Quintanilla rapide, Branch leader

Quintanilla rapide, Branch leader

While Pablo Quintanilla set the best time over the 118 kilometers of special on the program for the 5th stage of the 2024 Dakar, Ross Branch took advantage of Juan Ignacio Cornejo’s poor performance to once again take the lead in the general classification.

Despite a very short special, the hierarchy has moved again. With only 118 kilometers of special on the program for the 5th stage of the Dakar between Al-Hofuf and Shubaytah, the gaps did not promise to be significant. But it turned out to be enough for the first place in the overall standings in the motorcycle category to change owners. In the dunes leading to the “Quart Vide” which will be the scene of the “48 hours flat” stage scheduled for this Thursday and Friday, Pablo Quintanilla was able to find the right rhythm to set the best time. Riding his Honda, the Chilean frustrated his French teammate Adrien Van Beveren, who failed just 37 seconds behind. Toby Price, pushed back a little over a minute and a half, completes the podium. Before what could be a turning point in this 2024 edition of the Dakar, Ross Branch was able to regain first place in the general classification, abandoned this Tuesday to Juan Ignacio Cornejo Florimo. Sixth during this stage with just under four minutes left to the winner of the day, the Botswanan took full advantage of a slack from the Chilean.

Branch does not have a big margin over his pursuers

Indeed, the latter could not do better than 14th place, just over six minutes behind the winner. Despite the 49 seconds of bonuses recovered along the way, the Honda driver will approach the large loop around Shubaytah with a delay of slightly more than a minute on the one who is now leader of the rally-raid. “It wasn’t easy to open up in the dunes, I tried to do a good job and my teammate Ricky Brabec joined me around kilometer 50 and I think we worked well together,” confided the South American in comments collected by the official website of the race. We will see if this allows me to stay in the Top 5 or 6 to have a good position to start tomorrow (Thursday) morning since the order of departures will be reversed. I hope I haven’t lost too much time and have a good stage tomorrow (Thursday). » Ricky Brabec completes the provisional podium almost four minutes behind Ross Branch. Taking advantage of his good performance this Wednesday, Adrian Van Beveren is in fourth place but 18 minutes behind the leader.

Ranking of the 5th stage (motorcycles) – Wednesday January 10, 2024
1- Pablo Quintanilla (CHI/Honda) in 1h32’53”
2- Adrien Van Beveren (FRA/Honda) à 37”
3- Toby Price (AUS/KTM) at 1’39”
4- Daniel Sanders (AUS/Gasgas) at 2’58”
5- Mason Klein (USA/Kove) at 3’01”

General ranking after 6 stages (out of 13)
1- Ross Branch (BOT/Hero) en 19h05’03’’
2- Juan Ignacio Cornejo Florimo (CHI/Honda) at 1’14”
3- Ricky Brabec (USA/Honda) à 3’47”
4- Adrien Van Beveren (FRA/Honda) à 18’10”
5- Kevin Benavides (ARG/KTM) at 21’17”

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