HARADH, Saudi Arabia – France’s Mini driver Stephane Peterhansel won on Tuesday the ninth stage of the 2020 Dakar Rally car race while Husqvarna’s rider Pablo Quintanilla was the fastest on the bikes.
Peterhansel covered stage nine in three hours, eight minutes and 31 seconds.
This was 15 seconds ahead of the defending champion Qatar’s Nasser al-Attiyah (Toyota), while Saudi Yasir Seaidan had to settle for third, four minutes and 48 seconds off the pace.
Carlos Sainz of Mini, who leads the general rankings, finished fifth – six minutes and 31 seconds behind Peterhansel.
Toyota’s Fernando Alonso faced a complicated stage, which saw the two-time Formula One champion coming ninth.
In the bike category, Toby Price of KTM came second, followed by Spanish Honda rider Joan Barreda in third.
Ricky Brabec of Honda, who maintains the top spot in the general rankings, came fourth.
The motorcycle race resumed Tuesday after it was suspended following the death of Portuguese rider Paulo Gonçalves on Sunday in an accident during stage seven.
Honda’s Kevin Benavides, who won the previous stage, finished sixth, with his younger brother Luciano and Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo coming seventh and eighth, respectively.
KTM rider Matthias Walkner, who won the rally back in 2018, crossed the finished line 10th, eight minutes and seven seconds off the pace.
Dakar’s ninth stage took place between Wadi Al Dawasir and Haradh, an oil enclave in the southern part of the country on top of Ghawar, the largest oil field in the world.
Tuesday’s 891-kilometer stage was the longest of the entire rally, with 410 km of the course timed.
Goncalves’ death was the first at the Dakar Rally in five years.
The last fatality was Polish rider Michal Hernik, who died of dehydration.
The 2020 Dakar Rally is being held in Saudi Arabia, with 12 stages from Jeddah to Qiddiya playing out between Jan. 5-17.
This is the first edition of the race to take place in Asia and the second in a row to be held entirely in one country after Peru.