Sam Sunderland leads the bike competition on the rest day
Australian rider Sanders was declared the winner of stage 6 as the 421 km loop around Riyadh was cut short in the first neutralized zone after 101 km.
This was due to safety concerns over degrading terrain, which had been used by competing cars and trucks on Thursday and made even worse by heavy rains.
Sanders led through each waypoint to finish 2m26s ahead of Sunderland, who in turn finished just 10 seconds ahead of their closest overall rival, KTM’s Matthias Walkner.
This meant Sunderland took a 2m39 lead over Walkner on the rest day, with Sanders moving up to third place, just 5m35 behind his teammate.
Third overnight, Adrian van Beveren lost a place in the general classification after finishing eighth on the stage, 4m10 behind Sanders.
Honda’s Pablo Quintanilla completed the top five, overtaking Sherco driver Lorenzo Santolino with the fourth fastest time of the stage.
Defending KTM champion Kevin Benavides enters the eighth rest day, behind privateer Stefan Svitko, while Joan Barreda is ninth, after choosing to continue in the rally despite a shoulder injury during a accident Thursday.
There was a tragedy for the Ross branch of Yamaha, which started the seventh stage overall but had to be transported by road to the bivouac for medical treatment following an early accident.
Thursday’s stage winner Danilo Petrucci (KTM) also suffered an incident early on, but the former MotoGP rider was able to continue and finish 40th, 12m44s off the pace.
Fellow KTM Toby Price, who lost Thursday’s stage victory due to a speeding penalty, finished ninth on Friday and heads to the 12th day of rest overall, while 2020 champion Ricky Brabec (Honda) is 15th.
Classification after stage 6:
|2||52||Matthias walkner||KTM||19:58:38||+00: 02: 39||00:00:00|
|3||4||Daniel Sanders||KTM||20:01:34||+00: 05: 35||00:00:00|
|4||42||Adrien van Beveren||YAMAHA||20:03:42||+00: 07: 43||00:00:00|
|5||seven||Pablo Quintanilla||HONDA||20:13:43||+00: 17: 44||00:00:00|
|6||15||Lorenzo Santolino||SHERCO FACTORY||20:14:21||+00: 18: 22||00:00:00|
|seven||142||Stefan Svitko||KTM||20:20:28||+00: 24: 29||00:00:00|
|8||1||Kevin benavides||KTM||20:20:55||+00: 24: 56||00:00:00|
|9||88||Joan barreda||HONDA||20:21:58||+00: 25: 59||00:01:00|
|ten||43||Mason klein||KTM||20:33:07||+00: 37: 08||00:00:00|