KTM, Yamaha Still Lead Dakar

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Spaniard Marc Coma on the throttle and in the lead / Papp

STAGE 5
On Wednesday, the Dakar rally led participants along a 160-mile connection and 314-mile special stage from Neuguen to San Rafael, Argentina.

U.S. motorcyclist Jonah Street (KTM) won stage 5, for his first stage victory on the Dakar. He won with a 7min34 lead over Chile’s Francisco “Chaleco” Lopez (KTM) and an 11min12 lead over French rider David Frétigné (Yamaha). Spanish rider Marc Coma (KTM) lost 15min due to a flat tire.

In the ATV race, Spain’s Joan Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha) won stage 5 – his second stage win – with a 24min06 lead over Czech Republic’s Josef Machacek (Yamaha) and a 1hr11min38 lead over Italian driver Marcos Patronelli (Can-Am).

STAGE 6
On Thursday, in a 6th stage shortened due to the difficult nature of the previous day’s stage and a flooded river ford, the bikers set off this morning from San Rafael on a 111-mile route from San Rafael to the village of La Junta at the foot of the Andes.

Motorcyclist Cyril Despres grabbed his first special stage victory this year. For once free of tire trouble, the Frenchman beat off his rival Marc Coma, who finished second and only 2min09 behind Despres.

Riding a Yamaha, Spaniard Joan Manuel Gonzalez rode Can-Am in 2006 and 2007/ Solo Quad

Now atop a Yamaha, Spaniard Joan Manuel Gonzalez rode Can-Am in 2006 and 2007/ Solo Quad

In quads, Czech rider Josef Machacek (Yamaha) won the 6th stage 10min04 ahead of Spaniard Joan Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha) and 15min14 in front of Frenchman Hubert Deltrieu (Polaris). Still, in the general standings, Gonzalez (Yamaha) leads the race 32min09 ahead of Czech rider Machacek and 1hr20min25 in front of former leader Christophe Declerck.

MOTORCYCLE OVERALL RANKINGS
1. Coma (ESP)…KTM…23hr43min41
2. Street (USA)…KTM…+40min29
3. Fretigne (FRA)…Yamaha…+47min30
4. Viladoms (ESP)…KTM…+1hr09min48
5. Ullevalseter (NOR)…KTM…+1hr13min13
6. Rodrigues (PRT)…KTM…+1hr27min03
7. Despres (FRA)…KTM…+1hr33min59
8. Verhoeven (NLD)…KTM…+1hr36min05
9. Casteu (FRA)…KTM…+1hr40min56
10. Knuiman (NLD)…KTM…+1hr46min56

ATV OVERALL RANKINGS
1. Gonzalez (ESP)…Yamaha…31hr38min47
2. Machacek (CZE)…Yamaha…+32min09
3. Declerckk (FRA)…Yamaha…+1hr20min25
4. Sonik (POL)…Yamaha…+3hr19min42
5. Patronelli (ARG)…Can-Am…+3hr29min09
6. Avendano (ESP)…Suzuki…+5hr51min54
7. Henderson (URY)…Suzuki…+7hr25min17
8. Brazina (CZE)…Yamaha…+7hr49min42
9. Kraft (FRA)…Polaris…+8hr30min59
10. Pottier (FRA)…Can-Am…+9hr21min44

Fifty-five motorcycles and six quads have now dropped out of the rally after six stages.

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