Cyril Despres is back atop the Dakar standings after Day Three.
While Despres had been bumped back to fifth on the second day after a navigational error cost him a lot of time, he surged ahead of Joan Barreda (who’s currently in 18th place – quite a tumble in the standings) and took a 2:51 lead over Chaleco Lopez (who’s also riding a KTM).
Apparently, Day Three was quite a challenge.
Lopez actually won the third day’s racing, with Paulo Goncalves coming second, and Despres finishing the day’s racing third. The day’s racing took riders through soft sand in the deserts of southern Peru.
While KTM looks like they’re climbing back atop the standings, Husqvarna has got to be happy with Goncalves’ good showing (Italian Alessandro Botturi finished fourth on a Husky as well). Two of Honda’s top riders, Johnny Campbell and Helder Rodrigues, both ran into trouble; Rodrigues had fuel issues, but managed to perform quite well once he was back underway. Campbell had mechanical problems early in the day, but was able to repair them himself and get back on track. The Baja 1000 legend is now languishing in 145th place.
Canadian Patrick Beaule is in 54th place, at the start of Day 4. Don Hatton was forced to drop out of the race after somehow colliding with a truck. The accident left him with a damaged gear selector. He struggled as far as he could, but eventually ended up stuck in the sand in neutral.