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What Dakar Day 3 Bike Report
Where Al Salamiya, Saudi Arabia
When Monday 8 January 2024
Community International

Quintanilla takes the day, Branch extends overall advantage

Chilean Honda rider Pablo Quintanilla took his turn to take a stage win as Dakar 2024 moved onto its third day racing 438 km to Al Salamiya on Monday. Botswana’s former multiple South African Cross Country champion however continues to lead the way for Hero after the first of this year’s two day Marathon Stage.

It was a competitive day on two wheels in the desert with the order up front fluid throughout. American Mason Klein made up for a tough Day 2 aboard his Kove to lead Branch on his Hero, Argentine Kevin Benavides’ KTM, US rider Skyler Howes’ Honda, Spaniard Joan Barreda’s Hero and Czech KTM privateer Martin Michek.

Quintanilla then bounced into the lead from Klein, Barreda, Benavides, Branch and Frenchman Adrien van Beveren on another Honda. South African champion Bradley Cox sat 14th and third in R2 on his BAS KTM, compatriot Charan Moore 35th and Zimbabwean Ashley Thixton 39th on their Husqvarnas, with SA KTM men Ronald Venter 57th and Malle Moto rider Stuart Gregory 68th.

Although under pressure throughout, Quintanilla held on to win from Barreda, Benavides, Brabec, Branch and van Beveren. Cox was embroiled in a battle with the bikes around him through the day and emerged 26th in the end while Moore rode home 31st and Thixton a fine 39th, while Venter sat 66th and Gregory 80th.

Overall, Ross Branch and his Hero opened up his lead to just over three minutes over Honda quartet, Chilean rider Jose Florimo, Ricky Brabec, Pablo Quintanilla, and Adrien van Beveren with Kevin Benavides’ KTM sixth. Bradley Cox sits 22nd overall and seventh in a close fought R2 race, Charan Moore 27th and 12th in R2, Ashley Thixton 40th, Ronald Venter 71st and Stuart Gregory 77th.

With service limited to two hours, the riders then rode into the desert to overnight at a remote bivouac before taking on the balance of the 299 km of the Marathon Stage to Al Hofuf, Tuesday. Your daily Dakar bike update is powered by Tork Craft tools.

Issued on behalf of Dakar 2024 Bikes Daily

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