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.