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Danilo Petrucci, a Dakar Rally rookie but with a decade of world-class motorbike experience, became the first MotoGP rider to win a stage at the endurance classic during an eventful Day 5.
Petrucci was announced as the winner of the bike division in Stage 5 via a tweet Thursday from the Dakar Rally. Though stage results initially listed Toby Price as finishing 4 minutes, 14 seconds ahead of Petrucci, the Australian was knocked off the podium to fifth by a 6-minute penalty.
It’s been an eventful Dakar debut for Petrucci, who had broken his leg last month while training for the event. The Italian then had to be rescued by helicopter after a mechanical failure in Stage 2, but he was able to return for the third stage.
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Petrucci raced in MotoGP from 2012-21, winning twice over 169 starts in the premier motorcycle series.
Ricky Brabec, who became the first American to win a Dakar division in 2020, had his best bike stage so far this year, finishing 92 seconds behind Petrucci in fourth. U.S. riders Mason Klein (sixth) and Andrew Short (seventh) also had solid showings.
But the stage was disastrous for another American as Skyler Howes suffered an eight-hour penalty and finished in 49th.
Stage 5 🏍
🥇 Danilo Petrucci
🥈 Ross Branch
🥉 Jose Ignacio Cornejo
— DAKAR RALLY (@dakar) January 6, 2022
The Dakar Rally ran into some logistical issues that caused the bike class to be interrupted. According to event organizers, race management stopped Stage 5 in the bike and Dakar Classic divisions for the safety of competitors because of “great demand placed on the medical aircraft. … The car race which is taking place in a different sector with independent aircraft resources has not been affected.” As of 9:30 a.m. ET, the bike results for Stage 5 on the Dakar Rally still were incomplete.
In other divisions, Seth Quintero continued his tear through the light prototype as the American won his third consecutive stage and fifth overall. Quintero, 19, is out of contention for the overall class title after falling more than 16 hours behind because of a differential failure in Stage 2.
Nasser Al-Attiyah maintained the overall lead after Stage 5 in the car division, which was won by teammate Henk Lategan. Al-Attiyah, who started first after winning Stage 4, finished eighth and leads by more than 35 minutes over Stage 5 runner-up Sebastien Loeb.
Here are the stage winners and the top three overall in each category after Day 5:
Stage 5 winner: Henk Lategan (ZAF), Toyota Gazoo Racing, 3:53:28. Overall: 1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT), Toyota Gazoo Racing, 17:24:23; 2. Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Bahrain Raid Extreme, 17:59:33; 3. Lucio Alvarez (ARG), Overdrive Toyota, 18:15:38.
Stage 5 winner: Danilo Petrucci (ITA), Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing, 3:23:46. Overall (provisional through Stage 4): 1. Sam Sunderland (GBR), GasGas Factory Racing, 15:30:01; 2. Matthias Walkner (AUS), GasGas Factory Racing, 15:33:01; 3. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team, 15:34:55. Other U.S. notables: 8. Skyler Howes, Husqvarna Factory Racing, 15:45:17; 12. Andrew Short, Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team, 16:08:32; 14. Mason Klein, BAS Dakar KTM Racing Team, 16:10:44; 18. Ricky Brabec, Monster Energy Honda, 16:24:59.
Stage 5 winner: Andrey Karginov (RAF), Kamaz-Master, 4:01:02. Overall: 1. Dmitry Sotnikov (RAF), Kamaz-Master 19:09:20; 2. Eduard Nikolaev (RAF), Kamaz-Master, 19:19:13; 3. Anton Shibalov (RAF), Kamaz-Master, 19:35:47.
Stage 5 winner: Seth Quintero (USA), Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team, 4:21:10. Overall: 1. Francisco Lopez Contardo (CHL), EKS — South Racing, 20:38:29; 2. Sebastian Eriksson (SWE), EKS — South Racing, 20:58:45; 3. Philippe Pinchedez (FRA), Pinch Racing, 22:42:07. Notable: 25. Seth Quintero (USA), 37:00:21.
Stage 5 winner: Rodrigo Luppi De Oliveira (BRA), 4:33:12 . Overall: 1. Rodrigo Luppi De Oliveira (BRA), South Racing Can-Am, 21:21:33; 2. Austin Jones (USA), Can-Am Factory South Racing, 21:26:00; 3. Michal Goczal (POL), Cobant-Energylandia Rally Team, 21:43:58.
Stage 5 winner (provisional): Alexandre Giroud (FRA), Yamaha Racing – SMX -Drag’on, 4:28:33. Overall (provisional through Stage 4): 1. Pablo Copetti (USA), Del Amo Motorsports/Yamaha Rally Team, 19:25:41; 2. Alexandre Giroud (FRA), Yamaha Racing – SMX -Drag’on, 19:40:01; 3. Aleksandr Maksimov (RAF), Chyr Mari, 19:50:36.
Dakar Rally 2022, Day 5: MotoGP veteran Danilo Petrucci wins stage as bike rookie originally appeared on NBCSports.com