2023 Dakar Rally: Stage 3 results – New race leader Sanders hangs ‘em out to dry
Results from stage three of the 2023 Dakar Rally where Daniel Sanders romped his GASGAS to a five-minute win on a long day in the Saudi Arabia desert to become the new race leader – Honda’s Ricky Brabec crashes out of the race.
Dakar ’23 Stage 3 in a nutshell:
- Riders faced 668km from Al Ula to Ha’il today on stage three. A tough 447km of special test was billed as one of the most spectacular days in the ’23 rally and riders were treated to some awesome scenery, if they were looking, some dunes and a bonus of a cold, wet ride to the bivouac.
- For the second day in a row Daniel Sanders was the fastest guy, running scratch leader most the day from his P9 start position. The Aussie was hanging the others out to dry (literally) with the exception of Ricky Brabec who was busy making amends for his stage one result.
- Sadly, it all ended shortly after refuelling for Brabec who crashed at kilometre 274 and exits the rally in a helicopter, following Sam Sunderland to the Saudi hospital.
- Stage three was the first chance to see new time bonus system in play and at the 240km refuelling point the scores were in: Sanders led scratch but Mason Klein had opened the way all morning and was rewarded with 5'52’’ in bonuses. Skyler Howes did the same from P3 off the start to stack up 3’14’’ of bonus time and all three were within 10” of each other.
- The second half of the stage saw Sanders maintaining his lead in dunes and, taking no timeout today, took the stage and is now the new overall rally leader by over four minutes.
- Argentinian Kevin Benavides enjoys the dunes too and came stronger as this long day unfolded. The KTM rider was the only one to gain any time back on Sanders and was initally given P2 on stage but dropped to P4 after a two minute speed penalty.
- Training buddies Klein and Howes continued to open the track together in the afternoon and although the overnight leader Klein lost time scratch on Sanders, in the end he finished second in front of Howes and lies second overall.
- Howes has put in two very strong days now and his second place on stage means the Husqvarna rider lies fourth overall, eight minutes behind the leader but two minutes ahead of the highest placed Honda rider Joan Barreda in fifth.
- Mike Wiedemann took the stage win in the Original by Motul class today, beating Mario Patrao by just one minute. Charan Moore leads overall.
It was all change in the Rally 2 class today as BAS KTM’s Paolo Lucci won the day after a scrap with ’22 runner up Romain Dumontier. Frenchman, Camille Chapeliere was third as overnight leader Charan Moore hit problems and lost 44 minutes.
The stage was stopped at CP2 + CP3 for later bikes (only 43 made it back to the paddock as horrendous weather made life a nightmare on the course and they canned it for safety considerations – the lead riders results stand and those affected will have their result calculated based on their average across the rest of the stage. Tomorrow’s stage will not be affected.
Stage 3 provisional results:
Overall classification after stage 3:
Stage 3 is looking a bit rock and roll in places...
* Results for all classes will updates as riders finish and official tiem sheets are published.
Photo Credit: Rally Zone