Toby Price on his KTM motorbike during stage seven of the Dakar Rally in San Juan de Marcona, Peru. Picture: Ricardo Mazalan/AP
Toby Price on his KTM motorbike during stage seven of the Dakar Rally in San Juan de Marcona, Peru. Picture: Ricardo Mazalan/AP

Aussie Toby Price pushing for podium at Dakar Rally

AUSTRALIAN Toby Price has maintained third place overall in the motorcycle category of the Dakar Rally after an eighth-place finish in stage seven.

The 2016 Dakar champion is 8min 25sec adrift of leader Ricky Brabec, with Adrien van Beveren second.

"Today went well, a lot of us moved through the stage as a group. We did get lost at one point and dropped a couple minutes but things are going ok! Going to keep my head down and prepare for tomorrow!" Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team rider Price tweeted.

British rider Sam Sunderland won the stage from Spain's Jose Ignacio Cornejo and Brabec, with the American regaining the race lead after a torrid day for former leader Pablo Quintanilla.

The Chilean started the stage as the leader but finished 21 minutes behind Sunderland and fell to fifth overall, a spot behind the Brit.

In the car's category, Stephane Peterhansel won Monday's stage to take back second place and cut Nasser Al-Attiyah's overall lead to 29 minutes.

The Frenchman, a 13-time Dakar winner, gained a position from compatriot Sebastien Loeb after the nine-time world rally champion lost half an hour due to an electrical problem in his Peugeot.

"We got a bit closer to Nasser but it'll be very hard to wrest the lead from him," said Peterhansel, who beat Spaniard and fellow Mini driver Nani Roma for his second stage win of the endurance event.

"Actually, we don't deserve to be ahead of him because he's doing really well and has made no mistakes so far."

Roma moved up to third overall, with Loeb dropping back to fourth.

Toyota driver Al-Attiyah completed the stage with the fourth fastest time but 12 minutes slower than Peterhansel, with 785km of timed competition before the finish in Lima on Thursday.

Spain's reigning champion Carlos Sainz, third in the stage, moved back into the top 10 but more than five hours off the lead.

- Reuters

News Corp Australia

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