AUSTRALIAN motorcyclist Toby Price is third overall in the Dakar Rally after finishing fourth in the sixth stage through Peru.
Sebastien Loeb capitalised on an error by Qatari rally leader Nasser Al-Attiyah to win a second-straight stage on Sunday and rise to second.
2016 winner Price, riding for the Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team, tweeted on Sunday that he continued to be troubled by a pre-race wrist injury.
"It was a tough day today, my wrist is hurting more and more each day but to know we only have four stages remaining is encouraging,” the former Singleton Sports Star of the Year said.
“I'm going to continue to fight.”
Al-Attiyah led stage six from Arequipa to San Juan de Marcona until about 15km from the finish when he drove into the wrong valley. Loeb, two minutes behind, moved two minutes ahead and won his third stage.
He passed the spot where he crashed out last year when he had been second overall.
"It was a tricky stage," Loeb said.
"We dodged the bullet."
Al-Attiyah was second, 2:17 behind, but still led by almost 38 minutes.
Loeb, the nine-time world rally champion trying to win Dakar at his fourth attempt, leapt over multi-winner Stephane Peterhansel.
Peterhansel, who started second overall, went to help Nani Roma.
"I saw Nani stuck 5km from the finish. He didn't signal for help but, after he helped me out two days ago, I felt compelled to rush to his aid.
"I ended up in a sand basin and lost 20 minutes ... it was a real blunder. Victory's slipping away after too many mistakes."
He's 41 minutes behind overall, while 2014 champion Roma is 45 minutes down in fourth.
Changes are expected in the motorbike section, with nine minutes separating the top seven riders.
Race leader Ricky Brabec and Price's Red Bull KTM teammate and 2017 champion Sam Sunderland are only a minute apart.
Stage-five winner Sunderland opened the way and struggled, nine minutes off the pace after the first section and 23 by the end. From a minute behind at the start, he was 21 back at the end.
Brabec led for the first half but dropped to sixth. He fell to second overall, 4:38 behind stage winner and new leader Pablo Quintanilla.
After Quintanilla and Brabec, Price was five minutes behind overall in third followed by Kevin Benavides.
The race ends on Thursday.