Defending champion Marc Coma has taken victory on the fourth stage of the Dakar Rally as he continues to make his way back up the order following his penalty on day two.

The KTM rider had been handed a 22 minute penalty on the run from Cordoba to La Rioja to drop down to 14th place in the overall standings but came through the run through the Atacama Desert with the quickest time to climb to sixth place.

That came despite the stage being shortened to 160km due to the late arrival of a number of competitors on the Monday stage.

"We got our good habits back and we got back on the right track," Coma said. "I am very happy to be here. It's good for the moral of the team after a few bad days. The strategy is something you do each day. We will make the most of the race, climb in the standings, and move forward...till the end. We won't let our guard down!"

David Casteu was second quickest through the stage while Cyril Despres was third and maintains his lead over Casteu in the overall standings - with the pair now split by 8min 53secs.

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