Rallye

Joan Barreda Claims Maiden Victory on the New Honda CRF450 RALLY

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Joan Barreda made a spectacular come-back to the World Championship, with a win in the first stage of the Morocco Rally overnight, after setting a cracking pace from start to finish.

It was a awesome victory for the Honda CRF450 RALLY which also saw five of its riders finish in the top seven on the day. Paulo Gon̤alves and H̩lder Rodrigues came in third and fourth, while Javier Pizzolito and Sam Sunderland finished sixth and seventh.

The Spanish rider clearly set out to win from the get go and in spite of a slight initial error early on whilst crossing the Cheggaga dunes, the rider from CastellÌ_n clocked up the fastest times and finished the fastest overall, over three minutes ahead of the second place rival.

"The truth is that I‰Ûªm very pleased with the opening stage, and although there is still a long way to go, I managed to keep up a good rhythm and only made a slight mistake in the dunes." Barreda commented.

"I had to go back one kilometre, but I was lucky enough that the arrow on the GPS opened up right away. After I was able to set a good steady pace," he added.

Splitting the two Honda's on the podium at the conclusion of day one was KTM Factory pilot Marc Coma, with the Spanish rider and current World Rally Championship leader, finishing 3 minutes and 9 seconds behind Berreda.

‰ÛÏIn principle it seems like everything is going according to plan." Coma commented. "Now we must focus on finding the bike‰Ûªs limits and work to further develop this.

"We did a good job today in a stage that was quite complicated and in which navigation was very important. Tomorrow is a completely different. There will be a lot of stones and it will be very technical and physically demanding.

"We must be very focused," he concluded.

Paulo Goncalves headed off from a good starting position, although he had a tough job with the amount of dust generated by riders up ahead. In spite of this, he was able to keep up a fine pace, getting on extremely well with the CRF450 RALLY, and finishing in third.

Stage One Results:
1. Joan Barreda (ESP, Honda) 2:25:40 hrs
2. Marc Coma (ESP, KTM) +00:03:09
3. Paulo Goncalves (PRT, Honda) +00:03:28
4. Helder Rodrigues (PRT, Honda) +00:06:13
5. Chaleco Lopez (CHL, KTM) +00:09:17
6. Javier Pizzolito (ARG, Honda) +00:10:32
7. Sam Sunderland (GBR, Honda) +00:11:09
8. Alain Duclos (FRA, Sherco) +00:11:53
9. Alessandro Botturi (ITA, Speedbrain) +00:12:11
10. Kurt Caselli (USA, KTM) +00:18:52

Top Image: Joan Barreda gave his HRC Honda Rally team the perfect result aboard their all new Honda CRF450 Rally
Credit: Honda Racing

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