The battles between KTM, Honda and Yamaha continue in the 2018 Dakar Rally. Monster Energy Honda CRF 450 Rally pilot Joan Barreda Bort claimed the stage 5 win, which was his second stage victory (other was stage 2).
Joining the Spaniard on the Dakar stage 5 podium were Red Bull KTM’s Matthias Walkner (Australia) and Monster Energy Honda’s Kevin Benavides (Argentina).
But due to his stage 4 win, and fifth place during stage 5, Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team’s Adrien Van Beveren has claimed the overall lead. Van Beveren of France is now one minute ahead of Benavides in the overall standings. Walkner is 1:14 minutes behind.
“I am really happy with my riding today,” says
Adrien Van Beveren. “It was a difficult stage and in some parts the sand was so soft the bikes were sinking. I rode together with Xavier, we helped each other when necessary.
“I am happy with this team spirit, and this is actually really important in such a long race. I tried to push hard today in the sand. There were parts where it was so difficult to keep it on two wheels, but it all went good for me. My WR450F Rally machine is running great so far. I am happy we stayed in front of all other riders all day today and it proved we are strong as a team and each one of us individually. The race is long and I will keep pushing hard.”
Stage five brought the motorcycle riders through technical and hard-to-navigate sand dunes, along with fesh-fesh, a fine sand that looks solid but behaves like mud, and some high-speed tracks loaded with stone.
As for the notable Americans, Monster Energy Honda’s Ricky Brabec finished ninth, and is 10th overall after five of 14 stages. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing FR 450 Rally pilot Andrew Short, a former Supercross racer, finished 23rd, and is 23rd overall.
As for the reigning Dakar Rally Champion Sam Sunderland, who claimed a 16th-straight Dakar win for KTM last year, the stage one and three winner crashed during stage 4. He was forced to abandon the 2018 Dakar Rally.
Source : https://ultimatemotorcycling.com/2018/01/11/hondas-barreda-takes-dakar-stage-5-win-yamahas-van-beveren-overall-leader/773