Australian dirt bike racer Toby Price of KTM won Stage 8 of the Dakar Rally and overtook his main rival for the overall lead with five stages remaining.
On the 500+ kilometer Salta to Belen route, riders navigated sand dunes for the first time. Price beat rival Goncalves by five minutes to make his margin two minutes.
It looks as though the motorcycle division of the 2016 Dakar Rally is down to those two riders. A two-minute margin is far from a said-and-done conclusion, however, and Price thinks that Goncalves has an edge in navigation skills. Those navigation skills deserted Goncalves in Stage 8 when the Honda rider suffered a crash early in the stage that broke his navigational equipment.
Up next is a Marathon Stage. If Price could win that, he would seemingly have the overall victory locked up, but Price has his expectations focused lower, on simply making a clean run of the stage.
In the car category, last year’s winner Nasser Al-Attiyah had his first stage win. The stage featured an end to the aspirations of Peugeot driver Sebastien Loeb as the Frenchman rolled his car a mere 30 minutes from the end of the course.
Australians Peter Jerrie and Dale Moscatt have moved up to 33rd overall.