With sand finally replacing rocky, dusty trails for the first time since the start of the 2020 Dakar Rally, Franco Caimi has secured the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team’s best result on day five. Completing the challenging 353-kilometre stage in 12th position, and just under 15 minutes behind the day’s winner, the determined Argentinian now sits 13th overall. Well aware that two of his teammates have already been forced to abandon the event with injury, Franco continues to push on towards the finish of the 43nd Dakar Rally.

Leaving the dramatic canyon vistas behind, as the day’s stage headed east riders were faced with a sea of sand dunes as they neared Ha’il and the fifth day’s overnight bivouac. Pushing as hard as he dared aboard his WR450F Rally, Franco dealt well with tricky navigation early in the stage before improving from 16th to ninth at kilometre 103. Successfully completing the second half of the stage he and his bike completed the day without issue.

Gaining more valuable rally experience, Jamie McCanney enjoyed his best result of the event to date with an 19th place result. The second-best rookie performer during the 353-kilometre special stage, the Manxman spent much of the early part of the stage passing riders ahead of him before reaching the day’s tricky-to-navigate sand dunes.

With five days of the 2020 Dakar Rally now complete, competitors will tomorrow head south-east during stage six, where they’ll reach the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh. The 830-kilometre stage will feature a 477-kilometre special that is entirely on sand, favouring those with desert racing experience. At the completion of the stage, racers can take a well-earned rest on Saturday, ahead of another six days of racing.

Franco Caimi – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
12th Stage 5
Stage five has been physically demanding with more than 200 kilometres of difficult riding. We rode in the sand dunes for the first time and the last part of the special stage was very deep. It’s nice to have a change from the rock tracks but we can see that the days ahead will be difficult. The special stage was very fast today, so I had to keep focussed and ride the bike lightly through the soft sand, to ensure that I reached the finished. We have a long way to go and I remain positive.

Franco Caimi – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
Jamie McCanney – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
19th Stage 5
The stage was long and physical but overall it was a good day for me. I started off a little way behind the leaders and I felt like I was riding well, but I couldn’t push like I wanted to because of the dust. The second half of the stage was deep sand and some of the dunes had harsh drops on the back sides. These weren’t too clearly marked, so after a while I rode stood up on the pegs to the finish. I’m sure tomorrow’s going to be another tough day, but we’re getting closer to the rest day now so I hope for a good ride tomorrow.

Jamie McCanney – Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team
Alexandre Kowalski – Yamaha Europe Off-Road Racing Manager
Today was a very long stage. After the refuelling there was more than 220 kilometres to go so we had to calculate how to avoid excessive fuel consumption to make it to the end. Franco and Jamie both managed to reach the finish without problems, which was great. Franco rode well today and is still aiming for a top ten position, although he didn’t quite make it today and finished 12th. Jamie finished 19th, which is his best result of the Rally so far. He is more confident in his riding, comfortable on his bike, while trying to avoid mistakes. He’s moving up the overall standings, so everything is improving. Despite losing two riders we are staying positive and the race is a long way from being over.

Alexandre Kowalski – Yamaha Europe Off-Road Racing Manager
Dakar Rally 2020
Stage 5 Provisional Classification

  1. Toby Price (KTM) 3:57:33
  2. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 3:58:45 + 0:01:12
  3. Andrew Short (Husqvarna) 4:00:04 + 0:02:31
  4. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 4:00:36 + 0:03:03
  5. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 4:04:27 + 0:06:54
  6. Joan Barreda (Honda) 4:06:40 + 0:09:07
  7. Franco Caimi (Yamaha) 4:12:20 + 0:14:47
  8. Jamie McCanney (Yamaha) 4:16:22 + 0:18:49

Dakar Rally 2020
Dakar Rally 2020
Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 5)

  1. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 19:07:19
  2. Toby Price (KTM) 19:16:25 + 0:09:06
  3. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 19:18:51 + 0:11:32
  4. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 19:23:20 + 0:16:01
  5. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 19:27:44 + 0:20:25
  6. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 19:38:13 + 0:30:54
  7. Franco Caimi (Yamaha) 20:09:30 + 1:02:11
  8. Jamie McCanney (Yamaha) 21:43:21 + 2:36:02

Dakar Rally 2020
Dakar Rally 2020
Race Schedule
Stage 1 | Jan 5 | Jeddah to Al Wajh | Total: 752 km | SS:319 km
Stage 2 | Jan 6 | Al Wajh to Neom | Total: 393 km | SS:367km
Stage 3 | Jan 7 | Neom to Neom | Total: 504km | SS: 427 km
Stage 4 | Jan 8 | Neom to Al Ula | Total: 672 km | SS: 453km
Stage 5 | Jan 9 | Al Ula to Ha’il | Total: 564 km | SS: 353km
Stage 6 | Jan 10 | Ha’il to Riyadh | Total: 830 km | SS:477km
Rest Day | Jan 11 | Riyadh
Stage 7 | Jan 12 | Riyadh to Wadi Al Dawasir | Total: 741 km | SS: 546 km
Stage 8 | Jan 13 | Wadi Al Dawasir to Wadi Al Dawasir |Total: 716 km | SS: 477 km
Stage 9 | Jan 14 | Wadi Al Dawasir to Haradh | Total: 886 km | SS: 410 km
Stage 10 | Jan 15 | Haradh to Shubaytah | Total: 608 km | SS: 534 km
Stage 11 | Jan 16 | Shubaytah to Haradh | Total: 744 km | SS: 379 km