IQUIQUE - Qatar's Nasser Al-Attiyah edged closer to a second Dakar Rally victory on Friday when he claimed his third stage win out of six along Chile's Pacific coast. Al-Attiyah, the 2011 champion, had already won the second and fourth stages and his latest triumph meant that Mini, who swept the 2014 podium, maintained their record of winning all the stages so far.

The Qatari took the honours on the 318km timed stage from Antofagasta to Iquique on the shores of the Pacific with main rival Giniel de Villiers, the South African 2009 champion, second in a Toyota. It was de Villiers' fifth podium finish this week while 2014 champion Nani Roma, also in a Mini, was third. However Roma's hopes of hanging on to his title had already been shattered by losing six and a half hours on Saturday's opening stage.

In the overall standings, Al-Attiyah stretched his lead by 37 seconds over de Villiers to more than 21 minutes. "We did a good job and I'm quite happy to win the stage. It's a good day for us again. We pushed a little bit in the dunes but we were really careful from the beginning because it was really not easy," said Al-Attiyah. "The route today was just only really for buggies. Our time was really good and I'm quite happy."

Saudi Arabian rookie Yazeed Alrajhi, in a Toyota, was seventh on the stage, more than eight minutes off the pace and is almost half an hour behind Al-Attiyah in the overall standings. He remains in third spot. Stephane Peterhansel, the 11-time champion and best-placed Peugeot driver after the retirement of 2010 champion Carlos Sainz, finished half an hour behind Al-Attiyah to stand at close to two hours off the lead.

Portugal's Helder Rodrigues, on a Honda, won the motorcycling stage while Spain's Joan Barreda stayed in charge of the overall title race. It was Rodrigues's first win on the 2015 race, finishing in 3hours 40min 10sec. "I started very badly with my body at the beginning of this rally. I had three days that were not so good. On day four I had a problem with the bike due to mechanical problems, but today I had a good stage," said Rodrigues.

Australia's Toby Price, on a KTM, was 1min 10sec behind while Portugal's Paulo Goncalves, also on a Honda, was 1min 42sec off the lead. Barreda was sixth on the stage on his Honda, more than seven minutes behind Rodrigues, but still extended his overall lead over defending champion Marc Coma to 12min 27sec. Coma, on a KTM, was eighth on Friday.