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DAKAR STAGE 5: SUNDERLAND TAKES CONTROL

Sam Sunderland is now KTM's strongest hope.
January 6, 2017
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Sam Sunderland is now KTM's strongest hope.
Sam Sunderland is now KTM’s strongest hope.

The 2017 Dakar rally has seen fortunes change on a daily basis, but stage five was the most dramatic shift of all. Just when it looked like Joan Barreda had taken control of the top position, the organization penalized him and most of the rest of the Honda team for refueling in an unauthorized area. The one hour penalty effectively ended Honda’s chance at victory. Red Bull KTM’s Sam Sunderland, on the other hand, has been consistent since the start of the rally and stage five was his turn to strike. In a stage where virtually all the top riders suffered navigational errors, he earned his second career special stage victory and took command of the general standings. The Englishman was the only rider to not get lost in the Bolivian dunes, unlike Pablo Quintanilla, Xavier de Soultrait, Matthias Walkner, Ricky Brabec and Joan Barreda, who all lost a lot of ground. “This is definitely a rally that’s heavy on the mind,” Sunderland said. “Here there are so many stones and if you hit one when you take a look at the road book it can be the end of your rally.” Sunderland said he was tired but “very happy” at the end of the five stages. “Today it was again difficult navigation. I rode on my own for the first 230-240km so I was able to control my race. After than Pablo (Quintanilla) caught up with me, which was nice because it’s always good to ride with someone else.”

Goncalves was second on the day and is now Honda's brightest hope, in 10th overall.
Goncalves was second on the day and is now Honda’s brightest hope, in 10th overall.

Barreda was 22nd on the day and now sits in 12th overall. Brabec finished 28th in stage 5 and is now 22nd overall.

Ricky Brabec: “Today’s stage started out with fast tracks with lots of rain coming down. The roads were fast and the pace was quick. There was a bit of confusion at kilometre 147 with everybody. The second special was cancelled so the day was quite short for us with a long liaison section. The bike has been running really well and we are all in great shape still. We will just have to keep battling on.”

Joan Barreda: “Today was a really complicated day until we got to the section with really tricky navigation where there was a point incorrectly marked in the roadbook which made me doubt. This put me off for the rest of the stage. In addition, the rain complicated everything too. I hope that all that lies ahead is favourable to our riding style and that we are able to regain some of the time that we have lost.”

STAGE 5

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Time/Gap
1 SUNDERLAND Sam 16 GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team 2:21’51
2 GONCALVES Paulo 17 POR Monster Energy Honda Team +7’07
3 VAN BEVEREN Adrien 6 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team +7’29
4 PEDRERO Joan 12 SPA Sherco TVS Rally Factory +9’40
5 CAIMI Franco 67 ARG Honda South America Rally Team +12’13
6 FARRES Gerard 8 SPA Himoinsa Team +15’07
7 QUINTANILLA Pablo 3 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team +18’12
8 ESPAÑA Cristian 87 AND Tallercall +21’32
9 SALVATIERRA Juan Carlos 32 BOL Duust Rally Team +23’44
10 OLIVERAS Daniel 82 SPA Himoinsa Team +24’29

OVERALL

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Time/Gap
1 SUNDERLAND Sam 16 GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team 15:22’05
2 QUINTANILLA Pablo 3 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team +12’00
3 VAN BEVEREN Adrien 6 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team +16’07
4 FARRES Gerard 8 SPA Himoinsa Team +20’57
5 WALKNER Matthias 14 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +29:01
6 DE SOULTRAIT Xavier 23 FRA Viltais Racing Team HFP +36’06
7 SVITKO Stefan 2 SLO Slovnaft Team +48’43
8 RENET Pierre-Alexandre 31 FRA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team +54’45
9 MARTIN Diego 034 ARG XRaids +1:04’55
10 GONCALVES Paulo 17 POR Monster Energy Honda Team +1:08’21

 

 

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