Barreda wins the stage and Goncalves takes the leadership

Honda continued the tendency once more today in the longest stage of the Rally OiLibya of Morocco. The race concluded in Zagora with a third consecutive win for the CRF450 RALLY. Joan Barreda was once again the fastest, and Paulo Goncalves takes over the overall leadership.

At the end of a long gruelling day in Zagora, Joan ‘Bang Bang’ Barreda was once again the fastest in the 2014 edition of the OiLibya Rally of Morocco. The Spanish rider was heavily penalized yesterday for excess speed, with a thirty minutes penalty that saw his triumph annulled and passed down to yesterday’s runner-up, his fellow Honda team-mate, Jeremias Israel. Today Barreda got off to a storming start, yet again proving himself to be the fastest on the track, leaving another HRC rider, Paulo Goncalves two and a half minutes behind. Honda and the CRF450 RALLY thus clinch the third double in three days.

Portuguese Goncalves, managed to keep up a cracking pace throughout the stage, fighting a splendid comeback that sees him move up to the top of the overall leader-board, with a forty second advantage over Marc Coma.

Joan Barreda:There was a very fast liasion between Erfoud and Zagora, with a lot of rutted ground, where we had to really push. It was very tough. Yesterday, I finished the stage totally convinced of having done a good job. In the end we found something that we haven’t seen in 30 years of rallying with a penalty like that. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens, and if the rule applies to everyone.

Paulo Goncalves:It was a long and hard stage with a lot of tricky navigation. Some dunes and rocks. But I pushed hard and closed down on Marc, and now I’m leader in the overall standings. I’m happy for me and for Team HRC. We’ll try and get another good result tomorrow.

Results Stage 3
1 Joan Barreda 3:14’15 ESP HONDA Team HRC

2 Paulo Goncalves +02’30 PRT HONDA Team HRC
3 Sam Sunderland +05’22 GBR KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
4 Chaleco López +07’07 CHI KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
5 Marc Coma +07’18 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory

Provisional after Stage 3
1 Paulo Goncalves 8:54’39 PRT HONDA Team HRC

2 Marc Coma +00’41 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
3 Helder Rodrigues +12’21 PRT HONDA Team HRC
4 Sam Sunderland +12’29 GBR KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
5 Ruben Faria +13’33 POR KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory

Text/Photo: PR Team HRC

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Second double for Honda in Morocco

Joan ‘Bang Bang’ Barreda, once again, gave a note-worthy exhibition of his riding progress on the Honda CRF450 RALLY. The second stage of the OiLibya Rally of Morocco had the Spaniard’s mark of authority stamped all over it.

Joan Barreda extended his leadership of the OiLibya Rally of Morocco yet further after an impressive sand and navigation-filled second stage victory. The win was all the more remarkable for having set off at the head of the field. The Spaniard remained unreachable out front. In doing so, Barreda widens the deficit over second place Marc Coma by two minutes. The damage could have been much worse, were it not for a slight navigation slip-up which set the leader back several minutes.

Paulo Goncalves had a good day at the office, finishing in sixth. The reigning world champion at one point was forced to stop to fix a vibrating front fairing.

Joan Barreda: “I’m really happy. We did a lot of preparation for this stage yesterday. We knew that there was going to be a lot of navigation. It was an incredible pace, I navigated without mistakes, impeccable, until kilometre 160. We really pushed, opening the way in the dunes. In the end I made a slight error thinking that we could get back on the track further on, but I was able to rectify it without losing too much time. But that’s the way it is; if you push that hard you can expect some navigational errors.”

Results Stage 2
1 Joan Barreda 2:26’14 ESP HONDA Team HRC

2 Jeremias Israel +2’00 CHI HONDA Team HRC
3 Marc Coma +2’01 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
4 Sam Sunderland +2’20 GBR KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
5 Helder Rodrigues +5’42 PRT HONDA Team HRC
6 Paulo Goncalves +6’10 PRT HONDA Team HRC

Provisional after Stage 2
1 Joan Barreda 5:30’25 ESP HONDA Team HRC

2 Marc Coma +3’22 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
3 Paulo Goncalves +7’29 PRT HONDA Team HRC
4 Helder Rodrigues +9’03 PRT HONDA Team HRC
5 Ruben Faria +10’58 POR KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory

Text/Photo: PR Team HRC

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Double for Team HRC

Team HRC got off to a flying start in the 2014 edition of the OiLibya Rally of Morocco, with Joan ‘Bang Bang’ Barreda on the Honda CRF450 RALLY securing victory in the race’s first timed special. Team HRC side-kick Paulo Gonçalves finished not far behind in runner-up position giving Honda their first one-two.

Joan Barreda becomes the first leader of the OiLibya Rally of Morocco, in this, the sixth and final rally of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. The Spanish rider set a cracking pace over the 276 kilometres against the clock, in a stage that covered both hard track and rocky terrain, and even included a first incursion into the dunes. Such was the speed over most of the stage, that not even a minor loss of route in the later part was able to stop the Team HRC rider crossing the finish-line in first place.

Joan Barreda’s win was reinforced by team-mate Paulo Gonçalves who made it a Honda double. ‘Speedy’ kept his distance from Marc Coma who started out from behind the Portugese rider, but was never able to get past him.

Joan Barreda: “It went really well. I’m pleased with the way that the stage went. We started from behind and there was a lot of tricky navigating to do. Near the end I dropped a couple of minutes due to a slight navigational error, but it didn’t amount to much. Now we will be looking to see how we can improve even more over the next few days, and keep ahead of the rest. The strategy will have a crucial role in the race.”

Paulo Goncales: “Today was a hard day for the start of a rally. We came across dunes, very stony areas, and difficult navigation. I started from behind in fourteenth place, and I came up against some slower riders who it was very difficult to overtake. Here we are. I’ve finished in second. It was very hard to stay in front because all the riders were pushing so hard.”

Results Stage 1
1 Joan Barreda 3:04’11 ESP HONDA Team HRC
2 Paulo Goncalves +1’49 PRT HONDA Team HRC

3 Marc Coma +1’51 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
4 Helder Rodrigues +3’51 PRT HONDA Team HRC
5 Ruben Faria +4’35 POR KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory

Provisional after Stage 1
1 Joan Barreda 3:04’11 ESP HONDA Team HRC
2 Paulo Goncalves +1’49 PRT HONDA Team HRC

3 Marc Coma +1’51 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
4 Helder Rodrigues +3’51 PRT HONDA Team HRC
5 Ruben Faria +4’35 POR KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory

Text/Photos: PR Team HRC

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Second place takes Marquez closer to Moto3 lead

Alex Marquez took the runner-up spot, respectively, in San Marino for the second consecutive Grand Prix, reducing the gap to Moto3 series leader, Jack Miller, in the process. After another stellar display at Misano, Marquez trails Miller by 9 points.

The race started with Miller pushing hard at the front and both Repsol riders attentive to his attempts at escaping. Although Marquez got off the line the best and was up into third, Rins quickly took the lead of the second group from fourth and went after Miller. As he broke away, he brought with him his teammate and Miguel Oliveira, who later crashed out of the race.

After overtaking Miller, Rins established a gap of just over a second, but Marquez –on his own in second– gradually reeled in his teammate and caught him with 8 laps to go. Patient behind Rins, Marquez got past him with 2 laps remaining. Rins returned the favour on the final lap to win by 0.042s.

With this latest victory and second place for Rins and Marquez, the Spanish duo head to their home round in a fortnight’s time: The Aragon GP at MotorLand.

Alex Marquez: “It was a pretty tough weekend for us, with four crashes –one of which was a heavy one in the warmup. So in the end second place is very important for us. We tried our best and managed to cut the gap to the series leader for the third race in succession, so we should be happy and continue in this way. Now comes a home race and hopefully the circuit is full, so that the fans can push us at every turn. At Motorland, where we have done three tests, we will try to be competitive from day one”.

RESULTS
1 Alex Rins Honda 39:50.694
2 Alex Marquez Honda +0.042
3 Jack Miller KTM +3.403

4 Isaac Viñales KTM +4.459
5 Enea Bastianini KTM +4.485

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
1 Jack Miller KTM 195 points
2 Alex Marquez Honda 186 points
3 Alex Rins Honda 175 points
4 Efren Vazquez Honda 151 points

Text/Photo: Repsol Media Service
5 Romano Fenati KTM 140 points

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Win number eleven for Marc Marquez

Hard fought win for World Championship leader in Great Britain, returning to winning ways after leading every practice session this weekend. Pedrosa places fourth, 1 tenth of a second off the podium spots.

Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo picked up from where they left off last year at the British Grand Prix, engaging in a thrilling battle for victory at Silverstone on race day. This time it was the reigning World Champion who claimed the win, taking revenge for last season. The Repsol Honda Team rider thus completed an impeccable weekend: He headed every practice session, took pole yesterday, was the fastest in warm-up this morning and set the fastest lap of the race, en route to his eleventh victory in twelve races. In another tussle, for third position, Dani Pedrosa finished fourth and was just 0.175s off the podium.

When the lights went out it was Jorge Lorenzo who took the lead from the polesitter, and both riders broke away from a second group in which Rossi, Pedrosa and Dovizioso competed for third place. With seven laps remaining, Marquez led, but with a mistake two laps later he dropped back into second. He had push to the limit in order to regain the place three laps from the end, and to hold on until the chequered flag. Behind Marquez and Lorenzo, Pedrosa was in contention for the podium until the last lap, overtaking Dovizioso but ending up 0.175s behind Rossi.

With this result, Marquez has a total of 288 points from a possible 300 this season. Pedrosa remains second with 199, ten more than third-placed Rossi.

Marc Marquez:“I’m very happy with this win! I expected the race to be slightly different, given what happened in practice yesterday, but today with higher temperatures it seems that both Jorge [Lorenzo] and Valentino [Rossi] took a step forward. Above all, Jorge, because he had a great pace and we were fighting right to the end. It was important to win today, after missing out at Brno. I also had a score to settle from last year, when Jorge beat me on the final corner, so I am happy to be back on the top step of the podium!”

RESULTS
1 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda 40:51.835

2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha +0.732
3 Valentino Rossi Yamaha +8.519
4 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda +8.694
5 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati +9.238

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
1 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda 288 points

2 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda 199 points
3 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 189 points
4 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 157 points
5 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 129 points

Text/Photo: PR Repsol Media Service

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Runner up finish for Alex Marquez at Silverstone

A valuable result was taken by the Repsol Moto3 rider Alex Márquez, who finished second, respectively. Thanks to this important outcome, Alex Marquez remains second in the overall standings and the gap to Jack Miller has been cut to just 13 points.

Starting from the front row, Repsol duo were both amongst the top four riders since the opening lap. It was a similar start to that of the round held two weeks ago in the Czech Republic, with fifteen riders in the first group. However, the constant overtaking in the group led to a split on lap twelve, leaving just four riders in the fight for the podium places. Alex Marquez, Alex Rins, Enea Bastianini and Miguel Oliveira reached the final lap with everything still up for grabs.

With an impeccable final lap, Rins crossed the line first, just 11 thousandths of a second ahead of Marquez. In turn, Marquez was only 72 thousandths ahead of third placed Bastianini.

Following this Grand Prix, the Moto3 riders face each other again at Misano in two weeks’ time as the title picture gets ever tighter.

Alex Marquez:“I’m happy with this result because I think we had a very good race, fighting for the win from the beginning. I tried reducing the lead group by setting a strong pace, but it was really hard to break away with all the slipstreaming. By mid-race we had broken away and were in a group of four, and that gave us a little more tranquility for the end of the race. I tried for the win until the last corner and maybe I lacked a bit of aggression, but I think we rode a very good race. The most important thing is to keep on cutting points to the leader; we are just 13 points behind now”.

RESULTS
1 Alex Rins Honda 38:11.330
2 Alex Marquez Honda +0.011
3 Enea Bastianini KTM +0.072
4 Miguel Oliveira Mahindra +0.123
5 Jakub Kornfeil KTM +4.600

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
1 Jack Miller KTM 179 points
2 Alex Marquez Honda 166 points
3 Alex Rins Honda 150 points
4 Efren Vazquez Honda 145 points
5 Romano Fenati KTM 135 points

Text/Photo: PR Repsol Media Service

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Paulo Goncalves finishes the Sertoes in second place

Paulo Goncalves and Team HRC put in yet another fine performance, in this, the fifth race of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship held in Brazil. The Rally dos Sertoes ended with a victory for the Honda CRF450 RALLY rider, who has won five of the eight specials disputed.

It was good work all round in the Brazilian Rally dos Sertoes from Team HRC, as Paulo Goncalves – last year’s winner- took second place, in a competition in which he waged a constant daily battle for each stage, always making life difficult for the eventual winner.

The seventh and final stage of the Rally dos Sertoes was held between Diamantina and Belo Horizonte, with an initial link of just over 54 kilometres. The route of the 125 kilometre special took in rutted tracks, several river crossings, and a fair share of pot-holes. There was even a bit of trial as the route zigzagged its way up a hillside, before straightening out into faster stretches. The arrival in Belo Horizonte, the capital of the Minas Gerais region brings the twentieth edition of the Rally dos Sertoes to a close.

Paulo ‘Speedy’ Goncalves began the final day in search of victory, perhaps recalling last year’s editon in which he took the title. The rider set a cracking pace and once again, won the special, his fifth win in this Sertoes (four stages and the prologue), proving that both he, and the Honda CRF450 RALLY, are once again, highly competitive.

Next event for Team HRC will be the Rally OiLibya Maroc, held in Morocco from 3rd to 9th October.

Paulo Goncalves:“The Sertoes 2014 is over. I won five stages and I’m very happy with the work that Team HRC and I have done: we’ve done a great job. I wasn’t able to win the race, as Marc [Coma] has performed at a high level, but we will keep fighting in the future. We’ve got one more race to go in Morocco, and we’ll see who becomes the new champion . I will continue to work hard to achieve this.”

Results Stage 7
1 Paulo Goncalves 01:34’57 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC

2 Marc Coma +1’14 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
3 Jean Azevedo +1’50 BRA HONDA Honda Mobil Rally
4 Ruben Faria +3’32 POR KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
5 Helder Rodrigues +3’43 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC

Final Results Rally dos Sertoes 2014
1 Marc Coma 18:21’51 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
2 Paulo Goncalves +3’23 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
3 Jean Azevedo +14’05 BRA HONDA Honda Mobil Rally
4 Helder Rodrigues +21’46 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
5 Jordi Viladoms +26’37 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory

Text/Photo: PR Team HRC

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Gonçalves clinches victory in the Sertoes’ longest special

Paulo Goncalves on the Honda CRF450 RALLY, battled to a notable victory in the fourth stage of the Rally dos Sertoes. The Portuguese rider imposed a formidable pace from the outset, clawing back precious minutes from the overall race leader.

The Rally dos Sertoes arrives at its mid-point with the race’s longest timed special, in a stage run over a variety of different types of track, amidst the distinctive reddish hue of the Brazilian terrain. Today’s stage, with a total of 363.85 kilometres, set off from Paracatu, and once the 125 kilometre link had been passed, it was pedal to the metal in the timed section – a very well-rounded special that included a narrow, hard and damaged track, that had been at the mercy of the rain and elements. The route also took in a fair amount of sand, as well as creeks and fords of varying water levels. The riders arrived in the town of San Francisco after a ferry-crossing, on the river bearing the same name; thus completing a total stage distance of 585.30 kilometres.

It was first and third place for the two CRF450 RALLY riders, and the third time that Paulo Goncalves has marked the best time in the special so far in this Rally dos Sertoes. The Portuguese rider’s aim was clear – nothing less than victory – and not even a slight time-consuming error was able to dent the Honda rider’s continual will to win. In doing so, Goncalves cuts down the deficit with the leader by 1 minute 15 seconds leaving the Honda rider just two minutes adrift of Marc Coma.

Tomorrow sees the riders face the race’s marathon stage, the rules of which outlaw any kind of mechanical assistance at the end of the day, and where the bikes will be closed off in the parc fermé. As a consequence, preparation is of utmost importance, and likewise, it will be crucial to not run the machine too hard tomorrow.

Paulo Goncalves:“I had a great day today. I started from third place and I started to really push. Towards the middle of the stage I made a slight mistake, I momentarily lost concentration and lost a bit of time. I really forced it on the last part and made up time and won the stage. I’m really pleased for me, for the CRF450 RALLY and for all the rest of the HRC Team, which is doing a great job. We will continue to work hard over the next few days, as we are now at the half-way point.”

Results Stage 4
1 Paulo Goncalves 04:24’02 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC

2 Marc Coma +1’15 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
3 Helder Rodrigues +6’49 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
4 Jean Azevedo +7’18 BRA HONDA Honda Mobil Rally
5 Jordi Viladoms +7’32 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory

Provisional after Stage 4
1 Marc Coma 09:43’55 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
2 Paulo Goncalves +2’04 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
3 Jean Azevedo +9’13 BRA HONDA Honda Mobil Rally
4 Helder Rodrigues +11’33 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
5 Jordi Viladoms +14’20 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory

Text/Photos: PR Team HRC

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Paulo Goncalves takes third place

Reigning world champion Paulo Goncalves finished the third day of Brazil’s Rally dos Sertoes with a third place finish, and holds on to second spot on the overall leader-board. Likewise, Helder Rodrigues performed well today, climbing one place in the overall standings.

It had been a tricky day at the Rally dos Sertoes for Team HRC, who managed to turn out a positive result, with Paulo Goncalves riding a commendable stage after starting out from the front after yesterday’s victory. The Portuguese rider made it to the half-way point without being reached by his adversaries.

Today’s stage, featuring a timed section of 209.86 kilometres over a mainly rocky course, but also included a lot of loose gravel and stretches of harder surface, which allowed the riders to raise the pace considerably. The ride also took in a lot of navigation as the route wound through rural villages, eucalyptus plantations, and included the speed checks which have become a constant feature in these races.

Paulo Goncalves skilfully handled the Honda CRF450 RALLY, always attentive to not lose precious seconds, and concluded the race with the day’s third best time behind the race winner and Honda Brazil’s Jean Azevedo. ‘Speedy’ is consistent in the second place in the overall. Helder Rodrigues, Goncalves’ sidekick at Team HRC, rode a fine special, finishing in fourth place. ‘Estrelinha’ thus climbs a place on the overall leader-board.

The two will be looking to better themselves in tomorrow’s fourth stage, between Paracatu and Sao Francisco, as the riders prepare to face 363.85 kilometres of timed special – the longest of the whole race- in a stage that totals 585 km.

Paulo Goncalves: “Today was a good day’s race. I started out from the front and finished ahead too, opening the track the whole day. I lost a little time, but that’s normal. Tomorrow, I start from third position and have 360 km to make up time. I hope to be able to ride hard without making mistakes to make up some time and get up to the front of the race.”

Results Stage 3
1 Marc Coma 02:36’10 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
2 Jean Azevedo +1’18 BRA HONDA Honda Mobil Rally
3 Paulo Goncalves +2’40 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
4 Helder Rodrigues +3’07 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
5 Ruben Faria +3’28 POR KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory

Provisional after Stage 3
1 Marc Coma 05:18’37 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
2 Paulo Goncalves +3’19 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
3 Jean Azevedo +3’34 BRA HONDA Honda Mobil Rally
4 Helder Rodrigues +5’59 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
5 Jordi Viladoms +8’03 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory

Text/Photo: PR Team HRC

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Paulo Goncalves closes in on the leader

A second victory for Paulo Goncalves and Honda CRF450 RALLY in teh Rally dos Sertoes. After taking first place in the prologue, Team HRC rider rode the fastest time today in a much shorter than scheduled second stage.

Due to hazardous conditions on the race route, including narrow stretches and poor ground, the second stage of the Rally Sertoes was shortened quite radically from the originally-planned 155.65 kilometre stage.

This put a damper on Team HRC’s chances of narrowing the deficit with the race leader. Paulo Goncalves, who started out from third place on the day, had hoped to whittle down the gap with the front runner, who set off ahead. In spite of the changes to the original schedule, Paulo managed a fast, yet comfortable ride, reducing the gap with the overall leader to just 39 seconds.

Paulo Goncalves: “Today I set a really good rhythm on the bike. I was able to keep up a really quick and constant pace. However, the organization shortened the route and we competed over a 70 kilometre course, which meant that I was unable to make up much time. I would have been able to win the stage and pull back. I’m very close at just one minute 47 seconds behind the leader overall. I’m closing in, and tomorrow I’ll try and do it again.”

Results Stage 2
1 Paulo Goncalves 45’37 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC

2 Jean Azevedo +1’02 BRA HONDA Honda Mobil Rally
3 Marc Coma +1’21 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
4 Jordi Viladoms +2’30 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
5 Ruben Faria +2’39 POR KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory

Provisional after Stage 2
1 Marc Coma 02:42’27 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
2 Paulo Goncalves +0.39 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
3 Jean Azevedo +2.16 BRA HONDA Honda Mobil Rally
4 Helder Rodrigues +2.52 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
5 Jordi Viladoms +3.41 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory

Text/Photo: PR Team HRC

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