Putting in a convincing stage five performance, Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team's Adrien Van Beveren remains at the top of the 2018 Dakar Rally's provisional overall standings. Living up to the challenges of yet another demanding stage in the dunes of Peru, his team partner Xavier de Soultrait is fifth overall and within striking distance to the top of the provisional leader board.
Following their 1-2 result from yesterday's stage four, the duo of Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team partners Van Beveren and de Soultrait were the first to start Wednesday's timed special. Opening the tracks from start to finish, the two WR450F Rally powered riders rode together until the finish of the 266km-long special.
Following his impressive winning result from yesterday's stage four, Adrien Van Beveren knew he would have to up his pace in order to maintain the coveted lead in the provisional overall standings. Enjoying a mistake-free stage, the Frenchman claimed a fifth-place result for the day. With the race heading to Bolivia tomorrow, Van Beveren and Yamaha will enter the second part of this year's rally as the provisional overall leaders.
For Xavier de Soultrait, today's stage five was another demonstration of the Frenchman's acute skills in tackling tricky rally stages. Racing alongside his teammate from the start to the finish of the timed special, Xavier brought his Yamaha home in sixth position and is now seven minutes and 42 seconds behind Adrien in the overall standings.
Continuing his steady run at this year's Dakar, Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team's Rodney Faggotter crossed the finish line in 20th position. Making use of his experience the Aussie moved up one spot in the provisional overall where he is now placed 17th.
Stage five brought some mixed fortunes for Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team's Franco Caimi. Suffering a crash in the opening part of the timed special, the young Argentinean was left with a mountain to climb after his navigation tower got damaged. Giving his all to reach the finish line, Franco lost a vast amount of time and is now placed 38th in the overall standings.
Securing the runner-up spot for the stage, Ignacio Casale managed to further extend his lead in the Quad class' provisional overall standings. With five stages completed, the Yamaha powered rider is a whooping 40 minutes ahead of his closest rival.
After five gruelling days in the dunes of Peru, the 2018 Dakar Rally is heading east tomorrow and towards the mountains of Bolivia. Featuring a timed special of 313km, the day will end in the city of La Paz.
Dakar Rally 2018 - Stage 5 - Provisional Classification
1. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 03:19:42
2. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 03:30:08, +10:26
3. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 03:32:02, +12:20
4. Antoine Meo (FRA), KTM, 03:32:42, +13:00
5. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 03:34:17, +14:35
6. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 03:34:25, +14:43
20. Rodney Faggotter (AUS), Yamaha, 03:50:46, +29:52
26. Alessandro Botturi (ITA), Yamaha, 03:56:21, +36:39
88. Franco Caimi (ARG), Yamaha, 06:13:50, +02:54:08
Dakar Rally 2018 - Provisional Overall Classification [After Stage 5]
1. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 14:37:40
2. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 14:38:40, +01:00
3. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 14:38:54, +01:14
4. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 14:45:13, +07:33
5. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 14:45:22, +07:42
6. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 14:48:19, +10:39
17. Rodney Faggotter (AUS), Yamaha, 15:34:24, +56:44
22. Alessandro Botturi (ITA), Yamaha, 15:45:52, +1:08:12
38. Franco Caimi (ARG), Yamaha, 17:30:01, +2:52:21
Race Schedule - Dakar Rally 2018
Stage 1 | Jan 6 | Lima to Pisco | SS: 31km | Total: 272km
Stage 2 | Jan 7 | Pisco to Pisco | SS: 267km | Total: 278km
Stage 3 | Jan 8 | Pisco to San Juan de Marcona | SS: 295km | Total: 501km
Stage 4 | Jan 9 | San Juan de Marcona to San Juan de Marcona | SS: 330km | Total: 444km
Stage 5 | Jan 10 | San Juan de Marcona to Arequipa | SS: 264km | Total: 770km
Stage 6 | Jan 11 | Arequipa to La Paz | SS: 313km | Total: 758km
Rest Day | Jan 12
Stage 7 | Jan 13 | La Paz to Uyuni | SS: 425km | Total: 726km
Stage 8 | Jan 14 | Uyuni to Tupiza | SS: 498km | Total: 584km
Stage 9 | Jan 15 | Tupiza to Salta | SS: 242km | Total: 754km
Stage 10 | Jan 16 | Salta to Belén| SS: 372km | Total: 795km
Stage 11 | Jan 17 | Belén to Fiambalá | SS: 280km | Total: 484km
Stage 12 | Jan 18 | Fiambalá to San Juan | SS: 375km | Total: 722km
Stage 13 | Jan 19 | San Juan to Córdoba | SS: 423km | Total: 904km
Stage 14 | Jan 20 | Córdoba to Córdoba | SS: 119km | Total: 284km
You may find all the images from the 2018 Dakar Rally here.
Adrien Van Beveren - Yamalube Yamaha Official Team #4
5th Stage 5 / 1st Overall
"I am really happy with my riding today. 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."
Xavier de Soultrait - Yamalube Yamaha Official Team #23
6th Stage 5 / 5th Overall
"I am really satisfied with how things are panning out at this year's Dakar. Today I felt I rode another good stage and I managed to remain pretty close to the leaders in the overall. We rode together with Adrien in the first part of the stage and we were opening the tracks throughout the timed special. It was a great feeling to be leading the special stage and I think we did quite well considering we had to find our way in the dunes. I am happy we made no mistakes and we are both well placed in the overall. The race is long and my goal is to remain focused on the coming few stages."
Rodney Faggotter - Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team #44
20th Stage 5 / 17th Overall
"Today we raced one more difficult stage with deep sand and difficult navigation. For me everything went well and I am feeling strong for the rest of the race. Today it was important to avoid taking risks and remain focused on navigation. We've had a rough week in the dunes of Peru and now we are heading towards the high altitudes of Bolivia. The first part of the race is done but there is still a long way to go. My bike has been running great during these first five days of racing and I am getting more and more confident to push."
Franco Caimi - Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team #7
88th Stage 5 / 38th Overall
"I had an unfortunate moment today, 80 kilometres into the special stage. Following a crash my navigation tower got damaged and it was impossible to follow my road book. I spent some time trying to figure out the best solution but when I saw it was impossible to fix the problem I decided to continue. I really gave my all today, riding with no navigation at all. I am happy I managed to finish the stage and I am still in the race. It is really disappointing that I lost so much time today but it is what it is. My mechanics will now have to repair my bike and I will continue the race tomorrow. I want to do my best now for some good stage results."