Stage 5 of the 2017 Dakar Rally was supposed to take riders 430 miles from Tupiza to Oruro in Bolivia, including a 278-mile special. But due to poor weather, the special was cut to 136 miles.This, along with many of his rivals getting lost, assisted Red Bull KTM Factory Rally Team’s Sam Sunderland as he became the fifth different rider to claim a stage win.
Sunderland, who claimed second in stage 3, earned Friday his second-career Dakar Rally stage win. He was the only rider that didn’t get lost in the Bolivian sand dunes. When the stage wrapped up, the Brit finished 7:07 minutes ahead of Monster Energy Honda Team’s Paulo Goncalves (Portugal) and 7:29 ahead of Yamaha Racing’s Adrien Van Beveren (France).Sunderland’s win, and an hour penalty for previous leader Joan Barreda (Monster Energy Honda Team), allowed him to claim the top overall position after five of 12 stages. Sunderland no leads Husqvarna Factory Team’s Pablo Quintanilla (Chile) by 12 minutes.“It was a tough day even though the second part was cancelled, we still had 186 miles in the rain and cold,” Sunderland says. “I started off today with a good feeling and I tried to really focus on the navigation. There were one or two really tricky places. It would be fast and then there would be a difficult part, then fast again, so you had to change the rhythm a lot. Now I have to try to stay calm and focused because it’s only day five. It was a heavy day but the bike was awesome and the team is great. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”The previous overall leader and stage 3 winner, Barreda, had some serious issues: “Firstly, the official HRC rider received a one hour time penalty for having refueled outside the authorized zone yesterday, before having a hellish stage and getting lost after approximately 93 miles of the special. The Spaniard lost 37 minutes to the day’s winner and plunges down the general standings to 1 hour 12 minutes behind the leader,” the official Dakar press says.As for the sole American in 2017 Dakar Rally, he finished stage 5 in 28th after getting lost, 42:08 minutes behind Sunderland. Brabec is now 11th overall, exactly an hour behind Sunderland.
2017 Dakar Rally Stage 6 Preview
Saturday’s stage 6 will take riders 488 miles from Oruro to La Paz, which includes the longest special of 2017 Dakar: 327 miles. The riders then get their one and only rest day on Sunday.
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!