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Husqvarna Motorcycles – Dakar Rally Stage Five

Husqvarna 010716

ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA RIDERS WELL PLACED IN DAKAR STAGE 5

QUINTANILLA FINISHES SIXTH, FARIA EIGHTH- TOP 10 FOR BOTH IN OVERALL STANDINGS

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna factory riders Pablo Quintanilla and Ruben Faria, on Thursday, safely completed Stage Five of the Dakar Rally, the second half of the marathon stage. Riders in this 5,592 mi-long contest also crossed the border from Argentina into Bolivia.

Quintanilla delivered a strong ride to finish sixth in the stage and is now ninth overall. Faria, who was third on Wednesday, finished eleventh. He is now eighth overall. Factory teammate Pela Renet withdrew from the rally after a crash in the first half of the marathon stage and will return home to France. Thankfully, medical scans and checks revealed he had suffered no broken bones.

The stage was a milestone in Dakar statistics as riders had to climb to an altitude of 15,092ft near the end of Thursday’s 204mi timed special; the highest point ever in this tough offroad competition. The day’s ride, over a total of 399mi also introduced riders to more difficult navigation, especially in the final part of the timed special.

Speaking after the marathon stage where riders were not allowed to work on their bikes for two days, Quintanilla said: “Today was tough with a very long liaison section in the morning and with the altitude. Later we were in the mountains and I felt good, but I just had some problems with the rear brake at 124mi so I had to slow down a bit. But it was a positive day and I had no big problems in this marathon stage – none with the bike and no crashes.” Referring to his teammate Faria, he said: “I am learning from the experienced guy!”

Faria said the first part of the marathon yesterday was good. “It was a really fast track and I did very well and finished third. Today we woke up at 3.00 a.m. and we first had a big, tough liaison. I didn’t have the speed today; I didn’t have the feeling. I’m almost nine minutes behind the first guy, but that’s how it is. I’m happy to arrive here in Uyuni. The race is not finished and I hope I can be fast over the rest.”

Husqvarna-supported rider Jacopo Cerutti of Italy is also putting in some solid results in his first Dakar Rally. He finished 31st in the fifth stage and is now 27th in the general rankings.

Friday’s Stage 6 is a loop around Uyuni, but it is also the longest timed special of this year’s edition. There is a total distance of 450mi, including 337mi under the clock. Altitude may also create problems as the ride is between 11,483 and 13,780 ft and organizers have promised a constant change of pace and terrain.

There are two more stages before the rest day on Sunday.

Stage Five Results (Provisional)
1. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 4 hour 03 minute 44 seconds

2. Antoine Meo (FRA), KTM + 2 minutes 21 seconds

3. Stefan Svitko (SVK), KTM + 02.33

4. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, + 02.40

5. Joan Barreda (POR), Honda, + 05.57

6. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Husqvarna + 06.51

..

11. Ruben Faria (POR), Husqvarna, + 8.54

14. Txomin Arana (ESP), Husqvarna, + 10.56

31. Jacopo Cerutti (ITA), Husqvarna, + 17.11

Overall Standings after Stage 5  (Provisional)
1. Goncalves 14 hours 30 minutes 7 seconds

2. Svitko + 01.45

3. Price + 1.47

4. Barreda + 02.27 (Total penalty 6.00)

5. Walkner + 02.57

..

8. Faria + 08.13

9. Quintanilla + 08.30

..
16. Arana + 24.02
27. Cerutti + 40.54

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