An outstanding CRF450 RALLY and a third win for Joan Barreda in the Dakar 2014

An outstanding CRF450 RALLY and a third win for Joan Barreda in the Dakar 2014

The Rally Dakar left Argentina today and for the first time in the race’s history entered Bolivia. It was Joan Barreda who took the honours in the Salta-Uyuni stage, giving Honda TEAM HRC the fourth victory in 7 days of racing. Hélder Rodrigues finished in seventh place and Laia Sanz twelfth.

Week two of the Rally Dakar got underway this morning from the Argentine city of Salta, in the northern region, heading towards Bolivia, for the first part of the special. Nevertheless, the meteorological conditions were such that the start had to be moved 103 km further up the course to the site of the way-point.

Joan Barreda started at a cracking pace, clocking up the best times in both parts of the the special before arriving home with a 4.03 minute deficit over Marc Coma, the stage runner-up and overall leader.

A fine performance too from Hélder Rodrigues in the seventh stage on the Honda CRF450 RALLY, who holds on to eighth overall place. The team’s third rider Javier Pizzolito, made a significant improvement in this stage, always up among the top twenty riders, arriving in Uyuni in 18th, where the riders will be without mechanical assistance, as this is the first part of the race’s second marathon stage.

It was also a day of success for the team supported by TEAM HRC with the new Honda CRF450 RALLY machine. Laia Sanz goes from strength to strength and today recorded some excellent times on the stopwatch. She crossed the line in twelfth place. Her Honda Argentina Rally Team colleague, Pablo González put in a steady performance too.

Joan Barreda 1st 03:28’41 TEAM HRC
For sure I´m very happy about my result. Anyway it was very hard to stay focused. The high altitude made me feel a bit dizzy. Especially when the going got tough in the water and mud of the river.

Helder Rodrigues 7th +10’57 TEAM HRC
In this high altitude I was happy not to worry about any power loss of the motor. The engine with its self adjusting fuel injection worked very fine. Also I was impressed by the bolivian crowd waving flags the last 40 kilometres.

Javier Pizzolito 18th +18’42 TEAM HRC
It was a nice stage which made a lot of fun despite the rain in the first part. Honestly I didn´t expect such a overwhelming welcome by the bolivian crowd. It was incredible.

Classifications Stage 7
1 Joan Barreda 03:28’41 ESP HONDA TEAM HRC
2 Marc Coma +04’03 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
3 Cyril Despres +05’35 FRA YAMAHA Yamaha Racing
4 Joan Pedrero +06’57 ESP SHERCO Sherco Rally Factory
5 Kuba Przygonski +08’56 POL KTM KTM Rally Factory
6 Jeremias Israel +10’04 CHL SPEEDBRAIN Team Speedbrain
7 Helder Rodrigues +10’57 POR HONDA TEAM HRC
8 Mario Patrao +11’27 POR SUZUKI RR Motos Credito Agricola Suzuki
9 Olivier Pain +11’37 FRA YAMAHA Yamaha Racing
10 Jordi Viladoms +11’57 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
General standings after Stage 7
1 Marc Coma 26:40’44 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
2 Joan Barreda +38’14 ESP HONDA TEAM HRC
3 Jordi Viladoms +01:16’03 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
4 Alain Duclos +01:16’35 FRA SHERCO Sherco Rally Factory
5 Jeremias Israel +01:39’29 CHL SPEEDBRAIN Team Speedbrain
6 Olivier Pain +01:50’42 FRA YAMAHA Yamaha Racing
7 Kuba Przygonski +01:54’52 POL KTM KTM Rally Factory
8 Helder Rodrigues +02:08’18 POR HONDA TEAM HRC
9 David Casteu +02:23’50 FRA KTM Team Casteu
10 Cyril Despres +02:26’13 FRA YAMAHA Yamaha Racing

TOMORROW’S STAGE

Monday, January 13
Stage 8: Uyuni – Calama
Liasion: 230 km Special: 462 km Total: 692 km
Uyuni, a vision of white
The Salar de Uyuni is quite simply the biggest salt flat in the world! And the motorcyclists will be able to realise this, since they will have to go right round this gigantic stretch during the eighth stage of the rally. The route will be marked out around and across the salt flat, a marvel stretching over more than 400 kilometres, and will also pass by several islands which make this site so exceptional. The stature of the Tunupa Volcano (5,300m in altitude) will be a permanent feature on the landscape. An amazing daydream vision between heaven and earth on a white backdrop may be apparent, weather permitting!