Stage Three of the 2023 Dakar Rally was full of drama as ever—and, in fact, the stage ended up being cancelled early by race organizers, due to worsening weather conditions. Before that happened, though, the bikes were able to get out and put in hundreds of kilometers and get results.
Were they good results? As ever, that depends on the racer. For 2020 Dakar winner Ricky Brabec, unfortunately stage three of the 2023 event was the end of his time in this year’s competition. He crashed at the 274-kilometer mark, after which he experienced pain in his cervical vertebrae. Medical staff transported him to the hospital, but the incident has forced him to withdraw from this year’s competition earlier than he probably would have liked.
The third stage of the 2023 Dakar wasn’t the best experience for Matthias Walkner, either. He’d suffered a bad fall the day before, and along with the bumps and bruises and scrapes, it turned out that he also had a broken bone in his wrist. Despite that fact, he decided to try to go on—using tape, painkillers, and persistence to see himself tackle the stage. By the end of the stage, he managed to finish eleventh in the day’s rankings—over 16 minutes behind the Stage Three winner.
With Brabec and Sunderland now both out of the running, how did the 2023 Dakar Rally stage three bike rankings work out? Here are the top ten finishers and their times:
|Daniel Sanders (AUS)||Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing||4 hours, 24 minutes, 15 seconds|
|Skyler Howes (USA)||Husqvarna Factory Racing||4 hours, 30 minutes, 34 seconds|
|Mason Klein (USA)||BAS World KTM Racing Team||4 hours, 31 minutes, 14 seconds|
|Kevin Benavides (ARG)||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||4 hours, 31 minutes, 38 seconds|
|Joan Barreda Bort (ESP)||Monster Energy JB Team||4 hours, 35 minutes, 44 seconds|
|Toby Price (AUS)||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||4 hours, 36 minutes, 29 seconds|
|Pablo Quintanilla (CHL)||Monster Energy Honda Team||4 hours, 38 minutes, 50 seconds|
|Adrien Van Beveren (FRA)||Monster Energy Honda Team||4 hours, 39 minutes, 43 seconds|
|Joaquim Rodrigues (PRT)||Hero Motosports Team Rally||4 hours, 40 minutes, 20 seconds|
|Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo (CHL)||Monster Energy Honda Team||4 hours, 40 minutes, 23 seconds|
What will Stage Four bring? There’s no telling, but we’ll be sure to tell you about it after it happens. So far, the early stages of 2023 have seen American racers putting on a strong showing (that is, until Brabec couldn’t any more this year). Will Mason Klein win additional rally stages? What about Nacho Cornejo? Will Matthias Walkner be able to continue, or will he be forced to retire because of his injury? We wish good luck and good health to all the racers, and look forward to the next days of competition.