Calama to Iquique
For the first time since the 2011 Dakar Rally began, a bike other than a KTM took victory. This was after Paulo Goncalves took the top time at Stage 5 of Dakar aboard a BMW G450RR.
The win was the first victory for BMW on the Dakar since the era of Richard Sainct, who triumphed on a German-made bike in 1999 and 2000.
Following Goncalves after 423 kilometers in the desert from Calama to Iquique was Francisco "Chaleco" Lopez aboard the Aprilia 450, and then Frans Verhoeven on another BMW G450RR.
Originally, it appeared that Goncalves would have finished fourth at Stage 5, but his good deeds to another rider helped him achieve first. Lopez assisted Olivier Pain, who crashed at the 231-km point. Due to this, Conclaves’s time was modified, giving him the win.
Paulo Gonclaves says: "It was a very difficult stage, very long but also very beautiful. I think I rode it well. After the refuelling point, I stopped to help Olivier Pain who had fallen.
"The rules say we should stop. I waited for 4 to 5 minutes. The main thing is that he’s ok. So I’ll probably have some time taken off my end result. The bike worked well on the quick parts as well as the technical ones."
After his win, Goncalves is in fourth overall, 21 minutes from the leader Marc Coma and 11 from Cyril Despres, both KTM riders. Lopez remains in third overall, 18 behind Coma, eight behind Despres.
Unusual for the KTM riders, Coma finished the stage 13 minutes behind Goncalves due to a fall 80 km into the stage; Despres received a 10-minute penalty due to a lack of attention to the starting procedures during yesterday’s Stage 4 Dakar race.
But Coma bounced into first place in the overall standings due to receiving extra time for helping Olivier Pain he is now 10:14 seconds ahead of Despres. During Pain’s wreck, the Yamaha rider broke his wrist; he was airlifted by medical helicopter from the Dakar route.
2011 Dakar Rally Stage 5 Results
1. Paolo Goncalves, Portugal, BMW, 5:12:23
2. Francisco (Chaleco) Lopez, Chile, Aprilia, at 2:18
3. Frans Verhoefen, Belgium, BMW, 2:19
4. Marc Coma, Spain, KTM, 3:58 (Coma re-classified third after officials evaluated the time he spent assisting the injured Olivier Pain)
5. Cyril Despres, Andorra, 4:40
2011 Dakar General Standings after Stage 5
1. Marc Coma, Spain, KTM 16:59:33
2. Cyril Despres, Andorra, at 10:14
3. Francisco (Chaleco) Lopez, Chile, Aprilia, at 21:42
4. Paolo Goncalves, Portugal, BMW, 25:40
5. Helder Rodriguez, Portugal, Yamaha, at 32:05