Danilo Petrucci put yesterday's technical misery behind him by setting the 22nd fastest time as he re-joined the Dakar action on today's Stage 3.

Monday's electrical problem with his factory KTM 450, while battling for a top five position, means the former MotoGP rider will no longer feature in the event classification.

However, with KTM able to fix his bike after it was returned by helicopter to the bivouac, Petrucci was at least cleared to continue his debut Dakar adventure, allowing him to build-up valuable knowledge for a future return.

Heavy rain in the Al Artawiyah region saw today's 636km stage shortened to a fast 255km stretch, which ended with the top ten separated by less than five minutes.

Setting off 51st, Petrucci immediately began fighting for a top-20 position, despite the traffic he had to encounter. A small mistake towards the end of the stage cost the Italian a couple of minutes, but he still finished a competitive 9mins 21secs behind stage winner Joaquim Rodrigues.

“I’m really happy to be able to continue riding today after the issue I had yesterday. Yes, I’ve lost one stage, but it feels good to be racing again," Petrucci said.

"I really enjoyed the stage today, the goal was just to get to the end, but it was very fast and really good fun. There were a lot of lines in the sand, but I still tried to read the roadbook and learn more in the way of my own navigation.

"I did make a couple of small mistakes, but it feels so good to be back on the bike. I have nine more stages to continue learning and I’m looking forward to it.”

The 2022 Dakar, held in Saudi Arabia, concludes on January 14.