Some late-sleeping Kurt Caselli fans might have woken up to see that the Red Bull KTM rider was leading the overall standings of the Dakar Rally. Turns out it was some misinformation on the official website of the race, but it was fun while it lasted.
Caselli ended up 20th today and he sits 19th in the overall standings after the fifth stage of the race. Yamaha’s David Casteau won today’s stage – a 255-mile ride over a mix of rocky ground, hard pack and just six miles of sand that made up the 85 miles of timed special – over his teammate Olivier Pain as the Yamaha team is starting to make a serious mark on the world’s toughest rally.
Although Casteau won the stage (the third of his career), it’s Pain who leads the overall standings with the Yamaha men one-two after five days of racing. Pain leads Casteau by one minute and 15 seconds with defending race champion and four-time Dakar winner Cyril Despres third – six minutes and seven seconds behind Pain.
Third in today’s stage went to Juan Pedrero on the KTM MRW Rally KTM, the Spaniard bouncing back after two rough days in the rally. Pedrero finished second in the second stage of the rally and was third overall at the time, but has since slipped down the standings. Today’s effort helped his cause and he not sits 21st overall.
Today’s hard luck story goes to Joan Barreda, the Husqvarna Rallye Team By Speedbrain rider who won yesterday’s stage and climbed back to fourth in the overall standings after slipping back to 18th the day before. Today the Spaniard ended up dead last to basically ruin his chances of a top finish. The Husky rider suffered a mechanical problem at the 72 km mark and repairs left him some three hours off the pace today. Barreda is now 54th overall.
Honda’s Johnny Campbell finished today’s stage in 25th place and that moved him from 120th overall to 99th.