Stage 5 of the 2017 Dakar Rally was billed as another brutal challenge for the competitors still remaining. The high-altitude terrain of Bolivia certainly lived up to that expectation, but today’s special was cut in half, with severe weather interrupting the day’s gauntlet.
As such, only 219km of the planned 447km special were ridden, but that “short” distance was enough to once again upheave the overall standings, with several riders losing time from navigational errors and penalties.
Sam Sunderland took the top honors for the day, breathing hope back into KTM’s 2017 Dakar Rally. Sunderland’s victory may have only been by seven minutes, but the gaps were with the right people, as he now stands 20 minutes ahead of Pablo Quintanilla – the previous overall leader.
Quintanilla finished the stage in seventh, losing some time on a navigational error out of a river bed. The Chilean’s conservative approach perhaps did him well though, as his fellow Husqvarna teammate Pela Renet lost over 45 minutes looking for the waypoint around the 152km mark.
With less to lose, the Honda riders pushed hard in Stage 5, though it can’t be said that the results benefited from their gamble. Only Franco Caimi (Honda South America Rally Team) and Paulo Gonçalves (Monster Energy Honda Team), put a Honda in the Top 15 of the day’s rankings.
Gonçalves sits 10th overall for his efforts, one hour and eight minutes behind Sunderland, which could create some interesting “what if” thoughts for the HRC squad, after yesterday’s one-hour time penalties for fueling in a prohibited zone.
Not much has been said this year about the Yamaha Racing effort, but Stage 5 saw a strong performance from Adrien van Beveren, who finished third for the day and seized the same position overall. At just 16 minutes back in the overall standings, Van Beveren is very much in the hunt for this year’s Dakar.
Yamaha’s Xaiver de Soultrait is also in the hunt, sitting 36 minutes back in sixth place. With two KTMs, two Yamahas, and a Husqvarna all with a reasonable hand on the winner’s trophy still, this is certainly shaping up to be an interesting Dakar Rally.
Tomorrow sees the circus traveling the capital city of La Paz. With 527km of special planned, we expect to see more shuffling of the leaderboard.
Top 15 from Stage 5 – Tupiza to Oruro
|1||SUNDERLAND Sam||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||2:21’51|
|2||GONCALVES Paulo||POR||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+7’07|
|3||VAN BEVEREN Adrien||FRA||Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team||Yamaha||+7’29|
|4||PEDRERO Joan||SPA||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||+9’40|
|5||CAIMI Franco||ARG||Honda South America Rally Team||Honda||+12’13|
|6||FARRES Gerard||SPA||Himoinsa Team||KTM||+15’07|
|7||QUINTANILLA Pablo||CHI||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+18’12|
|9||SALVATIERRA Juan Carlos||BOL||Duust Rally Team||KTM||+23’44|
|10||OLIVERAS Daniel||SPA||Himoinsa Team||KTM||+24’29|
|11||RODRIGUES Joaquim||POR||Hero Motorsports Team Rally||Hero||+26’45|
|12||PATRAO Mario||POR||JETMAR / KTM PORTUGAL||KTM||+27’33|
|13||METGE Adrien||FRA||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||+28’44|
|15||NOSIGLIA Daniel||BOL||MEC Team Nosiglia||Honda||+29’16|
Provisional Top 15 Overall Standings for the 2017 Dakar Rally
|1||SUNDERLAND Sam||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||15:22’05|
|2||QUINTANILLA Pablo||CHI||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+12’00|
|3||VAN BEVEREN Adrien||FRA||Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team||Yamaha||+16’07|
|4||FARRES Gerard||SPA||Himoinsa Team||KTM||+20’57|
|5||WALKNER Matthias||AUT||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+29:01|
|6||DE SOULTRAIT Xavier||FRA||Viltais Racing Team HFP||Yamaha||+36’06|
|7||SVITKO Stefan||SLO||Slovnaft Team||KTM||+48’43|
|8||RENET Pierre-Alexandre||FRA||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+54’45|
|10||GONCALVES Paulo||POR||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+1:08’21|
|11||RODRIGUES Joaquim||POR||Hero Motorsports Team Rally||Hero||+1:10’20|
|12||BARREDA Joan||SPA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+1:12’39|
|13||RODRIGUES Helder||POR||Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team||Yamaha||+1:23’38|
|14||CAIMI Franco||ARG||Honda South America Rally Team||Honda||+1:27’10|
|15||KLYMCIW Ondrej||CZE||Klymciw Racing||Husqvarna||+1:36’22|
|20||METGE Michael||FRA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+1:49’25|
|21||BRABEC Ricky||USA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+1:49’27|
Source: Dakar; Photos: HRC Husqvarna, & KTM