The 5th stage of the Dakar Rally kicked off from San Juan De Marcona to move to Arequipa, the rally’s last stop in Peru before the rally moves into Bolivia. It was an unfortunate day for Indian Motorsport and team Sherco-TVS as Aravind KP crashed out, broke his ankle and had to be taken to a hospital. Although he is doing okay, this is for the second consecutive time that the Indian rider will have to withdraw from the event.
On the brighter side, Aravind’s teammate, Juan Pedrero Garcia finished the stage in the 18th position, 29 minutes and 09 seconds behind the stage winner. After losing two riders in the form of Aravind and Adrian Metge, Juan is the last man standing for the team. His performance in Stage 5 has improved his position in the overall classification, as he’s moved up to 15th now, from the 17th position he was at after stage 4.
Dakar debutant Oriol Mena of Hero MotoSports Team Rally looked like a man on a mission as he clocked in his best stage of the rally yet, finishing at 11th position, his second top-15 stage finish. Overall, Mena now stands at the 21st position at the end of stage 5. On the other hand, CS Santosh decided to play it safe and steady as the rally nears the halfway mark to finish the stage at 52nd position. Today’s performance also helped him gain 5 ranks from overnight, taking him to the overall ranking of 51st at the end of stage 5.
In the 5th stage, the organizers separated the route for the Quads/Bikes and Cars/Trucks. The trucks and the cars, therefore, were the first to discover the stage, even before their riders, as they made their way through the sands of Tanaka, traversing through 30 km or so of mountain dunes. It was a long road to Arequipa for everyone with 508 km liaison section, the longest yet of Dakar 2018 and 226 km of specials making up for the total 774 kms of Stage 5.
The next stage will see the rally change countries to enter into Bolivia making its first halt at La Paz – the world’s highest capital city. The rally will move a gear up to become faster as it leaves the sands behind to tackle the Bolivian Altiplano at the altitude of 2500m and above.
Stage 5 Classifications
1. Joan Barreda Bort Monster Energy Honda Team 03h 19m 42s
2. Matthias Walkner RedBull KTM Factory Racing +10m 26s
3. Kevin Benavides Monster Energy Honda Team +12m 20s
11. Oriol Mena Hero Motosports Team Rally Hero MotoSports +21m 35s
18. Juan Pedrero Garcia Sherco TVS Rally Factory +29m 09s
51. C.S. Santosh Hero Motosports Team Rally +1h 25m 37s
# Aravind Prabhakar Sherco TVS Rally Factory DNF
Overall Classifications after Stage 3
1. Adrian Van Beveren Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team 14h 37m 40s
2. Kevin Benavides Honda Factory Racing Honda +01m 00s
3. Matthias Walkner Red Bull KTM Factory Team +01m 14s
15. Juan Pedrero Garcia Sherco TVS Rally Factory +50m 05s
21. Oriol Mena Hero Motosports Team Rally +01H 07m 46s
52. C.S. Santosh Hero Motosports Team Rally +04h 38m 33s
# Aravind Prabhakar Sherco TVS Rally Factory Withdrawal