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Matthias Walkner takes Dakar Stage 10 win and catapults into overall lead

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Red Bull KTM Racing's Matthias Walkner has won a drama-filled stage 10 of the 2018 Dakar Rally while overall leader going into the stage Adrien Van Beveren has been forced to abandon after crashing and breaking his collor bone three kilometers from the end of the stage.

Australia's Toby Price started well, but then lost 49 minutes during the latter half of the stage to eventually finish 19th after losing his way in a river bed. Price's team-mate Antoine Meo and Monster Energy Honda's Kevin Benavides - who was 22 seconds of the overall lead - also fell victim to navigation drama's.

In the general standings, Joan Barreda climbed from fifth into second position and Kevin Benavides, along with many others, lost loads of time and dropped from second to third, 39 and 41 minutes off the overall leader respectively.

Following a cancelled stage nine, the first day of racing in Argentina was a difficult and hot one for all competitors with temperatures in the 40's. A 424km liaison brought riders to the beginning of today‰Ûªs timed special ‰ÛÒ a 373km long route that twisted its way through the dunes and riverbeds of the Catamarca region before finding its destination at the city of BelÌ©n.
Matthias Walkner takes Dakar Stage 10 win and catapults into overall lead
KTM's Matthias Walkner was the big winner on stage 10 taking the stage and now heads the overall. Credit: ASO/@World/A.Lavadinho
As it happened, it wasn‰Ûªt the intense heat that proved most difficult for the competitors but the navigation. Matthias Walkner was running third at the start of the second leg of the timed special, six-minutes behind the leader. Taking extreme care to find each waypoint, Walkner navigated his way successfully to the finish and was surprised to find himself the first rider home. The Austrian now leads the provisional overall standings by a sizable 39 minutes and 42 seconds.

"What a day. That was such a tough stage, not only because of the heat but because of the navigation, too," Walkner said. "I knew today how important it would be to bide my time and concentrate on finding each waypoint successfully. Better to spend a few seconds getting things right than pushing on, wasting a lot more time after getting lost. When the tracks from the guys in front disappeared, I got a little worried that I had made a mistake, but I carried on and trusted myself. It was a big relief when I saw the waypoint validated and I reached the finish. It‰Ûªs always good to take a stage win, but never nice when one of your opponents crashes out. I hope Adrien (Van Beveren) is ok. We have a hard stage tomorrow so I‰Ûªll go about it in the same way and try not to make any mistakes.‰Û
Matthias Walkner takes Dakar Stage 10 win and catapults into overall lead
Pablo Quintanilla made up plenty of time with second on the stage. Credit: PhotosDakar.com
Making use of his vast experience, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Pablo Quintanilla posted the second fastest time for the day. In doing so he climbed to ninth in the event‰Ûªs provisional overall standings. With four more demanding stages to go, the two-time Rally World Champion is less than 30 minutes behind a provisional top six final result.

‰ÛÏIt was a really tough day," the Rally World Champions said. "Even before its start we knew it would be a tricky stage in terms of navigation, with lots of off-piste section in camel grass terrain. There were also many rivers and some of them were in parallel to the right tracks. Following my results from the previous stage in Bolivia I had a good starting position so focused on my navigation and tried my best to make up some of the time lost. I didn‰Ûªt want to push over the limit, as I knew it was possible to make a mistake. This strategy worked in my favour and we managed to get a good stage result.‰Û
Matthias Walkner takes Dakar Stage 10 win and catapults into overall lead
For former AMA Supercross and Motocross star Andrew Short had his best finish with 6th. PhotosDakar.com
For former AMA Supercross and Motocross star Andrew Short, stage 10 was proof of the progress the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing‰Ûªs rally rookie has made during this year‰Ûªs event. Making light work of a demanding stage, the acclaimed US racer secured his best Dakar stage result of his career with 6th and is now placed 19th in the provisional overall standings.

‰ÛÏIt was an up and down stage for me but I am more than satisfied with the result," Short said. "I was fast in some parts of the stage and then in others I had to slow down and pay more attention on my navigation. There were some parts of the stage that you couldn‰Ûªt actually see where you were going. I rode by myself for the first part of the stage and that was a good practice for me. Then in the second part, I caught the leading riders who had got lost and I managed to stay with them. I just kept it pinned while trying not to make mistakes. I also had a big crash at one point, but luckily it was all good and I managed to get going again. I‰Ûªm still really excited with the way things are going so far. I learn a lot and start to know how to be fast while also making sure I follow the right tracks.‰Û
Matthias Walkner takes Dakar Stage 10 win and catapults into overall lead
Getting lost was the theme of the stage with Toby Price, Antoine Meo and Kevin Benavides all falling victim. Credit: ASO/@World/A.Lavadinho
Toby Price along with team-mate and front-runner Antoine Meo, were in the leading group of three at the mid-way service. Unfortunately, as is often the case when following other riders, navigation becomes more difficult and mistakes are easier to make. Forced to turn around and retrace their steps, Price and Meo eventually re-joined the correct route and made it to the finish.

‰ÛÏI‰Ûªm so disappointed with the result today," Price said. "It was hot out there and I didn‰Ûªt have much fluid so that made things even harder. We were running really well right up until the end but obviously made a mistake with the navigation on the final waypoint. It seems a lot of the other riders made a very similar mistake, but I guess that‰Ûªs the way it goes. I lost a huge amount of time and that is going to be hard to get back, but I‰Ûªll keep pushing on and see what the next few stages bring us.‰Û
Matthias Walkner takes Dakar Stage 10 win and catapults into overall lead
Toby Price looking for the quick way home. He dropped 50 minutes on today's 10th stage but is still 5th overall.
Rod Faggotter brought his WR450F Rally home in 13th position. Making up some of the time the Aussie lost during the last couple of stages, Rodney is now 20th in the provisional overall standings of the rally.

"What a day this has been," Faggotter reflected, "We knew the stage would include some really tricky navigation so from my side I just did the best I could to stay fast and avoid mistakes. These warm temperature might be more to my liking, but the tracks today were dusty and tough. I am happy that this stage is over and I managed to climb a few spots in the overall, but obviously we are all disappointed with Adrien being forced to abandon the race. He had a great run so far and I hope he is back racing with us soon. As for me, I am in good shape right now and I will do my best to take my Yamaha to the finish of this event in CordÌ_ba."
Matthias Walkner takes Dakar Stage 10 win and catapults into overall lead
Rod Faggotter brought his WR450F Rally home in 13th position, the best result of the 2018 Dakar so far.
Tomorrow‰Ûªs (Wednesday‰Ûªs) Stage 11 of the 2018 Dakar Rally is the infamous Super FiambalÌÁ - often regarded as the toughest and most exhausting of the event. It is not overly long, the timed special only measures 280km, but the temperature in the dunes around the town of FiambalÌÁ makes the stage extremely tough on mind and body. That, combined with the extra-soft sand of the area, provides a real challenge for the competitors.

Matthias Walkner takes Dakar Stage 10 win and catapults into overall lead
Hard Luck story of the day goes to Adrien Van Beveren has been forced to abandon after crashing and breaking his collor bone three kilometers from the end of the stage.


Stage 10 Results - Tuesday, January 16th 2018
1 Walkner Matthias 2 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 04:52'26
2 Quintanilla Pablo 10 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +11'35
3 Farres Gerard 3 SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +16'21
4 Mena Oriol 61 SPA Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +20'45
5 Cornejo Jos̩ Ignacio 68 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +23'14
6 Short Andrew 54 USA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +24'13
7 Samuels Mark USA OX Motorsports Honda +24'50
8 Oliveras Daniel 29 SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +25'25
9 Monleon Armand 17 SPA Daming Racing Team KTM +34'18
10 Pedrero Joan 12 SPA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +36'24
11 Sanz Laia 15 SPA KTM Factory Racing Team KTM +36'35
12 Aubert Johnny 40 FRA Gas Gas Racing Gas Gas +37'29
13 Faggotter Rodney 44 AUS Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +38'07
14 Barreda Joan 5 SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +38'15
15 Nosiglia Daniel 33 BOL HT Husqvarna Rally Team Husqvarna +40'22
17 Benavides Kevin 47 ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +47'35
19 Toby Price (AUT), KTM, 5:41:43 +49:17
24 Brabec Ricky 20 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +56'13

Provisional Standings after Stage 10
1 Walkner Matthias 2 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 32:21'03
2 Barreda Joan 5 SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +39'42
3 Benavides Kevin 47 ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +41'23
4 Farres Gerard 3 SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +47'46
5 Price Toby 8 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +50'18
6 Meo Antoine 19 FRA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +01:03'35
7 Brabec Ricky 20 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +01:21'37
8 Svitko Stefan 9 SLO Slovnaft Team KTM +01:25'09
9 Quintanilla Pablo 10 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +01:30'24
10 Aubert Johnny 40 FRA Gas Gas Racing Gas Gas +01:40'57
11 Cornejo Jos̩ Ignacio 68 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +01:49'50
20 Rodney Faggotter (AUS), Yamaha, 35:12:07, +02:41:10

Race Schedule - Dakar Rally 2018
Stage 1 | Jan 6 | Lima to Pisco | SS: 31km | Total: 272km
Stage 2 | Jan 7 | Pisco to Pisco | SS: 267km | Total: 278km
Stage 3 | Jan 8 | Pisco to San Juan de Marcona | SS: 295km | Total: 501km
Stage 4 | Jan 9 | San Juan de Marcona to San Juan de Marcona | SS: 330km | Total: 444km
Stage 5 | Jan 10 | San Juan de Marcona to Arequipa | SS: 264km | Total: 770km
Stage 6 | Jan 11 | Arequipa to La Paz | SS: 313km | Total: 758km
Rest Day | Jan 12
Stage 7 | Jan 13 | La Paz to Uyuni | SS: 425km | Total: 726km
Stage 8 | Jan 14 | Uyuni to Tupiza | SS: 498km | Total: 584km
Stage 9 | Jan 15 | Tupiza to Salta | SS: 242km | Total: 754km
Stage 10 | Jan 16 | Salta to Bel̩n| SS: 372km | Total: 795km
Stage 11 | Jan 17 | BelÌ©n to FiambalÌÁ | SS: 280km | Total: 484km
Stage 12 | Jan 18 | FiambalÌÁ to San Juan | SS: 375km | Total: 722km
Stage 13 | Jan 19 | San Juan to CÌ_rdoba | SS: 423km | Total: 904km
Stage 14 | Jan 20 | CÌ_rdoba to CÌ_rdoba | SS: 119km | Total: 284km

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