Argentine victory in the Dakar: Moreno Flores won the fifth stage of quads

The Argentine Francisco Moreno Flores obtained his first partial victory in the Dakar Rally, winning the fifth stage of the competition that ran over 645 kilometers (373 timed) around the city of Ha’il in Saudi Arabia.

The man from Mendoza, who is facing his second experience this year in the most extreme event in the motorsport world, registered a time of 05:49:21 and finished ahead of the Cordovan representative of the United States, Pablo Copetti (+00:53) and the Brazilian Marcelo Mederos (+1:24).

The Dragon team rider interrupted the four-win streak of the reigning champion and overall leader, Frenchman Alexandre Giroud (Yamaha Racing SMX Drag’on), who today finished fifth at 07:16.

In the accumulated table of the division, Giroud has an advantage of 39 minutes, 48 ​​seconds over Moreno Flores, his escort. Further back are the Lithuanian Laisvydas Kancius (+01:12:39), Copetti (+01:17.21) and Manuel Andújar (+01:47:59).

The pilot from Lobo, 2021 champion in quads, was ordered this Thursday in eighth place with a difference of +47:03 over his compatriot.

In bikes, Kevin Benavides (Red Bull KTM) remained in third place in the general classification, 5 minutes 16 seconds behind the leader of the category, the American Skyler Howes (Husqvarna Factory Racing).

The man from Salta, winner of the 2021 edition with Honda, was second in the organization’s calculations at the end of the partial but his teammate, the Australian Toby Price, took that place from him after receiving a time bonus.

The Argentine entered the stage eighth with a time of 4:37:45 over a 373km stage. timed, which had Frenchman Adrien Van Beveren (Monster Honda Energy) on the podium, followed by Chilean José Ignacio Cornejo (Monster Energy Honda) at +00:13. and Price (+03:56).

The benefit to the Australian dropped the American Mason Klein (Bas World KTM) from third place, finally fourth at +05:13.

In the division general, the first six drivers are grouped with a difference of less than ten minutes: 1) Howes (23:16:37), 2) Price (+02:07); 3) Benavides (+05:16); 4) Klein (+06:12); 5) Van Beveren (+8:54) and 6) Joan Barreda Bort (Spain, +09:24).

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Benavides, the only South American rider in history to win the Dakar on two wheels, is still looking forward to his second crown based on his regularity, without having won any stage at the time.

The Argentine was fifth in the prologue, second in stage 1, eighth in stage 2, fourth in stage 3, seventh in stage 4 and eighth in stage 5 this Thursday.

His younger brother Luciano, rider of the official Husqvarna team, scored in the last step of the top 10 of the accumulated table (+25:03) with the twelfth place registered in the partial, ahead of the rest of the Argentines: Franco Caimi ( 24th.), Diego Gamaliel Llanos (26th.) and Stefano Caimi (31st.).

The Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota), current car champion, achieved his second victory this year and increased his advantage as leader of the general classification, in a day in which the Spanish Carlos Sainz (Team Audi Sport) was second to 1 minute and 57 seconds.

In third place was the Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel, the highest historical winner of the competition, representing the same German team.

In general, Al-Attiyah -four times winner (2011, 2015, 2019 and 2022), leads with 22 minutes and 36 seconds over Peterhansel and 27 minutes and one second in relation to the Saudi Yazeed Al-Rajhi (Toyota).

In addition, Jeremías González Ferioli (South Racing) -seventh overall- was tenth in the SSV division and David Zille (South Racing Can Am) finished eighth among the light prototypes.

The sixth stage of the 45th Dakar Rally will take place tomorrow between Ha’il and Al Duwadimi, west of the capital Riyadh, on a track of 877 kilometers (467 timed).

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