Dakar Rally: Petrucci Wins Stage Five (Updated)

Dakar Rally: Petrucci Wins Stage Five (Updated)

© 2022, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

Rookie Danilo Petrucci, riding his Tech3 KTM Factory Racing 450 Rally, won Stage Five Thursday at the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia. This makes Petrucci the first MotoGP rider to ever win a stage at the Dakar Rally. We will post more information as it becomes available.




More, from a press release issued by KTM Factory Racing:


Dakar Rally 2022 – Stage Five

Tech3 KTM Factory Racing’s Danilo Petrucci has won stage five of the Dakar Rally. Putting in a fast but measured performance, the former MotoGP™ star impressed once again by posting the fastest time on the 341-kilometer special. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Toby Price was initially quickest on the stage, but was later awarded a six-minute penalty, which dropped him down to fifth. Kevin Benavides brought his KTM 450 RALLY home in eighth, with Matthias Walkner claiming 11th.

In what has been a race of huge highs and lows for Danilo Petrucci, the Italian has proven his offroad credentials in no uncertain terms today, winning stage five of the 2022 Dakar in what is his first ever rally raid competition. Completing yesterday’s stage four as third fastest, Danilo was penalized 10 minutes for speeding, and was relegated to 15th. However, setting off with an advantageous start position into today’s special, and focusing on improving his roadbook skills, the MotoGP race winner was able to steadily move up through the field to ultimately take the win.

Friday’s stage six of the Dakar will see the bike class follow the same route that the cars took today, and as such Danilo will have some tracks already left in the sand ahead of him as he opens his first ever rally stage.

Danilo Petrucci: “Today was quite a long day. I set off this morning and decided I really wanted to learn and improve my navigation, so I didn’t push too hard at the beginning. After one corner there was a large dune with a group of camels on the other side. One big camel came into the track, and I had to avoid it, but ended up crashing after going across a lot of bumps and camel grass. That was my very first crash of this Dakar. After that I eased off a bit and Kevin caught up with me and we rode together towards the finish. After catching a few more riders we came across a waypoint that didn’t validate for everyone – I lost some time there. The last 60 kilometers were all dunes and so I was very careful there to make sure I didn’t hurt my ankle. So, it’s been an interesting and tough day, but I have really enjoyed it.”

Continuing to play catch up after losing a large chunk of time on the event’s opening stage, Toby Price rode a strong stage five, only to be penalized for speeding in a neutralization zone. The resulting six-minute penalty dropped the Aussie down to fifth place. Heading into the final stage before the rest day, Toby lies 14th overall and will be looking to gain even more time back tomorrow.

Toby Price: “Today has been a good stage, starting quite far back definitely makes things a bit easier, but today there was a bit of a dust storm, so everyone had to be on their game and focus on the roadbook. I made a couple of little errors and mistakes, but all-in-all it was a solid stage.”

After a strong start to stage five, Kevin Benavides was immediately in the hunt for the stage win, posting the fastest time to the checkpoint at kilometer 81. The reigning Dakar Champion maintained his top-four placing all the way to the final 60 kilometers, where a tricky-to-register waypoint ended up costing him, and others, some time. Despite the setback, Kevin was able to complete the stage safely in eighth place, and now also lies eighth in the provisional overall standings.

Kevin Benavides: “So day five at the Dakar went really well for me. I felt much better first thing this morning, so I was really motivated to attack. I pushed hard all day right up until the end where one waypoint proved really difficult to validate. I had arrived in a group of riders, and it worked for some, but not for the others. I lost quite a bit of time there trying to find it. After that I pushed as hard as I could over the last section of dunes to recover some time. Hopefully the organizers will look into the problem, and we get some time back.”

Another stage, and another consistently fast performance by Matthias Walkner saw the experienced Austrian claim an 11th place finish. In doing so he cemented his second-place position in the overall standings, closing the gap on the rally leader by another 30 seconds. Ready for tomorrow’s 644-kilometer stage, Walkner will be looking to complete the first week at the 2022 Dakar strongly.

Matthias Walkner: “It was a really nice day for me today. I caught Sam (Sunderland) around kilometer 90 and from there we rode together with me leading most of the way, but both of us were pushing quite hard and keeping up a good pace. There was a strange situation near the end with one waypoint that didn’t validate so easily for me. I think a few people struggled there, so the organizers will have to check the GPS. Overall, I’m happy I didn’t lose too much time and I’m becoming a lot more comfortable on the new bike. My navigation today has been good too on quite a tricky stage, so everything is going to plan.”

Provisional Results Stage Five (overall) – 2022 Dakar Rally

1. Danilo Petrucci (ITA), KTM, 3:23:46

2. Ross Branch (BWA), Yamaha, 3:23:48 +0:02

3. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (CHI), Honda, 3:23:51 +0:05

4. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 3:25:18 +1:32

5. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 3:25:32 +1:46

Other KTM

8. Kevin Benavides (ARG), KTM, 3:28:28 +8:56

11. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 3:31:18 +11:46


Provisional Standings – 2022 Dakar Rally after 5 of 12 stages

1. Sam Sunderland (GBR), GASGAS, 19:01:50

2. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 19:04:19 +2:29

3. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 19:07:49 +5:59

4. Daniel Sanders (AUS), GASGAS, 19:09:51 +8:01

5. Lorenzo Santolino (ESP), Sherco, 19:17:17 +15:27

Other KTM

8. Kevin Benavides (ARG), KTM, 19:23:41 +21:51

13. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 19:39:09 +37:19




More, from a press release issued by Husqvarna Factory Racing:



Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Luciano Benavides has delivered a strong performance on a demanding stage five of the 2022 Dakar Rally to claim a 10th place finish. Continuing to put in strong, consistent stage results, the young Argentinian moves himself further up the rally standings to sit 18th overall with just one day to go ahead of the mid-race rest day. Showing great speed on the 341-kilometre special, Skyler Howes unfortunately suffered a crash towards the end of the stage. Although able to complete the special as the ninth fastest rider, he was then taken to hospital for medical checks. Sadly, the American rider will take no further part in the race.

Stage five of the Dakar challenged riders with 341 kilometres of mixed terrain and some extremely tricky navigation. Setting off fifth into the special, thanks to his solid result on Wednesday’s stage four, Luciano Benavides was immediately able to chase down and pass the two rivals ahead of him. With the pace high, the FR 450 Rally rider continued to push while also focusing on not making any small errors on the rocky tracks that made up the majority of the stage.

Improving his position as the stage went on, Luciano was able to successfully navigate through a particularly tricky section that caught out many of the other competitors. From there he entered the final section of rolling dunes and raced on towards the finish. Ultimately claiming 10th place, Benavides moves up to 18th in the provisional overall standings, just over one hour behind the race leader.

Skyler Howes had put in a superb performance on stage five, fighting his way through the field to post a time inside the top 10. However, a crash in the closing kilometres resulted in the American requiring medical checks at the local hospital. Although suffering no serious injuries, Skyler will play no further part in this year’s event.

Luciano Benavides: “I’ve finished stage five and it was a really tricky day on the whole with some difficult navigation and some small issues towards the end. I started in fifth position and soon managed to catch and pass the two Sherco riders in front. After that there were only two riders left in front of me, and with the sandstorm that blew up halfway through the special, it was difficult to make them out, so I think I did a good job of navigating through the stage. I’m really happy with how the rally is going so far, it is frustrating that I lost an hour on day one, but since then my pace and navigation have been good, so I’m pleased with my progress. I’ll give my best again tomorrow and then I can enjoy the rest day.”

2022 Dakar Rally – Stage 5 Provisional Classification

1. Danilo Petrucci (KTM) 3:23:46

2. Ross Branch (Yamaha) 3:23:48

3. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 3:23:51

4. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 3:25:18

5. Toby Price (KTM) 3:25:32

6. Mason Klein (KTM) 3:27:07

10. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 3:31:11


2022 Dakar Rally – Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 5)

1. Sam Sunderland (GASGAS) 19:01:50

2. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 19:04:19

3. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 19:07:49

4. Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) 19:09:51

5. Lorenzo Santolino (Sherco) 19:17:17

6. Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 19:18:45

18. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 20:06:06




More, from a press release issued by GASGAS Factory Racing:



When the going gets tough, the tough get going! Stage five of the 2022 Dakar Rally was anything but easy, featuring a true mix of terrain that challenged both Sam Sunderland and Daniel Sanders. Doing what they do, the GASGAS Factory Racing duo safely reached the end of the special to maintain their strong positions in the provisional overall classification. With five long and physically demanding stages now complete, Sam maintains his place at the top of the leaderboard thanks to a 12th place finish today while Daniel completed the special one spot behind in 13th to remain fourth in the general ranking.

Sam and Daniel dig deep on demanding fifth stage

Both riders hold strong positions in the overall classification

One stage to go before the Dakar Rally rest day

Daniel Sanders: “Today started off really well and I was able to make up a lot of time before the fuel stop. Then at kilometer 270 I ended up passing the same waypoint twice, so I’m not sure if that was my mistake or not. After it happened I knew that I had to just push on to the end. Unfortunately, and also fortunately, I crashed and my shoulder popped out but luckily it went back in by itself and I was able to continue on to the finish. It was a crazy day and I’m glad to have reached the finish line.”

After his heavy fall yesterday, Sam Sunderland knew that he was in for a tough day of racing today. But knowing he needed to deliver a strong result to maintain his lead in the rally, the experienced Brit managed to ignore the neck and shoulder pain he was experiencing to bravely complete the fifth stage as the 12th fastest rider. Now, with just one stage to go before the event’s much needed rest day, Sam retains his place at the top of the overall timesheets.

Sam Sunderland: “I knew I was in for a tough day after my crash yesterday, so it was a case of survival mode for me today. It was difficult for sure but as the stage went on I felt better and better and had a nice, strong pace through the sand near the end. Besides my crash the race is going well so far. I’m still leading, which is great, but as we’ve seen there is some tricky navigation at times so it’s important to really focus on the roadbook and keep mistakes to a minimum.”

Results (provisional): Dakar Rally 2022, stage 5

1. Danilo Petrucci (KTM) 3:23:46

2. Ross Branch (Yamaha) 3:23:48

3. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 3:23:51

12. Sam Sunderland (GASGAS) 3:31:49

13. Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) 3:32:43


Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 5)

1. Sam Sunderland (GASGAS) 19:01:50

2. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 19:04:19

3. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 19:07:49

4. Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) 19:09:51




More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Honda Racing:

Cornejo and Brabec excel in stage five

With renewed vigour after yesterday’s gruelling stage, Monster Energy Honda Team riders once again went for broke on a tough stage. Nacho Cornejo and Ricky Brabec stood out at the end of the special, with Barreda and Quintanilla opening the track.

The first of the two looping routes in Riyadh got underway today, where – for the first time in Dakar history – the motorcycle riders rode the entire stage completely autonomously from the car and truck categories. The fifth stage of the rally was battled out over a 346-kilometre special stage, covering hard and stony ground and including, towards the end of the day, a 50-kilometre stretch of dunes.

José Ignacio Cornejo’s riding had significantly improved from the previous days and this was reflected in the results. An error-free stage, with speed and deft navigation saw the rider reach the end of the special with the day’s second best time for a RallyGP rider, at 0’03 from the stage winner and leapfrogging two positions up the general standings.

Behind the young Chilean, American rider Ricky Brabec also turned out a satisfactory showing. The Monster Energy Honda Team rider, third on the RallyGP day class, was able to claw back several minutes from his closest rivals and, furthermore, regain the good sensations. Brabec finished 1’30” behind the day’s winner and moves up one position in the rankings. Pablo Quintanilla and Joan Barreda were lumbered with the troublesome task of opening the track this morning in the middle of a sandstorm. At the end of the interrupted stage, race authorities are still weighing up different options on how to classify the riders who had finished and to decide what to do with the rest of the riders involved. Quintanilla and Barreda were, nonetheless, able to make it through to the end of the special. Quintanilla and Barreda both remain in contention for the overall race victory. However, Joan suffered a fall and the Spaniard is still unsure whether he will be 100% fit to battle for another stage win. In tomorrow’s stage, the Chilean and the Spaniard will start from behind and will attempt to make up the time dropped today.

Tomorrow’s stage

The final stage of this first week of the Dakar takes place tomorrow. A second loop to the capital of the country north-west of Riyadh will once again put the riders to the test with 402 kilometres of timed special stage. It will be physically demanding given that it is the same route completed by the car and truck drivers the previous day, so riders can expect churned up, rutted conditions with dust, sand and hidden stones. In the dunes, the many lines will force riders to be particularly attentive to the navigation. At the start, there will be several track crossings and, towards the middle of the special, some forty kilometres of dunes before the fast tracks that will wrap up the day. The bike odometers will be registering 618 kilometres by the time the bikers make it back to the bivouac in Riyadh.

Ricky Brabec  2


Day five. One day before the rest day. It was a good day. We started off a little bit slow this morning. We were a little bit cold. The navigation was really tricky in the morning. Not super tricky as far as technical goes, but a lot of quick notes and a lot of quick turns. We really didn’t start picking up the speed until kilometre 60. For me, to get going this morning was a little bit tough but I managed OK and made it to refuelling. After refuelling it started to open back up. There was a sandstorm. It was wild; you couldn’t see much. One more day to rest day. We’ll keep on fighting to the end.

Pablo Quintanilla  7


Today’s stage was very complicated in terms of navigation. In the morning there were a lot of changes of direction and the tracks were not very visible. It was very difficult to navigate in some sectors. I had a good pace until the refuelling. After refuelling I caught up with Joan and we kept pushing. We encountered a sandstorm with little visibility to find the tracks. Overall it went well, with no navigation errors. We knew that today we would lose some time when opening the track and that we would leave it to the guys behind us. It was also important not to make any mistakes with the navigation. I stopped around kilometre 250 to help Joan, who had fallen. Luckily, he was able to recover and finish the stage. In the dunes, the sun was high and we couldn’t see the depth of the dunes. We reached the end of the special stage. Tomorrow will be a new day with a new opportunity. We have some good pace, with speed, and we will have to think about the strategy a bit and reduce time in the general standings over the next few days. Anything can happen.

José Ignacio Cornejo  11


Finally I was able to ride a solid stage, without mistakes and with some good pace! I felt very good. It was quite a complete stage, with fast and technical sections, with rocks, and another part with dunes, which was fun. I had a great time. I was able to hold a strong pace, without making navigation mistakes and I’m happy about that. I was able to improve a bit in the general standings, but everyone is really fast. If we can have a few more days like today, I think we could make a lot of progress. Tomorrow is the final stage before the rest day, which will be good for the body and mind. But I’m motivated and for me, I’d keep going on days like today. We’re going to keep fighting.

Joan Barreda  88


I think I rode a good stage. We opened the track with some good pace all morning even though we didn’t have very good visibility. We encountered a sandstorm and it was difficult to find the reference points in the roadbook, we were almost blind. Even so, we managed to get to the refuelling point without losing too much time. After the refuelling, around kilometre 250, we entered a river and I think I hit my rear wheel on a stone and fell hard, hitting my left shoulder, in the collarbone area. My team-mate Pablo Quintanilla helped me to get back on my feet and keep going. It was very hard to get to the end, especially in the dunes, but I made it to the end.

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