Red Bull KTM’s Toby Price notched his second stage win of the 2016 Dakar Rally in Stage 5, a ride into Bolivia which reached altitudes above 15,000 feet. It was also the final half of the first marathon stage and KTM proved tough to beat, with Price’s teammate, Antoine Meo, finishing the day second-fastest followed by KTM rider Stefan Svitko in third. Team HRC’s Paulo Goncalves retains the overall lead with Svitko trailing in second and Price jumping up to third.
Though there were navigational difficulties along the way, Price ran out to the front and maintained his position from very early in the stage. He had Goncalves’ teammate, Joan Barrea, and Meo trailing close behind on the timesheet through the initial checkpoints, but his rhythm was unshakable and by the finish he’d opened up more than two minutes on Meo in second. Barreda encountered some trouble with navigation during the final miles and dropped back to fifth on the day.
“This marathon stage was definitely difficult,” said Price to reporters on site after completing Stage 5. “Today was a little bit tricky with the navigation. I had to stay on top of the game. I caught a couple of other guys and got in some dust. I made a couple of little errors in the end there, because I was a little too worried to take my eyes off the road. It was a pretty crazy track. All in all, we’re stoked. I didn’t expect to be that far ahead for the day. I caught a couple of guys, but I thought the other guys in front were on a good pace…the track was just like big open roads, so on most of it you could get on the gas and go pretty good, but then on probably the last thirty or forty kilometers it was pretty hard navigation.”
Meo managed more than just navigational challenges, battling a deteriorating rear tire and leaking front fork, which all but voided the use of his front brake.
“I rode quite well,” said Meo in a team press release. “I didn’t do anything crazy and I stayed on two wheels. It was a great day and I’m very happy.”
KTM’s Matthias Walkner finished the day in fourth, pushing hard to make up time after mitigating his pace the day before to save his machine undue wear.
Rockstar Husqvarna’s Pablo Quintanilla finished in sixth followed by KTM rider Ivan Jakes in seventh and Yamaha’s Helder Rodrigues in eighth. Rodrigues has been fighting with the flu and fever since before the start of the marathon stage and appears to be on the mend with his showing in Stage 5.
Sherco TVS’ Juan Pedrero Garcia finished the day in ninth followed by teammate Alain Duclos in 10th.
As for the overall standings, Barreda loses a position and drops to fourth followed by Walkner in fifth and Honda rider Kevin Benavides in sixth.
2016 Dakar Rally Stage 5 Results
1. Toby Price (KTM) AUS – 4:03:44
2. Antoine Meo (KTM) FRA – 4:06:05
3. Stefan Svitko (KTM) SVK – 4:06:17
4. Matthias Walkner (KTM) AUT – 4:06:24
5. Joan Barreda (Honda) ESP – 4:09:41
6. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) CHL – 4:10:35
7. Ivan Jakes (KTM) SVK – 4:11:03
8. Helder Rodrigues (Yamaha) PRT – 4:11:04
9. Juan Pedrero Garcia (Sherco TVS) ESP – 4:11:20
10. Alain Duclos (Sherco TVS) 4:12:18
2016 Dakar Rally Overall Standings after Stage 5
1. Paulo Goncalves (Honda) PRT – 14:30:07
2. Stefan Svitko (KTM) SVK – 14:31:52
3. Toby Price (KTM) AUS – 14:31:54
4. Joan Barreda (Honda) ESP – 14:32:34
5. Matthias Walkner (KTM) AUT – 14:33:04
6. Kevin Benavides (Honda) ARG – 14:36:53
7. Ruben Faria (Husqvarna) PRT – 14:38:20
8. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 14:38:37
9. Antoine Meo (KTM) FRA – 14:41:56
10. Alain Duclos (Sherco TVS) – 14:43:46