A five-minute penalty has cost Hunter-raised rider Toby Price third place after stage three of the 2018 Dakar Rally.
The 2016 Dakar champion, in his first competitive outing on his bike since breaking his leg in a crash on the fourth stage of last year’s Dakar, posted the third fastest time of the day.
He was three minutes, 28 seconds behind Red Bull KTM teammate and overall leader Sam Sutherland from the UK.
Argentine Honda rider Kevin Benavides is second, three minutes and three seconds behind Sutherland.
However, after a five-minute penalty was imposed by race officials, Price was relegated Price to 10th position at the end of the day.
There were plenty of promising signs for Price who recovered from a crash three-quarters of the way into the stage cost him a few minutes.
“Everything felt really good today, I was really comfortable on the bike. I knew my pace was good and so I kept on pushing,” Price told the MCNews website.
“I did come off the bike after a big drop-off from one of the dunes around the 140km mark.
“Luckily, I didn’t damage myself or the bike too much, the road-book got filled with sand though so for the rest of the stage I had to just ease my pace a little.
“One of the worst things was that I lost the end to my camelback in the crash and wasn’t able to keep hydrated towards the finish.
“Apart from that everything was good, you can see on days like today how important it is to stay focused and not make any mistakes. Hopefully I can keep up the same performance for the rest of the rally.”
Stage four is a 444km leg.