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Teammates Toby Price and Sam Sunderland brought their KTM 450 RALLY machines home in third and fourth respectively, with Luciano Benavides posting his best result of 13th.

Marking the first half of the 2019 Dakar Rally’s marathon stage, day four in Peru was another challenging one for all competitors. Setting off from Arequipa early in the morning, a short 85-kilometre liaison led into the two-part timed special. At 405 kilometres – the longest of the rally – the special consisted of soft dunes with many areas of dusty Fesh-Fesh leading into faster, hard-packed river beds. Riders had to take care to preserve their tyres on the faster sections while not losing too much time to their rivals. A short liaison then brought the riders to the temporary bivouac situated near Moquegua. As the marathon stage rules state, riders receive no outside assistance overnight. All maintenance must be carried out by themselves or fellow competitors.

Despite a small crash in the latter half of the special, Toby Price put in a great ride to finish as third fastest, less than a minute down on the hard-charging Walkner. Still nursing his injured wrist, the Australian is looking forward to tomorrow’s slightly shorter stage five.

Toby Price: “That was tough today. It was a long stage and a lot of it was made up of rocky tracks and rivers, they are the worst for my wrist. I did have one get-off along the way but luckily not too bad. I’m not comfortable but it is the way it is and I have to work around it. The goal for the rest of the rally is to keep on doing what I’ve been doing and get the best result possible.”

Following his challenging stage three, Matthias Walkner was the 15th rider to enter the day’s timed special. Immediately pushing hard and making the most of his experience to catch and pass riders ahead of him, the 2018 Dakar Champion maintained his strong pace throughout the day on the fast, treacherous route. A heavy landing from one drop-off caused Walkner to hurt his ankle slightly but the Austrian rider was able to continue to complete the stage and finish as runner-up.

Matthias Walkner: “The day was good for me – the bike is running well and I didn’t crash at all today. I did land quite hard from one jump and thought I might have injured my ankle but it seems to be ok. It’s great here in the bivouac, we are all here together as one team and that feels good. I managed to get some time back in the overall today, so I’ll aim to do the same tomorrow.”

Provisional Results Stage Four – 2019 Dakar Rally

1. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 3:40:30
2. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 3:46:49 +6:19
3. Toby Price (AUT), KTM, 3:47:37 +7:07
4. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 3:52:05 +11:35
5. Adrien van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 3:53:59 +13:29

Provisional Standings after Stage Four – 2019 Dakar Rally

1. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 12:33:00
2. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Husqvarna, 12:35:19 +2:19
3. Toby Price (AUT), KTM, 12:37:22 +4:22
4. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 12:38:45 +5:45
5. Adrien van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 12:41:56 +8:56