Honda CRF450 RALLY podium lockout in Jujuy

Honda_HRC_Team_Dakar_Rally_2016-01-05Spectacular third day at the Rally Dakar 2016: the stage through the mountainous Jujuy area ended with a Honda-filled podium and a once-again triumphant Joan Barreda back at the top of the general standings.

The third stage of the Rally Dakar proved to be a dream day-out for the three Honda CRF450 RALLYs who occupied the entire Jujuy rostrum. Barreda scorched to the head of the course as team-mate Gonçalves closes in on the leaders.

Climate conditions continue to ravage race organizer’s plans in these first days of the Dakar. The heavy storms and downpours have failed to leave the zone of Tucumán with the first stage cancelled outright, the second reduced and today’s third stage also shortened to a total of 200 kilometres. Riders started out today from Check Point 1 (km 112,91) as race organizers opted in favour of a harmonious and uncomplicated day’s racing.

Joan Barreda gave a master class in how to deal with a complex stage and ascends once more to the top of the Dakar 2016 leaderboard. The Spaniard was lightning quick behind the bars and sharp as a blade as a navigator as he notched up the fastest time over the 200 kilometres of special stage. Barreda’s total Dakar victory tally now stands at 14.

Comrade-in-arms Paulo Gonçalves, who started ahead, also had a stormer of a day posting a third place finish just a minute off Barreda and behind Argentinean debutant Benavides. The Portuguese rider leaps to fourth overall place.
All the five Honda CRF450 RALLY bikes of Team HRC made it back to the bivouac problem-free. Barreda and Goncalves’ team-mates Michael Metge (France), Ricky Brabec (USA) and Paolo Ceci (Italy) finished the stage without conceding much time and all came in among the first thirty finishers.

Honda South America Rally Team continued to build on yesterday’s success with Argentinean Kevin Benavides proving to be a revelation with a second place finish tucked in behind the stage winner. Benavides lies in third in the general rankings. Adrien Metge finished 24th with Pizzolito losing a bit of time, but the rider will be looking to attack tomorrow. Brazilian Jean Azevedo, who fell heavily yesterday, was able to come back with a 45th place recuperating various positions.

Tomorrow, Jujuy will have a very decisive stage in store. The San Salvador de Jujuy loop will not be bringing the competitors back to the bivouac where the technical crew are housed. Instead, there will be the first part of the strict marathon stage where riders are forced to quarantine the bikes after the special stage. Only the riders themselves will be allowed to carry out any mechanical revisions or repairs. The following morning they will be handed back the machines in the same state that they were delivered to the parc ferme. Extra caution with the mechanics will be required.

TOMORROW’ STAGE

2016 January 6. Stage 4: San Salvador de Jujuy – San Salvador de Jujuy
Special sections: 429 km
Total: 629 km

Marathon 1: no mechanics
On many levels, the competitors face their first real test here. The special section takes place at an average of 3,500 m altitude, with incessant changes in pace resulting from alternating sandy and rocky terrain. This gruelling route will be on the agenda when everyone already has 2,500 km in the saddle or bucket seat, which is already exhausting for the lower placed drivers. First and foremost, this is the start of a very particular marathon stage, with a closed area for the vehicles… and for the competitors.

You can see details of the fourth stage (route and profile), here.

Stage 3. Termas de Río Hondo – San Salvador de Jujuy

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 BARREDA Joan 6 SPA Team HRC Honda 2:30’37
2 BENAVIDES Kevin 47 ARG Honda South America Rally Team Honda +00’26
3 GONCALVES Paulo 2 POR Team HRC Honda +00’52
4 MEO Antoine 49 FRA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +00’53
5 SVITKO Stefan 5 SLO Slovnaft Team KTM +00’57
6 QUINTANILLA Pablo 4 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +1’18
7 VAN BEVEREN Adrien 42 FRA Yamaha Motor Europe Yamaha +2’02
8 FARRES Gerard 23 SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +2’12
9 DUCLOS Alain 20 FRA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +2’21
10 WALKNER Matthias 14 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +2’52
11 PEDRERO Joan 17 SPA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +3’07
12 ARANA Txomin 27 SPA GOR Sport Husqvarna +3’11
13 PAIN Olivier 10 FRA Nomade Racing KTM +3’41
14 BOTTURI Alessandro 18 ITA Yamaha Motor Europe Yamaha +3’56
15 METGE Michael 19 FRA Team HRC Honda +4’01
16 GYENES Emanuel ROU Autonet Motorcycle Team KTM +4’01
17 BRABEC Ricky 48 USA Team HRC Honda +4’07
18 RODRIGUES Helder 7 POR Yamaha Motor Europe Yamaha +4’11
19 JAKES Ivan 16 SLO Jakes Dakar Team KTM +4’12
20 CERVANTES Iván 52 SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +4’59
24 METGE Adrien 61 FRA Honda South America Rally Team Honda +4’59
27 CECI Paolo 32 ITA Team HRC Honda +6’01
35 PIZZOLITO Javier 22 ARG Honda South America Rally Team Honda +7’39
45 AZEVEDO Jean 26 BRA Honda South America Rally Team Honda +11’03