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Joan Barreda storms the fifth stage and recovers fourteen minutes from the leader

In a magnificent fifth stage at the 2018 Dakar Rally, Monster Energy Honda Team’s Joan Barreda proved too hot to handle, commanding throughout the penultimate date in Peru. In addition to clawing back fourteen minutes from the race’s overall leader, the Spanish rider scales the leader board to fourth place. Benavides, third on the day, lies in second position in the general rankings.

The Dakar this year introduced a system of inverted sections, which saw the motorcycles tackle Sector A while the cars simultaneously raced over Sector B. The special stage covered 266 kilometres before a 508-kilometre link section took the competitors to the bivouac in Arequipa.

The stage was a dune-filled adventure, very technical with demanding navigation and high altitude to complicate matters further. There was even fesh-fesh to contend with during the offroad stretches in the earlier part of the day; the second one passed through the high dunes of Tanaka with the final stint over high-speed stony tracks.

Joan Barreda played his strategic hand yesterday and it paid off handsomely. The Spanish ace from Monster Energy Honda Team pulled out all the stops and romped home with a lengthy advantage that places him right back in the running for the overall prize. The rider from Castellón, Spain, started from ninth position, set an infernal pace from the first control point and reached the finish line after overcoming the impressive Tanaka dunes trouble-free. Barreda finished the stage with a 14’30” advantage over race leader Adrien Van Beveren. This marks the Spaniard’s second stage victory in this Dakar, the 21st of his career and has helped him leap to fourth overall, a mere 7’30” adrift of the French leader.

After celebrating his 29th birthday yesterday, Kevin Benavides continued in the same vein to post third spot on the day and move up a place to second overall position, 1’30” off the leader.

Ricky Brabec, likewise, performed well in the special, finishing ninth. Michael Metge, after an erratic start to the stage, managed to overcome his problems and eventually take twelfth. José Ignacio Cornejo finished nineteenth and is twelfth in the provisional.

Tomorrow, Thursday, the Dakar entourage leaves Peru and enters Bolivia. The forecast in the Transandine country is for rain throughout much of the time that the race is on Bolivian soil. The sixth stage, the last before the rest day will feature 313 kilometres of special stage in a total trajectory of 760 kilometres.

Stage 5 Results

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Time/Gap
1 BARREDA Joan 5 SPA Monster Energy Honda Team 03:19’42
2 WALKNER Matthias 2 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +10’26
3 BENAVIDES Kevin 47 ARG Monster Energy Honda Team +12’20
4 MEO Antoine 19 FRA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +13’00
5 VAN BEVEREN Adrien 4 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team +14’35
6 DE SOULTRAIT Xavier 23 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team +14’43
7 PRICE Toby 8 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +15’00
8 FARRES Gerard 3 SPA Himoinsa Team +16’54
9 BRABEC Ricky 20 USA Monster Energy Honda Team +19’16
10 AUBERT Johnny 40 FRA Gas Gas Racing +21’17
11 MENA Oriol 61 SPA Hero Motorsports Team Rally +22’35
12 METGE Michael 14 FRA Monster Energy Honda Team +22’38
13 SVITKO Stefan 9 SLO Slovnaft Team +25’07
14 SANZ Laia 15 SPA KTM Factory Racing Team +27’29
15 BARRAGÁN Jonathan 60 SPA Gas Gas Racing +27’44
19 CORNEJO José Ignacio 68 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team +29’52

Rider Standings

PROVISIONAL STANDINGS AFTER STAGE 5

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Time/Gap
1 VAN BEVEREN Adrien 4 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team 14:37’40
2 BENAVIDES Kevin 47 ARG Monster Energy Honda Team +01’00
3 WALKNER Matthias 2 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +01’14
4 BARREDA Joan 5 SPA Monster Energy Honda Team +07’33
5 DE SOULTRAIT Xavier 23 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team +07’42
6 PRICE Toby 8 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +10’39
7 MEO Antoine 19 FRA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +12’12
8 FARRES Gerard 3 SPA Himoinsa Team +15’24
9 QUINTANILLA Pablo 10 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team +16’12
10 BRABEC Ricky 20 USA Monster Energy Honda Team +25’48
12 CORNEJO José Ignacio 68 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team +27’23
24 METGE Michael 14 FRA Monster Energy Honda Team +1:00’00

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Jan 06-20 Dakar
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Jan 25-28 San Felipe Desert Mayhem 150
Jan 27 MORE - Slash X Duel in the Desert
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