MotoGP veteran Danilo Petrucci wins stage as bike rookie

Danilo Petrucci, a Dakar Rally rookie but with a decade of world-class motorbike experience, became the first MotoGP rider to win a stage at the endurance classic during an eventful Day 5.

Petrucci was announced as the winner of the bike division in Stage 5 via a tweet Thursday (6) from the Dakar Rally.

Though stage results initially listed Toby Price as finishing 4 minutes, 14 seconds ahead of Petrucci, the Australian was knocked off the podium to fifth by a 6-minute penalty in the 560-kilometer loop stage around Riyadh.

It’s been an eventful Dakar debut for Petrucci, who had broken his left ankle last month while training for the event. The Italian then had to be rescued by helicopter after a mechanical failure in Stage 2, but he was able to return for the third stage.

Petrucci raced in MotoGP from 2012-21, winning twice over 169 starts in the premier motorcycle series.

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