Leading from the front after Honda's Brabec and Cornejo made a navigation blunder and his teammate Benavides withdrew from the race, Walkner seems to have also made a mistake in the finale, allowing the rest of the field to catch up with him. He came in 15′55″ down on the fastest time, set by Toby Price. Sunderland was also off the pace at 11′18″, while Barreda came in fith at 3′21″, VBA fourth at 3′35″ and Quintanilla ninth at 7′05″. VBA seized the overall lead for the second time this year. He now has 4′15″ on Quintanilla, 5′59″ on Sunderland, 6′47″ on Barreda, who is back in contention for the title, and 8′24″ on the biggest loser of the day, Walkner, who slumped to fifth place at 8′24″. The Dakar is never over before it is over!
After Kevin Benavides was forced to withdraw from the really due to a mechanical at km 134, Matthias Walkner went through the last time check with a deficit of 7′24″ to stage leader Quintanilla. Walkner is not only surrendering the overall lead, but even falling from the virtual podium, now with Sunderland, Quintanilla and Van Beveren.
Toby Price topped the standings at the km 258 neutralisation, the penultimate time check before the finish, with three minutes separating the top 7. Walkner held the lead in the virtual overall by 54″ over Sunderland, 2′31″ over Quintanilla and 4′10″ over Van Beveren, who thereby slipped from the podium. There is clear daylight between the leading quartet and the rest of the field.
257 km into the special, Joan Barreda, who is still nursing an injured shoulder, has gained a minute compared to the previous time check and is now 4′22″ down. Toby Price has been moving up the field slowly but steadily after starting in seventeenth place. The Australian was just 22 seconds off the pace at km 212… Could he be first at the next checkpoint?