Working together during much of the second half of the day’s stage, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Pablo Quintanilla and Andrew Short have both put in excellent rides on day five of the 2020 Dakar Rally to finish inside the top three. Quintanilla’s runner-up performance elevates him to fourth overall in the provisional standings, with Short now lying 12th.
On a stage that saw the terrain switch from rocky tracks to off-piste sand dunes, Pablo Quintanilla showed his skill by performing superbly throughout the 353-kilometre special. The 14th rider to set off, Pablo was fourth fastest to the first checkpoint. With times between the top 10 riders being extremely tight, reducing navigational errors and maintaining a fast pace over the varied terrain was key to a good result. Completing the stage as second-fastest, just over one-minute behind the winner, Pablo now lies fourth overall in the provisional overall standings.
Following a tough start to his 2020 Dakar Rally campaign, Andrew Short enjoyed his best result of the event so far, bringing his Husqvarna FR 450 Rally home in third place. Navigating well through the faster first half of the stage, the experienced American then rode with teammate Quintanilla during the latter part, clocking in as third fastest. Now sitting just outside the top 10 in 12th overall, Andrew is confident of regaining more places as the rally progresses.
Pablo Quintanilla: “Honestly, the stage was tough, but I feel really good. I immediately found a strong rhythm and was able to make good progress. It was dusty up to the refuelling because I had to pass some other riders, but apart from that it was okay. After that I was riding with Andrew and we did a really good team job and were able to really push. Yesterday didn’t go so well for me but today I was able to take advantage of the position I had and make up some time. Riding 200 kilometres in the dunes was hard – you are on the pegs the whole way and there’s no time to rest. It seems stage six will be similar so I will get some rest tonight and hopefully have another solid day tomorrow.”
Andrew Short: “My day started off really fast today and I rode really good up to the refuelling zone. After that it turned into off-piste and dunes and while I was searching for one waypoint, Pablo caught me and from then on, we rode the rest of the stage together. It was nice to follow him and see his lines and rhythm, hopefully I can keep up the same pace myself and make up some time as the race goes on.”
Totalling 830 kilometres, stage six is the second-longest of the event. The 477-kilometre special will be raced entirely on sandy tracks and dunes as riders head to Riyadh and Saturday’s rest day.
2020 Dakar Rally – Stage 5 Provisional Classification
1. Toby Price (KTM) 3:57:33
2. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 3:58:45
3. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 4:00:04
4. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 4:00:36
5. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 4:04:27
6. Joan Barreda (Honda) 4:06:40
2020 Dakar Rally – Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 5)
1. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 19:07:19
2. Toby Price (KTM) 19:16:25
3. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 19:18:51
4. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 19:23:20
5. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 19:27:44
6. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 19:38:13
12. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 20:08:52
Source: Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing press release