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Joan Barreda wins the fifth stage and recovers fourteen minutes from the leader | News

Monster Energy Honda Team’s Joan Barreda clawed back fourteen minutes from the race’s overall leader in Stage 5 of the Dakar Rally to position himself fourth overall.

The Spanish ace from Monster Energy Honda Team pulled out all the stops and romped home with a lengthy advantage that places him right back in the running for the overall prize. The rider from Castellón, Spain, started from ninth position, set an infernal pace from the first control point and reached the finish line after overcoming the impressive Tanaka dunes trouble-free. Barreda finished the stage with a 14’30” advantage over race leader Adrien Van Beveren. This marks the Spaniard’s second stage victory in this Dakar, the 21st of his career and has helped him leap to fourth overall, a mere 7’30” adrift of the French leader.

Joan Barreda: “I knew that today we would have to battle to make up the time as it was the final stage in the sand dunes. I went all out, at very high speeds and it went well. I was able to pull back some minutes and we are back in the top ten that keeps us practically with the same options as the first day. This is really important and I hope that we get the chance to make up even more time.”

After celebrating his 29th birthday yesterday, Kevin Benavides continued in the same vein to post third spot on the day and move up a place to second overall position, 1’30” off the leader.

Kevin Benavides: “The idea was to go out and attack and it went pretty well but I had a slight mishap with the fuel and I lost some time fixing it. I went ahead, pushing hard, until I had a scare and then I took it more calmly. I finished third and I think it was a good stage, as hard as it was. The dunes were very soft and there was a lot of fesh-fesh and the second special was ruined by the cars and trucks that went before us.”

Provisional Results Stage Five – 2018 Dakar Rally

1. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 3:19:42
2. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 3:30:08 +10:26
3. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 3:32:02 +12:20
4. Antoine Meo (FRA), KTM, 3:32:42 +13:00
5. Adrien van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 3:34:17 +14:35

Provisional Standings after Stage Five – 2018 Dakar Rally

1. Adrien van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 14:37:40
2. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 14:38:40 +1:00
3. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 14:38:54 +1:14
4. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 14:45:13 +7:33
5. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 14:45:22 +7:42