(KTM) 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.

Erster MotoGP-Pilot als Dakar-Etappensieger! Danilo Petrucci schreibt Geschichte!

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 Petrucci 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.”

Sam Sunderland retains his place at the top of the overall timesheets: “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
4. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 3:25:18
5. Toby Price (KTM) 3:25:32

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

STORY: Sam Sunderland wins the 2022 Dakar Rally (January 2022)
STORY: GasGas Factory Racing Dominate Stage Six At The Dakar Rally (January 2022)
STORY: Sam Sunderland Extends Dakar Rally Lead (January 2022)
STORY: Danilo Petrucci Confirmed For Sensational MotoGP-Dakar Switch For 2022 (November 2021)

LINK: Dakar Website

photos (c) RallyZone