McRae fights back to claim podium place

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Colin McRae scored his first podium finish in the Dakar Rally yesterday to put Monday's speeding penalty to the back of his mind.

The Scot was docked 7min 30sec after speeding through a restricted zone, a decision which dropped the Nissan driver to eighth overall. But he bounced back to take third place on the 351km (218 miles) stage six between Ouarzazate to Tan-Tan in Morocco to move back up into sixth overall.

McRae is more than 23 minutes behind the new leader, Hiroshi Masuoka, who won yesterday's stage. Masuoka's fellow Mitsubishi driver, Stéphane Peterhansel, who also suffered a penalty on Monday, lost the lead after conceding almost eight minutes to the Japanese driver, whom he now trails by 6min 40sec.

Two of the front-runners suffered misfortune: Ari Vatanen losing three hours after water seeped into the engine of his Nissan, while Miki Biasion only has three wheels on his Mitsubishi following a serious accident. Huddersfield's Mark Round was 69th, to be 70th overall in his Land Rover.

In the bike class, Joan Roma claimed victory to climb into second overall, almost two minutes behind the leader and fellow KTM rider, Isidre Esteve Pujol, who was second yesterday. Mike Extance, from Derbyshire, is 104th overall while Patsy Quick, from East Sussex, is 134th.

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