Former MotoGP rider Danilo Petrucci suffered more frustration on stage nine of the Dakar Rally, while fellow KTM rider Matthias Walkner claimed the overall lead. 

Winner of stage five, Petrucci could only manage 18th after encountering mechanical problems during a challenging 491km stage based around Wadi Ad Dawasir.  

Out of overall contention due to a technical issue on stage two, Petrucci finished 8m 42s down on Monster Energy Honda rider Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo who took his second win of the Rally thus far. 

As was the case on stage eight when GASGAS rider Sam Sunderland regained the overall lead from Walkner, the latter managed to retake top spot away from the British rider thanks to a fourth place result, while Sunderland could only manage 14th. The gap between the two now stands at 2m 12s. 

Despite the issues Petrucci was facing on stage nine, it didn’t stop the Italian from stopping roadside and greeting fans. 

While Petrucci has expressed a desire to do the Dakar again in the future, which given the success he’s had in his debut appearance you would assume it to be an easy decision for the Italian, his plans for the rest of 2022 are yet to be revealed although a decision is expected shortly after the Rally finishes.

Before that happens Petrucci has three more stages to complete with the event finishing on January 14th.