Alonso could only wait and watch as Mathieu Serradori beat him to the win on Stage 8 of the Dakar Rally.

The double World Champion was two minutes ahead of the chasing pack from Wadi Al Dawasir to Wadi Al Dawasir only for Serradori to come through four minutes faster.

Neither the bikes nor quads ran on Monday following the death of Paulo Gonçalves.

Racing from Wadi Al Dawasir to Wadi Al Dawasir over 477ms of dunes and canyons, double F1 World Champion Alonso, competing in his first-ever Dakar, set the pace.

The Spaniard, driving a Toyota Hilux, was sitting top of the pile at the end of the stage with only Serradori still in the hunt.

The Frenchman took 3h48m to complete the stage, beating Alonso by 4m04.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” said Serradori. “It’s a wonderful story. Yesterday’s stage was very complicated – we made a mistake and paid a heavy price. This morning, we pulled our socks up and left everyone behind us.

“I’d like to dedicate this victory to Paulo because I’m a former biker. It’s not easy to get motivated after a day like that and my co-pilot Fabien was there as well. But there are two fighters in the car and I’m very happy with this result.”

Giniel de Villiers was fourth quickest in his Toyota Hilux while Dakar leader Carlos Sainz opened the stage on Monday and almost immediately began to lose time.

He was overhauled on the stage by Nasser Al-Attiyah and Stéphane Peterhansel with defending champion reducing Sainz’s overall to 6m40.

South Africa’s De Villiers remains sixth overall, his deficit to Sainz reduced to 53m12.

Yasir Seaidan lost time when he got his Mini stuck in the sand.