Spaniard Marc Coma has picked up his first stage win of the 2015 Dakar Rally overnight in the tough conditions of Chile’s renowned Atacama Desert.
— KTM.com (@KTM_Racing) January 8, 2015
The 2014 Dakar Rally Champion completed the 458km special section of the stage in just over four-and-a-half hours, clawing two minutes back from overall race leader and fellow countryman Joan Barreda Bort, who leads the race by ten minutes.
— DAKAR RALLY (@dakar) January 8, 2015
Australian KTM rider Toby Price improved on his stage four result, finishing the stage in tenth place, losing another six minutes to the overall leader Coma.
Price is now in eighth place overall.
He said, “Today was another really tough stage, we started stage 5 in 19th position and made our way through to 10th which is positive.
“There was a lot of dust today which made it extremely tricky to see stones and the correct tracks, you had to really pay attention all day.
“I’m starting to find my bearings a little better with the road book which is great, it’s all about learning for me.
There’s still the second part of the rally ahead of us which includes to marathon stages.
Bring on day 6.”
Coma pushed hard throughout the stage to reduce the gap to Barreda and as the rally approaches the rest day on Saturday, saying it had been another hard day’s riding with the fesh-fesh (fine dust) and plenty of rocks making it difficult to maintain a good rhythm in the first half of the stage.
Coma’s aim was to exert pressure on Barreda but also to ensure the other riders did not close the gap on the front two.
“I am happy about the stage win but the fact is that Joan enjoys a significant advantage and we will try to trim it.
There is still a lot of race left.
The second part (of the rally) is longer with the marathon stages and it will be a fight every day.
We are going in the right direction and we will keep fighting,” he said.
Stage six of the Dakar Rally takes riders from Antofagasta to Iquique over a total distance of 688 km, of which 319 is timed special.
Dakar Rally Stage Five (provisional)
Copiapó to Antofagasta – 235 km liaison, 458 km special (697 km)
1, Marc Coma, ESP, KTM at 4 hours 38.16
1, Joan Barreda, ESP, Honda at 2.16
3, Pablo Quintanilla, CHI, KTM at 2.40
4, Stefan Svitko, SVK, KTM at 3.54
5, Paolo Goncalves, POR, Honda at 4.37
6, Helder Rodrigues, POR, Honda at 6.36
7, Jeremias Israel Esquerre, CHI at 7.10
8, Matthias Walkner, Austria, KTM, 7.24
9, Alain Duclos, FRA, Sherco, at 9.57
10, Toby Price, AUS, KTM at 10.05
11, Jordi Viladoms, ESP, KTM, at 13.48
12, Joan Pedrero, ESP, Yamaha at 14.25
13, Javier Pizzolito, ARG, Honda at 16.49
14, Ivan Jakes, SVK, KTM at 16.55
15, Ruben Faria, POR, KTM, at 17.24
Dakar Rally Overall Standings after Stage 5
1, Barreda 17 hours 51.05
2, Coma at 10.33
3, Goncalves, at 22.50
4, Quintanilla at 31.06
5, Viladoms at 36.23
6, Faria at 38.13
7, Walkner at 38.36
8, Price at 39.54
9, Svitko at 42.05
10, Rodrigues, 43.24