Rallye

Joan Barreda Extends Dakar Lead With Stage Three Victory As Race Favourites Move Forward

Tough Day For Aussie Favourites As Near Half The Field DNF's

Author: Aaryn Minerds

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Joan Barreda Extends Dakar Lead With Stage Three Victory As Race Favourites Move Forward
Joan Barreda has kept Honda's dream run in the 2014 Dakar Rally on track winning his second stage of the event and Honda's third straight overnight, as he lead the field in the run from San Rafael to San Juan.

Stage three was the first of two marathon stages that are part of this years event which sees riders race two straight stages with no help from their teams, relying solely on their own mechanical skills and help from fellow competitors at the nights rest stop in order to perform any maintenance needed on their machines.

Barreda took the stage victory, (A stage that was altered for the motorcycles and quads as they started at km 130 of the special), aboard his Honda CRF450 Rally machine and in doing so widened his lead to his nearest rival, Frenchman Cyril Despres aboard his Factory Yamaha to 13 minutes and 4 seconds as the pre race favourites start to move forward in the standings.

Joining Despres on his march forward through the pack was Factory KTM racer Mark Coma, finishing third in the stage and in the process moved himself up to third place in the standings just under 14 minutes behind leader Barreda and just 52 seconds behind Despres.

Alain Duclos continues to impress aboard his Serco machine finishing fourth for the stage and maintains fourth place in the standings after three stages.

"This has been a really exceptional special, one like the Dakar has never seen before." Barreda stated at the end of the day's riding. "Not only for the altitude but also for the hills and the steep slopes that we have had to endure.

"It was like a trial. In second gear, revved up, then stopping for breath before taking off again. A real trial run where you just had to try and not make any mistakes and keep up the concentration. The navigation was really tough and at no time did I really stop to see if I was on the right path.

"We crossed a few rivers at the start. I caught up with Chaleco and then Sam, who I saw had taken the wrong route. From then on I did the rest of the special on my own.

"In the final few kilometres on the way down I was able to open the throttle until the end. It really was a difficult one for everyone," he concluded.
Joan Barreda Extends Dakar Lead With Stage Three Victory As Race Favourites Move Forward
Cyril Despres started his charge up the leaderboard finishing stage three in second place and moving to third overall - Credit Yamaha Racing
Pre race Favourite and five tie former winner including the 2013 event Despres classed the tough stage three as one of the most stunning stages he has witnessed in his 13 years of racing the event.

‰ÛÏToday‰Ûªs special has to go straight into the Top 5 most stunning specials I have done in 13 years of racing rallies ‰ÛÒ and in that time I‰Ûªve been to some pretty amazing places," Despres exclaimed." As announced, the recent rains had really cut up the first part of the special and the riding was far from easy.

"Then at kilometre 299 we came to this incredible 3km climb. It was a really, really hard to get up and I can only begin to imagine how many riders will go out of the race at that point ‰ÛÒ and it‰Ûªs not just the amateurs who are going to struggle.

"Then after that we rode for about 60km on stunning tracks over a series of mountain ridges, as beautiful as they were difficult to navigate.

"Towards the end I came up behind and past both David Casteu and Marc Coma. All in all an excellent day that more than makes up for yesterday‰Ûªs disappointments.‰Û
Joan Barreda Extends Dakar Lead With Stage Three Victory As Race Favourites Move Forward
Shane Diener was the leading Aussie on stage three which proved to be a tough stage for all six Australians - Credit: Linden Forbes (From Day One)
Yamaha mounted Shane Diener was the leading Aussie for the stage finishing in 41st position finishing the stage just over 1 hour and 30 minutes behind the stage leader and in the process moved up seven position in the standings to 45th.

Allan Roberts and Troy O'Connor both finished the day over two hours behind the Barreda and now currently sit 59th and 61st in the standings.

At this point in time both Mark Davidson and Clayton Jacobsen have not recorded times for stage three. We will keep an eye on the results and update on how the final two Australian's are travelling as soon as we can.

Click Here to watch the day three stage highlights

Tonight's Stage 4 completes the first of the two marathon stages and takes competitors from San Juan to Chilecito over 210 km liaison and a timed special of 353 km for a total of 563 km.

Provisional Stage 3 Results - San Rafael to San Juan:
1. Joan Barreda (ESP, Honda) 3:47:03 hrs
2. Cyril Despres (FRA, Yamaha) +00:04:41
3. Marc Coma (ESP, KTM) +00:06:56
4. Alain Duclos (FRA, Sherco) +00:10:51
5. David Casteu (FRA, KTM) +00:11:17
6. Francisco Lopez (CHL, KTM) +00:16:36
7. Gerard Farres Guell (ESP, Gas-Gas) +00:16:50
8. Stefan Svitko (SVK, KTM) +00:19:06
9. Jakub Przygonski (POL, KTM) +00:20:12
10. Olivier Pain (FRA, Yamaha) +00:20:34
41. Shane Diener (Aus, Yamaha) +01:33:02
61. Allan Roberts (Aus, KTM) +02:06:08
68. Troy O'Connor (Aus, KTM) +02:18:13
73. Ben Grabham (Aus, KTM) +02:26:30

Provisional Overall Standings after Stage 3:
1. Joan Barreda (ESP, Honda) 09:56:44 hrs
2. Cyril Despres (FRA, Yamaha) +00:13:04
3. Marc Coma (ESP, KTM) +00:13:56
4. Alain Duclos (FRA, Sherco) +00:16:38
5. Francisco Lopez (CHL, KTM) +00:18:39
6. David Casteu (FRA, KTM) +00:22:16
7. Jordi Viladoms (ESP, KTM) +00:34:33
8. Olivier Pain (FRA, Yamaha) +00:36:33
9. Jakub Przygonski (POL, KTM) +00:37:54
10. Stefan Svitko (SVK, KTM) +00:40:09
33. Ben Grabham (Aus, KTM) +02:36:35
45. Shane Diener (Aus, Yamaha) +03:01:49
59. Allan Roberts (Aus, KTM) +03:53:04
61. Troy O'Connor (Aus, KTM) +04:03:38

Top Image: Joan Barreda extended his lead and kept Honda's unbeaten record at the 2014 Dakar in tact at the conclusion of stage three.

Credit: Honda Racing

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