Monster Energy Honda Team riders Joan Barreda, Ricky Brabec and Kevin Benavides all made it onto the podium at the end of stage 10 of the 2020 Dakar Rally which was cut short due to inclement weather.
While it was a Red letter day for Honda after occupying the top three positions it was also a memorable day for Australia with Toby Price and Rod Faggotter finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
The tenth stage of the Dakar Rally ‰ÛÒ initially scheduled to cover 534 kilometres over two timed sectors ‰ÛÒ was shortened to just a single special when strong winds were forecast in the second stretch. Riders were directly diverted to the bivouac at Shubaytah to avoid the winds which could potentially have put the participants‰Ûª safety into jeopardy.
Barreda, Brabec and Benavides finished the short 222-kilometre special stage after imposing a white-knuckle pace. In spite of the speed, the squad riders were careful to keep their Honda CRF450 RALLY machinery in optimum conditions, given that today is the first part of the marathon stage which will see the riders accommodated in a separate camp.
Today ‰ÛÒ as will be the case tomorrow ‰ÛÒ riders received the roadbook 25 minutes ahead of the start of the special. Once back at the Shubaytah bivouac, with no external mechanical assistance permitted, it was left to the riders themselves to attend to any servicing that might be necessary, as rally rules stipulate that no tyres can be exchanged with other riders, but only mechanical elements, if need be.
With his stage win Joan Barreda climbed up to third in the overall rankings, demoting Toby Price to third in a close tussle for the podium spot in the overall standings race. Although he will have the unenviable task of opening the stage tomorrow where he will have the tough job of setting the pace.
"I think I rode a very good stage, although tomorrow I will have to start from the front and open the track in the dunes," Barreda said. "Anyway, I‰Ûªm satisfied with the pace that I‰Ûªve kept. I pushed hard to reach the frontrunners Price, Quintanilla which I managed to do at kilometre 130. Then we rode together as far as the refuelling where the organization then cancelled the rest of the special. The important thing now is that Ricky has the race under control and that Nacho, me and Kevin are fine. This is great for Honda!"