Italian motorcycle rider Danilo Petrucci made history on Thursday’s fifth stage of the 2022 Dakar Rally, conquering the Riyadh loop stage in 3:23:46 for his first career victory. The Tech3 KTM rider became the first former MotoGP rider to ever win a Dakar stage, after pivoting to rally raid for the first time when the two-time MotoGP race winner lost his ride after last season.
Today’s competition would have been historic regardless, as the classes split up into two separate loops for the first time in event history. Motorcycles and quads took on one loop, while the car, truck, Light Prototype, and SSV divisions raced the other. South African racer Henk Lategan scored his first career stage victory in the cars, beating Sebastien Loeb by just under two minutes, while Andrey Karginov and Seth Quintero added to their stage win tallies as well.
Two class leads changed hands thanks to stage wins on Thursday, with Alexandre Giroud taking over the top spot in the quad class from Pablo Copetti and Rodrigo Luppi de Oliveira getting past Austin Jones for the top spot in the SSV division. Copetti still finished third on stage, but 41 minutes in arrears of Giroud; for Jones, the margin was much closer at 8:40 behind Luppi in fourth. The SSV division remains one of the closest in the rally, with just 4:27 separating the top two spots; only Sam Sunderland’s 2:29 lead over former teammate Matthias Walkner on the motorcycles is closer.
2022 Dakar Rally Stage 5 winners were as follows:
- Bikes: Danilo Petrucci (ITA), 3:23:46
- Cars: Henk Lategan (ZAF), 3:53:28
- Trucks: Andrey Karginov (RUS), 4:03:02
- Quads: Alexandre Giroud (FRA), 4:11:17
- Light Prototype: Seth Quintero (USA), 4:21:10
- SSV: Rodrigo Luppi de Oliveira (BRA), 4:33:12
2022 Dakar Rally overall leaders after Stage 5 are as follows:
- Bikes: Sam Sunderland (GBR), 19:01:50
- Cars: Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT), 17:24:23
- Trucks: Dmitry Sotnikov (RUS), 19:09:20
- Quads: Alexandre Giroud (FRA), 23:51:48
- Light Prototype: Chaleco Lopez (CHL), 20:38:29
- SSV: Rodrigo Luppi de Oliveira (BRA), 21:21:33
The Dakar Rally continues tomorrow with Stage 6, where the loops will flip, and racers will take on the opposite course of the one they did today. Coverage of Stage 5 will air on the Olympic Channel tonight at 8PM ET, with extended highlights also streaming on NBC Sports digital platforms.