Singleton sporting prodigy Toby Price is now ranked third overall after a successful ninth stage of the Dakar Rally.
Price, who is the only Australian to have celebrated a Dakar Rally crown (victorious in both 2016 and 2019), has closed in on leader Ricky Brabec after finishing second in last night's stage.
"We're set and focused for Stage 9 today, no doubt this is going to be one of the toughest stages we're all going to have to tackle and not because of the terrain or navigation," he said prior to the stage.
This was referring to the passing of his friend Paulo Gonalves on Sunday (see story).
Four hours later, he would finish two minutes shy of a third stage win for the month.
"Another long stage today covering 410km wide open at top speed, with the stage being so fast it is really difficult to make any time up on other competitors due to us all being able to follow and do much the same," Price added.
"That being said, I'm happy to have that stage behind me and now I can really focus on the small number of remaining days to try and close this gap up to the lead, bring in the marathon stage tomorrow."
Rodney Faggotter is the next best Australian (placed 13th) ahead of Ben Young (62nd), Trevor Collin Wilson (81st) and Matthew Tisdall (99th).
2020 Dakar Rally current leaderboard
- Ricky Brabec (USA - Monster Energy Honda Team 2020) 31:59'29"
- Pablo Quintanilla (Chile - Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) +20'53"
- Toby Price (Australia - Red Bull KTM Factory Team) +26'43"
- Joan Berreda Bort (Spain - Monster Energy Honda Team) +28'16
- Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo (Chile - Monster Energy Honda Team 2020) +29'29"
Toby Price's results so far
STAGE ONE - Finished first with a time of 03:21'33" over 752km
STAGE TWO - Finished 17th with a time of 03:51'23" over 393km
STAGE THREE - Finished fifth with a time of 03:38'06" (variation of 08'35") over 504km
STAGE FOUR - Finished sixth with a time of 04:27'50" over 672km
STAGE FIVE - Finished first with a time of 03:57'33" over 564km
STAGE SIX - Finished 11th with a time of 04:53'01" over 830km
STAGE SEVEN - Finished seventh with a time of 04:44'19" (variation of 07'57") over 741km
STAGE EIGHT - (Cancelled)
STAGE NINE - Finished second with a time of 03:32'27" over 886km