Joan Barreda pushed his Honda CRF450 RALLY to the limit over the 465 kilometres of today’s special – the longest of the Dakar Rally – to finish with the day’s top time at the finish in Riyadh. Chilean rider Pablo Quintanilla put the icing on the cake for Monster Energy Honda Team by clinching the runner-up spot.
79% dirt, 12% dunes, 7% sand and 2% dried-out lake were on the menu for the longest stage of the 2022 Dakar Rally, with a 465-kilometre special and a total trek of 707 kilometres. A trial by fire for all those involved. There was a mix of different terrain types to be negotiated and some navigation too. All in all, a high-paced affair that would begin to mark out the riders who will end up in possible contention for the final Dakar prize.
The starting order for this fourth day set the stage for a promising race, particularly for Joan Barreda who came out guns blazing, firmly intent on victory, but also on improving his position in the general standings. With flawless riding and navigational prowess, the Spanish rider reached the finish-line in Riyadh the clear winner and currently holds seventh position, just over thirteen minutes shy of the overall leader. Tomorrow, Barreda will open the track with his rivals in hot pursuit. Joan was penalised one minute for exceeding the speed limit in a radar zone.
Pablo Quintanilla also performed well. An advantageous starting position also helped him follow the trail of his team-mate. The Chilean turned out a very steady stage, consistently among the top three, climbing up one position in the order in the latter half of the day. Quinta’ improves on his position in the table and now lies sixth, eleven minutes and thirteen seconds behind the race leader.
Ricky Brabec, who set off from sixth this morning in Al Qaisumah, had a fairly good day, posting tenth, but Brabec also received a two-minute penalty for speeding in a controlled area. While, José Ignacio Cornejo finished twelfth, looking more at ease on the bike as the days go by, in spite of a minor navigation mistake earlier in the special.
Stage 5: 214 kilometres of liaison sections, 346 kilometres of special stage, making a total of 560 kilometres on the day. Starting and finishing at the bivouac in Riyadh, competitors will face a new loop on this Dakar, although it won’t be the last one. The changes of terrain from dirt to stone-littered tracks will put a strain on the physiques of even the toughest riders in the opening half of the special. If that were not enough, then 50 kilometres of dunes will divide the wheat from the chaff.
Results Stage 4 -RallyGP-
|1||Barreda Joan||88||SPA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||04:07'06|
|2||Quintanilla Pablo||7||CHI||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+00:03'37|
|3||Gonçalves Rui||19||POR||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||+00:06'59|
|4||Santolino Lorenzo||15||SPA||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||+00:07'56|
|5||Benavides Luciano||77||ARG||Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing||Husqvarna||+00:08'55|
|6||Sunderland Sam||3||GBR||Gas Gas Factory Team||Gas Gas||+00:09'15|
|7||Walkner Matthias||52||AUT||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+00:10'45|
|8||Svitko Stefan||142||SLO||Slovnaft Rally Team||KTM||+00:12'03|
|9||Michek Martin||10||CZE||Orion Moto Racing Group||KTM||+00:13'18|
|10||Brabec Ricky||2||USA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+00:13'34|
|11||Van Beveren Adrien||42||FRA||Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team||Yamaha||+00:14'05|
|12||Cornejo José Ignacio||11||CHI||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+00:15'09|
|13||Short Andrew||29||USA||Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team||Yamaha||+00:15'41|
|14||Evan Branch Ross||16||BWA||Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team||Yamaha||+00:15'41|
|15||Benavides Kevin||1||ARG||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+00:16'42|
Provisional Standings after Stage 4 -RallyGP-
|1||Sunderland Sam||3||GBR||Gas Gas Factory Team||Gas Gas||15:30'01|
|2||Walkner Matthias||52||AUT||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+00:03'00|
|3||Van Beveren Adrien||42||FRA||Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team||Yamaha||+00:04'54|
|4||Sanders Daniel||4||AUS||Gas Gas Factory Team||Gas Gas||+00:07'07|
|5||Santolino Lorenzo||15||SPA||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||+00:10'28|
|6||Quintanilla Pablo||7||CHI||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+00:11'13|
|7||Barreda Joan||88||SPA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+00:14'12|
|8||Howes Skyler||5||USA||Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing||Husqvarna||+00:15'16|
|9||Svitko Stefan||142||SLO||Slovnaft Rally Team||KTM||+00:20'42|
|10||Benavides Kevin||1||ARG||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+00:25'12|
|16||Cornejo José Ignacio||11||CHI||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+00:50'02|
|17||Brabec Ricky||2||USA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+00:54'58|
|Dakar in Saudi||From 2020|
|Dakar 2020 winner||Ricky Brabec (Honda)|
|Dakar 2021 winner||Kevin Benavides (Honda)|