Danilo Petrucci climbs to 3rd place on the 4th stage of the Dakar | MotoGP

Former MotoGP rider Danilo Petrucci reached a new high on stage 4 of the Dakar rally, rising to third in fastest stage times and best KTM.

Considered arguably the most difficult stage of the Dakar so far, the 465 km race featured fast tracks, rocky sections and river crossings.

Starting 22nd, Petrucci felt comfortable with the fast pace and difficult tracks to cover at the start of the special. Finding himself later in a group of three, the Italian was able to keep pace with his more experienced competitors and complete the grueling stage without a problem.

“It was a very fast stage today with very fast tracks. I was able to ride in a group and had a lot of fun, I really enjoyed it, “said Petrucci.” It was such a long stage but luckily I didn’t make any mistakes and was able to find a good one. rhythm. I also learned a lot today, so now I’m really excited for tomorrow and the rest of the event.

The former MotoGP race winner reached the finish in 4h 12m 59s, i.e. 6m 53s behind stage winner Joan Barreda, but with almost the same margin ahead of his KTM teammate and claiming the Dakar victory Matthias Walkner.

It was an exceptional achievement considering that the Saudi adventure is not only Petrucci’s first Dakar, but his first rally-raid.

But it was perhaps also a bittersweet result for the Italian “rookie” given the terminal electrical problem suffered in stage 2, which meant that his 450cc machine had to be retrieved by helicopter, putting him out of the way.

Today’s performance means Petrucci will start close to the front for the fifth stage tomorrow.

The Dakar 2022 – currently led by GAS-GAS rider Sam Sunderland, who is three minutes ahead of Walkner – will end on January 14.

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