Tupiza (Bolivia) (AFP)
Spanish Honda rider Joan Barreda has lost the lead in the Dakar Rally motorcycle category after picking up an hour penalty for illegal refuelling, organisers said on Friday.
Chilean Pablo Quintanilla of Husqvarna is the new race leader after 33-year-old Barreda was penalised after he refuelled in an unauthorised area.
Barreda, who dominated the third stage from San Miguel de Tucuman to San Salvador de Jujuy in the north of Argentina, has been demoted to seventh position overall, 41 minutes behind Quintanilla.
Three other Honda riders -- France's Michael Metge, American Ricky Brabec and Portugal's Paulo Goncalves -- were also slapped with the same penalty for illegal refuelling during Thursday's fourth stage.
The penalties are a blow for the Japanese team's bid to take the title from Austrian rivals KTM, unbeaten in the Dakar since 2002.
KTM however have been hit hard as defending motorcycle champion Toby Price of Australia was forced to retire on Thursday after breaking his left leg in a fall.
Friday's fifth stage is over 692km from Tupiza to Oruro in Bolivia.
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
© 2017 AFP