’t open the door,” Lategan said afterwards.

“Then we had a flat tire so I had to get out of the navigator’s door and change the flat tire. So we just had the craziest day. I can’t really believe we won the stage. It doesn’t make sense. “

AAP / Reuters

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