Dakar 2022, Stage 4: Barreda wins again as Petrucci stars

Honda rider Joan Barreda became the first repeat stage winner of the 2022 Dakar Rally on Wednesday, while Danilo Petrucci put on a starring performance to finish third.

In what was the longest stage of Dakar 2022 with a 464km special located between Al Qaisumah and Riyadh, two-time MotoGP race winner Petrucci set the early pace on the KTM as he led the pack until the first three waypoints.

Barreda surged ahead at the next neutralisation mark and, although Petrucci was able to keep up with his pace initially, the Spanish rider was soon able to build a significant advantage out front.

With the challenge from Petrucci subsiding, Barreda cruised to a 29th career stage win in Dakar, taking the top honours by 4m37s.

Pablo Quintanilla made it a 1-2 for defending champions Honda, the Chilean rider moving clear of Petrucci at the penultimate waypoint and eventually finishing just over two minutes clear of the 31-year-old. 

The Sherco TVS team enjoyed its strongest outing in this year's Dakar so far, with sophomore rider Rui Goncalves finishing eight minutes down on Barreda in fourth and teammate Lorenzo Santolino ending up right behind him in fifth.

Further back, Sam Sunderland set the seventh-quickest time of the day to hold on to his lead in the overall standings. However, his GasGas teammate Daniel Sanders endured a much trickier day, finishing over 18 minutes off the pace in 17th.

It was also a day of mixed fortunes for the factory KTM team with Matthias Walkner the only rider apart from Petrucci to break inside the top 10.

The 2018 Dakar winner ended the day eighth-quickest, eight places ahead of new teammate Kevin Benavides, while Toby Price struggled to 30th on the other factory KTM 450 Rally bike.

Over at Yamaha, Adrien van Beveren led the charge for the Japanese manufacturer in 12th, while Andrew Short and Ross Branch were classified 14th and 15th respectively.

In the general classification, Sunderland now holds a three-minute lead over Walkner, with van Beveren dropping to third on the lead Yamaha.

Sanders moves up to fourth place after stewards cancelled a 10-minute Stage 2 penalty following a protest by his GasGas team.

Santolino now sits fifth overall, while Quintanilla remains Honda’s top rider in sixth- 11m13s down on Sunderland.

A second stage win in three days has propelled Barreda to seventh in the standings, just 13 minutes off the top spot.

Overall standings after Stage 4:

Pos. #. Name Mark Time Gap Penalty
1 3 Sam Sunderland GASGAS 15:30:01   00:00:00
2 52 Matthias Walkner KTM 15:33:01 +00:03:00 00:00:00
3 42 Adrien van Beveren YAMAHA 15:34:55 +00:04:54 00:00:00
4 4 Daniel Sanders GASGAS 15:37:08 +00:07:07 00:00:00
5 15 Lorenzo Santolino SHERCO FACTORY 15:40:29 +00:10:28 00:00:00
6 7 Pablo Quintanilla HONDA 15:41:14 +00:11:13 00:00:00
7 88 Joan Barreda HONDA 15:43:13 +00:13:12 00:00:00
8 5 Skyler Howes HUSQVARNA 15:45:17 +00:15:16 00:00:00
9 142 Stefan Svitko KTM 15:50:43 +00:20:42 00:00:00
10 1 Kevin Benavides KTM 15:55:13 +00:25:12 00:00:00
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