Red Bull KTM’s multiple Dakar winner Cyril Despres of France consolidated his position in third place in the overall standings after Stage five of the Dakar Rally that saw competitors say farewell to Peru and cross the border into Chile.
Despres was fifth in the stage on the KTM 450 Rally bike, trailing the stage leader David Casteu by just four minutes 07. He now has to concentrate on gaining back the six minute 07 deficit he has with overall leader Olivier Pain.
Fastest KTM factory rider on Wednesday was Joan Pedrero of Spain who finished in third place after the total 411 km ride over a mix of rocky ground, hard pack and just 10 km of sand that made up the 136 km of timed special. It was a strong ride by the Spaniard and a distinct improvement on his previous day when he finished twenty third in the stage. For teammate Ruben Faria, his thirteenth place finish was enough to keep him in contention and after Wednesday’s ride the Portuguese factory rider and who is Despres’ ‘Water Carrier’ or support rider is currently in fourth overall.
American Kurt Caselli, who is riding in place of the injured Marc Coma continues to deliver a strong performance and managed to hang on to his very creditable twentieth place overall position. Also consistent are the three riders making up the KTM factory B Team: ‘Kuba’ Przygonski of Poland and the two South Africans Riaan Van Niekerk and Darryl Curtis.
Thursday’s sixth stage from Arica to Calama is a punishing ride of 767 km with a liaison section of 313 km and 454 km of timed special during which they will brush the Pacific coastline on their way south. As organizers promised before the race, there will be very little let up of pace in the first half of the more than 8000 km ride to the finish in Santiago, Chile and there is still three very long stages before they take the one rest day on Sunday.
Results Stage Five Arequipa to Arica: total distance 411 km – liaison of 275 km and 136 km of timed special
1, David Casteu, France, Yamaha 1:39.42
2, Olivier Pain, France, Yamaha 1:40.51
3, Joan Pedrero, Spain, KTM, 1:43.07
4, Alessandro Botturi, Italy Husqvarna, 1:43.09
5, Cyril Despres, France, KTM, 1:43.49
6, Stefan Svitko, Slovakia, KTM 1:444.22
7, Chaleco Lopez, Chile, KTM 1:44.27
8, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Honda 1:44.34
9, Alain Duclos, France, Sherco 1:44.43
10, Ivan Jakes, Slovakia, KTM 1:45.27
11, Jakub Przygonski, Poland, KTM 1:45.31
13, Ruben Faria, Portugal, KTM 1:45.46
19, Riaan van Niekerk, South Africa, KTM 1:48.11
20, Kurt Caselli, USA, KTM 1:48.12
24, Darryl Curtis, South Africa, KTM 1:51.11
33, Ben Grabham, Australia, KTM 1:58.11
45 Pan Anders Ullevalseter, Norway, KTM 2:02.00