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Dakar 2016: Price Wins the Rally, Husqvarna on Podium

Toby Price won the 2016 edition of the Dakar Rally and became the first Australian to win in any category in this competition. His overall lead allowed him to ride at a slower pace, making sure he avoided making mistakes and traps.
L-R: Svitko (2), Price (1), Quintanilla (3) 33 photos
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In Stage 12, Price was more than okay with a second-fastest time. Stage victory went to Helder Rodrigues, who won his first leg for Yamaha this year. Rodrigues' victory and his five-minute advantage over Kevin Benavides were critical for his final placement, but in the end it just wasn't to me.

Benavides was third, followed by Svitko and Van Beveren, with Quintanilla in sixth, and with Monleon, Guell, Olivier Pain and Cerutti for the top ten. Romanian KTM rider Gyenes was 11th in Stage 12, proving he was only becoming better and better. Laia Sans finished the stage in the 15th position.Antoine Meo crashes hard, loses podium chances
KTM's Antoine Meo had to follow team instructions and act as a sidekick for Toby Price in Stage 12, which he did. However, the Frenchman was involved in a very hard crash some 50 kilometers (31 miles) ahead of the Stage finish.

He injured a wrist and damaged the bike, and was forced to take it slowly to reach the end of the day. His slow speed cost him all podium chances, as he fell back more than 33 minutes from the leader.Quintanilla wins the final Stage
Stage 13 was a very short one, especially when compared to the previous legs of the rally, and there was little that could change at the top of the time sheets. Meo, injured in Stage 12, had to fight pain and fell back even more, with a gap of almost 50 minutes from the fastest time.

With the Dakar 2016 crown so close at hand, the leader of the provisional ranking, Toby Price, took no risks, helped by the generous advantage he had. Price settled for the fourth place in Stage 13, 4'22" behind the Stage winner, Pablo Quintanilla.

The Husqvarna rider pressed very hard in the final act of the Dakar, and finished almost two minutes from Argentinian Kevin Benavides and 2'37" ahead of Yamaha's Helder Rodrigues. Svitko was fifth, followed by Guell, Monter, Brabec, Van Beveren and Patrao. Gyenes finished 16th and lost the first place in the Marathon class, while Laia Sanz was the 19th fastest in the final Stage for the Dakar.

With the first two places on the podium hard to change, the battle for the third step was a fierce one. Husqvarna's Quintanilla prevailed and provided the KTM-owned manufacturer with a long expected Dakar podium.

The 2016 Dakar sees the rise of new stars, with Price seemingly being a worthy successor of Cyril Despres and Marc Coma. Svitko was second, with Quintanilla followed by Benavides (Honda), Rodrigues (Yamaha), rookies Van Beveren (Yamaha) and Meo (KTM), Farres Guess (KTM), Brabec (Honda), and Monleon (KTM).

This is the 15th victory in a row for KTM, who appears to field a very strong rider line-up despite the legendary riders having retired. Gyenes and Laia Sanz were 14th and 15th, respectively. The former improved over his 21st performance last year, while the latter could not match her amazing 9th place from 2015.

From the 358 competitors who lined up at the start for the 38th Dakar rally, 84 motorcycles, 23 quads, 67 cars and 44 trucks crossed the finish line, just over 60%.





 
 
 
 
 

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