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2019 Dakar Stage 1: Monster Energy Honda Team’s Joan Barreda Draws First Blood At Dakar 2019

Author: Garry Morrow

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2019 Dakar Stage 1: Monster Energy Honda Team’s Joan Barreda Draws First Blood At Dakar 2019
Joan Barreda has a 1:34 second lead after 84 km of timed special at the conclusion of the first day.
Monster Energy Honda Team rider Joan Barreda has drawn first blood on the opening stage of the 2019 Dakar taking a small 1:34 second lead ahead of Pablo Quintanilla and Ricky Brabec.

Day one, en route from the Peruvian capital Lima to the bivouac located around the city of Pisco, consisted of a total of 332 kilometres of stage, with only 84 km against the clock was enough to set up the first official race leader board of the 2019 edition of the Dakar Rally. 80% of the route took place in the dunes, on a stage which covered some dried up river beds that were navigationally more demanding.


Temperature soared as the sun beat down onto the dunes of Adrenarena, yet despite this, Joan Barreda was in scorching form, clocking up a fastest time of 57‰Ûª36‰Û
2019 Dakar Stage 1: Monster Energy Honda Team’s Joan Barreda Draws First Blood At Dakar 2019
Pablo Quintanilla was less than two minutes behind the winner Barreda. Photo: Marcin Kin
Putting in a stellar performance, Pablo Quintanilla was less than two minutes behind the winner Barreda. Kicking off his two-week long adventure in positive fashion, the Chilean rally star is aiming for equally strong performances in the demanding stages that lie ahead.

‰ÛÏI felt really good on the bike today," Quintanilla enthused. "It wasn‰Ûªt an easy stage. There were some sandy dunes, some dusty parts and some tricky navigation. I was pushing from the start and I felt confident all the way through the stage. It‰Ûªs good to start this race with a second place and it gives me extra confidence for the rest of the rally. Today we had many waypoints to cross and many direction changes. It was good to get things started with the first stage. This year I am feeling very confident and I am enjoying the race a lot. The bike is running great and I am looking forward to the coming stages.‰Û
2019 Dakar Stage 1: Monster Energy Honda Team’s Joan Barreda Draws First Blood At Dakar 2019
American Ricky Brabec made it two Monster Energy Honda's in the top three with third for the stage.
Monster Energy Honda Team's Ricky Brabec set the third fastest time 2‰Ûª52‰Û
2019 Dakar Stage 1: Monster Energy Honda Team’s Joan Barreda Draws First Blood At Dakar 2019
After suffering a race ending injury in 2018, Yamalube Yamaha Rally's Adrian Van Beveren was satisfied to come out of stage one healthy and 4th fastest. Photo: Yamaha Racing
Enjoying a steady pace from start to finish, Adrian Van Beveren posted the fourth best time in the day's timed special. Less than three minutes behind the provisional overall leader, the Yamalube Yamaha Rally rider is now looking ahead to the coming stages of the rally.

"We got this tricky opening stage out of the way and I'm happy with my result for the day," Van Beveren said. "Today we got a small taste of what lies ahead. The start of the Dakar is always tricky and there's some extra pressure. Today I tried to control this pressure and avoid mistakes by any means. I felt good racing in the dunes and my Yamaha was working great. As the race goes on, I want to gradually improve my pace while also staying 100% focused on the tracks and my navigation. Tomorrow we have a long stage and I'm looking forward to going back out there in the dunes."
2019 Dakar Stage 1: Monster Energy Honda Team’s Joan Barreda Draws First Blood At Dakar 2019
Brit Sam Sunderland put in a strong performance on the opening day‰Ûªs timed special to claim the fifth fastest time .
Keen to make up for his retirement from the 2018 event, Sam Sunderland put in a strong performance on the opening day‰Ûªs timed special to claim the fifth fastest time ‰ÛÒ just under three minutes down on the leader. Choosing to navigate his way through the stage rather than following existing tracks, the 2017 Dakar champion rode an intelligent day and is looking forward to tomorrow.

‰ÛÏI‰Ûªm pleased with the opening stage, I felt good on the bike and happy with my pace," Sunderland said. "We had to be careful as the less experienced riders had opened the stage, I think some of the top guys took the risk and pushed the tracks, but I played it safe and navigated myself. It maybe cost me a little time but I think it was the best option. I caught a few riders ahead of me and lost some time in one of the rivers but I didn‰Ûªt take any risks out there ‰ÛÒ we have a lot more days to come.‰Û
2019 Dakar Stage 1: Monster Energy Honda Team’s Joan Barreda Draws First Blood At Dakar 2019
Putting in a brave performance, just 12 seconds down on teammate Sunderland, Australian Toby Price successfully completed the stage despite nursing the wrist he broke just weeks beforehand.
Putting in a brave performance, just 12 seconds down on teammate Sunderland, Toby Price successfully completed the stage despite nursing the wrist he broke just weeks beforehand. Aware of the task ahead of him, Price plans to take the rally day-by-day.

‰ÛÏThe first day has gone well. My wrist is giving me some pain so I know the next nine days are going to be tough," the Australian said. "But I can‰Ûªt complain, I‰Ûªm happy with sixth place today. Conditions out there were ok, you just have to be careful in the dunes that you don‰Ûªt send it off one of the big drops ‰ÛÒ I can‰Ûªt afford to risk anything like that so I need to be a little careful. The bike is running sweet, so thanks to Joe my mechanic for that. It‰Ûªs going to be a long one tomorrow but I‰Ûªll give it my best.‰Û
2019 Dakar Stage 1: Monster Energy Honda Team’s Joan Barreda Draws First Blood At Dakar 2019
Defending champion Matthias Walkner claimed a solid seventh place, putting him in an excellent position for Tuesday‰Ûªs stage two.
Displaying the number one plate defending champion Matthias Walkner set off from Lima as the very last rider away. The Austrian made use of his experience to navigate the well-ridden route ahead of him to claim a solid seventh place, putting him in an excellent position for Tuesday‰Ûªs stage two.

‰ÛÏToday was a good day, it feels great to start the rally and I felt better than I imagined after being a little ill over the last few days," Walkner said. "The opening riders made a good job of the navigation and most of the top guys are all at a similar pace, but it was really fast out there today. As well as the sand dunes there were some rivers and rocky sections ‰ÛÒ with the wind and the riders in front there was a lot of dust and that made things even more tricky. The bike is working well and we‰Ûªll continue to work on settings as the rally goes on. Overall, it‰Ûªs been an encouraging day.‰Û
2019 Dakar Stage 1: Monster Energy Honda Team’s Joan Barreda Draws First Blood At Dakar 2019
Australian Rodney Faggoter was content with 29th place on the opening stage spending half the day on hsi own and finding it hard to push.
Off the rest of the other Australian contingent Rodney Faggoter finished 29th. Enjoying a good feeling aboard the latest version of the Yamaha WR450F Rally, the Aussie looks to continue building on his speed during the coming stages.

"Overall, I had a good day. I kept a steady pace from start to finish of the timed special and brought my bike home without any issues," Faggoter said. "My goal for the start of this race is to be consistent and remain inside the top 30 in the first stages. Today we raced about 70% of dunes and a long, dry and dusty river bed. Especially in that river bed you had to be extra careful to avoid mistakes. So far so good and now my eyes are set on tomorrow's tough stage."

Of the two Ausitralian privateers Ben Young finished in 86th place while James Ferguson ended day 1 in 117th place.

With no time to relax, competitors will face one of the rally's most demanding stages on Tuesday (Peru). Taking racers from Pisco to San Juan de Marcona, stage two of the Dakar includes a 342km timed special in a total distance of 553km to be covered by all during the day.
2019 Dakar Stage 1: Monster Energy Honda Team’s Joan Barreda Draws First Blood At Dakar 2019

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