Nasser Al Attiyah stayed in control of the first round with nearly two hours in hand over Sébastien Loeb, his closest rival in the W2RC, while their motorbike and quad counterparts sat out the stage. In T3, Austin Jones, sixth today, remains ensconced in the lead of the Dakar. In T4, Rodrigo Luppi de Oliveira lost the lead in both the general standings and the championship (see A crushing blow). The reigning champion, Rokas Baciuška, managed to turn the tide and reclaim the top spot in a single stage! Finally, Janus van Kasteren again beat the other participants in the truck category and defended his lead in the championship. Martin Macík is close behind, while the title holder, Kees Koolen, is stuck in the doldrums nearly four hours behind the leader.