Rallye

Adrian Channing maintains Safari lead

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Adrian Channing has maintained his bike lead in Australian Safari after the fourth day of competition from Port Hedland to Newman. Channing, on board a KTM 660 Rallye, maintained his overnight advantage over nearest challenger, Andrew Coaker, conceding just eight seconds to the Honda rider across the 205 kilometres. The Broken Hill 38-year-old ended the day five minutes and 23 seconds in the lead on a total time of 7 hours 25 minutes and 23 seconds. But pre-race favourite Ben Grabham, the event's early leader, clawed back nearly two and a half minutes of the time he lost on yesterday's Broome to Port Hedland leg to sit in third place, seven minutes and two seconds behind the leader. In the only positional change at the top end of the bike field, the youngest rider, Condobolin 18-year-old Jacob Smith, won the final stage of the day. That effort moved him up into fifth place at the expense of RMA Yamaha Safari team-mate and leading international, Jonah Street of the United States. Grabham remains the big danger to Channing. The Bathurst rider has consistently demonstrated his superior speed, winning eight of the 13 stages contested so far, and but for his navigational error yesterday while avoiding a herd of cattle, he would be clear of the field. Today's terrain provided another stern test for competitors, who had to negotiate long sandy stretches, rocky outcrops, numerous creek crossings and a section of rugged country that was extensively damaged by Cyclone George. Tomorrow's fifth leg travels from Newman to Meekatharra. Top 10 bikes ‰ÛÒ After Stage 14, Day Four, Australian Safari (Provisional)
1, A CHANNING (NSW), KTM 660 Rallye, 07:25:23
2, A COAKER (NSW), Honda CRF 450X, 07:30:46
3, B GRABHAM (NSW), Honda CRF 450X, 07:32:25
4, S DIENER (SA), Kawasaki KLX 450, 07:37:10
5, J SMITH (NSW), Yamaha WR450, 07:40:15
6, J STREET (USA), Yamaha WR450, 07:43:14
7, M FISH (VIC), KTM 525 EXC, 08:05:20
8, P NELLIGAN (NSW), KTM EXC 525, 08:11:58
9, A RIEMANN (SA), KTM 450EXC, 08:19:04
10. McCULLAGH (NSW), KTM 450 EXC, 08:32:11

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