"It was a beautiful stage and we attacked strongly," said Loeb who had endured three punctures on Thursday's fourth stage.
It's not all been plain sailing for the Frenchman in the first five stages, but he can enjoy his rest day with the podium positions within reach.
Advantage Al Attiyah
It was advantage to Al Attiyah at the very front of the car race on the trip back to Arequipa as he stretched his lead.
The Qatari also shrugged off Loeb's performance. "Sebastien had nothing to lose, he had to push to climb back into the time charts," the Red Bull athlete said.
"As far as I'm concerned, I think the 13-time winner (Stephane Peterhansel) is the dangerman."
However, Peterhansel is now 24 minutes behind Al Attiyah in the title race after a fourth-place finish on Friday, 26 minutes back from Loeb and 16 off his Qatari rival.
It was a disastrous day for Peterhansel whose car became ensnared in binding 'fesh fesh' dune grass and had to be towed out by Roma.
Spaniard Roma had his first podium of the 2019 Dakar Rally. The MINI driver and his compatriot Alex Haro Bravo, who towed out Peterhansel out of trouble is perched overall as well.
After a day of rest,expect battle plans for the final five stages to be drawn up in Arequipa by those still in with a shot at Dakar glory.