The Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah, outgoing winner of the Dakar, pocketed a second stage victory in the 2023 edition on Thursday at the wheel of his Toyota during the fifth stage, 643 kilometers around Hail, and consolidated his position in the lead. of the general classification.
The hybrid Audis, granted since Thursday with an additional 8 KW under a new regulation supposed to harmonize the powers, were scrutinized.
They took second and third place in this dune stage, respectively with Spaniard Carlos Sainz 1 min 57 sec from Al-Attiyah, and Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel 3 min 44 sec from the winner of the day, according to provisional results.
In the general classification, Al-Attiyah, four-time winner of the event (2011, 2015, 2019, 2022), remains leader with 22 min 36 sec ahead of Peterhansel and 27 min 01 sec ahead of his Saudi teammate Yazeed Al -Rajhi.
The Prodrive team set off on Thursday with one less crew after Orlando Terranova retired the day before with a neck injury.
Frenchman Sébastien Loeb turned around after a dune and finished 9th in the day’s stage, 19 min 58 sec behind Al-Attiyah.
– Sanders dives in the motorcycle standings –
In the motorcycle category, the day after his 32nd birthday, the Frenchman Adrien Van Beveren signed his first victory in this 45th edition.
The Honda rider took advantage of the lead riders getting lost at the start of the special, the timed part of the stage, to chart his course and finish ahead of his Chilean teammate José Ignacio Cornejo by 13 seconds, and by 5 min 13 sec the American Mason Klein (KTM), according to provisional results.
The day of dunes, sometimes brittle, did not help the Australian Daniel Sanders (GasGas) who was leading the general classification. Navigation errors earned him to finish in 21st place, 26 min 56 sec behind and to dive in the general classification to 8th place, 13 min 18 sec behind the new leader.
With his fine performance of the day, Van Beveren is provisionally in fifth place in the race, of which the American Skyler Howes (Husqvarna) has now taken the reins. Howes is 2 min 32 sec ahead of Argentinian Kevin Benavides (KTM) and 10 min 24 sec ahead of 21-year-old American Mason Klein.
The Spaniard Joan Berreda, winner of the fourth stage on Wednesday, spent the morning in the leading pack, earning bonuses to open the track, before falling. He finds himself in 6th place in the general classification, 4 min 52 sec behind Howes.