A fourth win for Joan Barreda brings the Honda CRF450 RALLY a seventh triumph in the Dakar 2015. The Spanish athlete, first away this morning after yesterday’s marathon stage win, was also first to cross the finish-line in the Circuit of Termas de Río Hondo.
Barreda, who has clearly put his troubles from the Uyuni stage behind him, once again showed a white-knuckle display of speed and agility, picking up his fourth stage win so far in the event.
Paulo Gonçalves battled hard to keep all options of a final victory wide open in spite of a fifteen-minute penalization for an engine change at the end of the first leg of the marathon stage. The Portuguese ace finished in second place, and will be looking to try and reduce the deficit with his rival Marc Coma over the two final days.
Hélder Rodrigues made it through in eighth to Termas de Río Hondo, in a problem-free fashion, as the second leg of the marathon stage closed in spite of exhaustion after a sleepless night helping team-mates Paulo, Joan and Jeremías, swap first Paulo’s engine and then Joan’s. Consequently, Jeremías Israel’s generosity in sacrificing his engine saw him unable to start the day’s stage.
Joan Barreda: “Yesterday we had to change Paulo’s engine with mine, which was fresher, and I had to put Jeremías’ one in. We were working until two in the morning and we only rested for a couple of hours. Today the first part of the stage was complicated by the rains of last night, mainly with the swollen rivers. I got to the refuelling fine, and after that I pushed really hard on the mountain paths. Everything went well and I was able to win. We have proved that we can win not only stages, but also the whole race. Right now, the main priority is a win for the team.”
Paulo Goncalves: “We’ve finished off a hard marathon stage, in first and second place. But Mark’s overall position has improved because of the fifteen minute penalty for an engine change. It’s not possible to claw back twenty minutes racing, but anything could still happen. We’ve just got to keep working and take each day as it comes.”
Wolfgang Fischer (Team HRC Team Manager): “So, we have just arrived here at the end of this second marathon stage of this Dakar. This year the marathon stages have been a real rollercoaster for Team HRC. Yesterday, we had a very nice stage result with a victory from Joan Barreda after a very long day travelling over the mountains in Chile, but also without any problems at the end of the stage. On arriving back at the bivouac yesterday, they found out that Paulo’s engine had a problem and obviously, in the bivouac, the riders were on their own without any tools, but the four managed to work very well together, with a great team spirit, to help Paulo find out if they could fix the engine. Finally, after everything, they decided that they had to change the engine, so that Paulo could continue. The best way to do that was to remove the engine from Joan’s bike, because it was freshest and had only been removed two days before. They mounted it into Paulo’s bike and got everything working. Also, the decision was made to get Jeremias’ engine and put it into Joan’s bike, so we had to sacrifice one rider and now he’s out of the race so that the other riders could continue with the engines correctly mounted and working. Even after all the first marathon stage and only getting three hours sleep, they still managed to win and be second in the stage today; so it’s really fantastic team effort, and I’m really proud of the guys and what they did last night. So many thanks to Jeremias who was doing so well, always supportive and always making a super-human effort; first towing Joan back after the disaster in the salt flats, otherwise he would not be here; and yesterday he sacrificed his own race too, to help Joan finish today. We lost fifteen minutes for the engine change, but still anything is possible – nothing is won, nothing is lost. Two days to go.”
Results Stage 11
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 BARREDA Joan SPA Team HRC Honda 3:26’33
2 GONCALVES Paulo POR Team HRC Honda + 00’17
3 JAKES Ivan SLO Microstep Industry Team KTM + 1’35
4 FARIA Ruben POR KTM Red Bull Rally Factory KTM + 1’43
5 PRICE Toby AUS KTM AUS Rally Factory KTM + 2’17
6 COMA Marc SPA KTM Red Bull Rally Factory KTM + 2’40
Provisional Standings after Stage 11
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 COMA Marc SPA KTM Red Bull Rally Factory KTM 41:43’03
2 GONCALVES Paulo POR Team HRC Honda + 20’12
3 PRICE Toby AUS KTM AUS Rally Factory KTM + 31’43
4 QUINTANILLA Pablo CHI KTM KTM + 33’15
5 SVITKO Stefan SLO Slovnaft Team KTM + 48’07
12 RODRIGUES Helder POR Team HRC Honda + 3:25’39
19 BARREDA Joan SPA Team HRC Honda + 5:19’32
Text/Photo/Video: PR Honda Racing Corporation