The Indian rider suffered a crash early on in the stage that left him with an injured ankle.
Sainz held the advantage through the first 118-kilometre section, and ended the second section even further clear, finishing the day four minutes and six seconds ahead of Peterhansel, and five minutes and five seconds clear of the leading Toyota Gazoo Racing SA machine of Nasser Al-Attiyah.
Starting ninth, Barreda navigated the Tanaka section flawlessly and blazed to victory with a stage time of 3 hours, 19 minutes and 42 seconds, a full 10 minutes and 26 seconds ahead of stage runner-up Matthias Walkner on the Red Bull KTM.
Benavides leads the general standings, nearly two minutes ahead of France's Yamaha rider Adrien Van Beveren. The stage was tough, especially the last 50km or so.
"Today I made a decision to trade off safety for speed but it does not matter as there is still a long way to go into the rally". "If anything, I think we can move to a more aggressive setup for the coming stages, as these are closer to rally stages than cross-country stages". Benavides is in second place overall, just 1 minute behind AVB, while Walkner is holding fast in third place, just another 14 seconds adrift of Benavides, making the 2018 Dakar Rally a real battle at the front. Aravind KP put in another good performance and improved his position by 10, ending the stage in 30th place, impressing everyone with his handling of the bike. He endured another flat tire not long after the start from Pisco on Monday but fixed it quickly and still blew away the field en route to San Juan de Marcona. I am going to attack as much as possible and make up some places. He has completed the stage 5 with the 52nd fastest time of the day. He was unable to finish the rally past year after suffering two crashes. Pedrero finished 23rd despite losing 10-15 minutes due to a breakdown prior to the refuelling, while Aravind lost ground on the leaders as he ended the day in 40th position.
"It was a tough day for me today", Quintanilla said. I feel good and for me, the race starts now.
His teammate and rally debutant Orio Mena continued impressive run with best stage result in stage 5.
Indias C S Santosh and Oriol Mena of Hero MotoSports team continued with their strong show in the gruelling Dakar Rally even as the sixth stage from Arequipa in Peru to La Paz was affected by weather. The bikers will have to change software and get ready for long stretches of good navigation before they hit the sand dunes at a high altitude.
Stage 6 into Bolivia will be the last before the rest day.