Joan Barreda won today´s over 600 kilometre long stage 10 from Iquique to Antofagasta, as he captured his fourth stage victory of the Dakar 2014, but he also had 15 minutes taken off him for speeding in a radar controlled special the previous day. Shrugging off that disappointment he managed to pull more than 11 minutes back on leader Marc Coma, but the KTM rider still enjoys a healthy 44 minute advantage. Helder Rodrigues made it a Honda 1-2 for the stage ahead of Yamaha’s Cyril Despres but it is KTM rider Jorda Viladoms that holds down third overall.
Joan Barreda, Stage Winner, running 2nd overall: “This is an important stage victory. I am happy I could make up time today. In the beginning I could not find a very good rhythm, but once I was inside the dune section things went well and I could run a consistently fast pace. My navigation went well also. I was cautious in the fesh-fesh sections and doing okay to avoid the dust. No real problems there. I am happy for my teammate Helder Rodrigues and his second place today. Now let´s stay focused for tomorrow, which brings the longest special stage of the rally. My friend Jeremias Israel had an awesome race until his crash happened. I feel sorry for him and do wish him a speedy and full recovery.”
Dakar 2014, Stage 10: Iquique to Antofagasta – 58 km liaison, 631 km special = 689 km
1. Joan Barreda (ESP, Honda) 04:42:00 hrs
2. Helder Rodrigues (PRT, Honda) +00:08:00
3. Cyril Despres (FRA, Yamaha) +00:09:40
4. Olivier Pain (FRA, Yamaha) +00:11:11
5. Marc Coma (ESP, KTM) +00:11:26
6. Jakub Przygonski (POL, KTM) +00:15:08
7. Stefan Svitko (SVK, KTM) +00:15:14
8. Javier Pizzolito (ARG, Honda) +00:16:58
9. Ivan Jakes (SVK, KTM) +00:18:17
10. Daniel Gouet (CHL, Honda) +00:19:21
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Provisional overall standings:
1. Marc Coma (ESP, KTM) 41:48:33 hrs
2. Joan Barreda (ESP, Honda) +00:44:10
3. Jordi Viladoms (ESP, KTM) +02:02:03
4. Olivier Pain (FRA, Yamaha) +02:16:12
5. Helder Rodrigues (PRT, Honda) +02:21:16
6. Cyril Despres (FRA, Yamaha) +02:28:27
7. Jakub Przygonski (POL, KTM) +02:29:15
8. Daniel Gouet (CHL, Honda) +03:05:54
9. Stefan Svitko (SVK, KTM) +03:33:07
10 .David Casteu (FRA, KTM) +03:41:54
Red Bull KTM’s Marc Coma finished in fifth in Stage 10 of the 2014 Dakar Rally, preserving his overall lead in this annual motorsports epic. The KTM factory rider now has a 44-minute 10 lead over second placed Joan Barreda.
Red Bull KTM’s Jordi Viladoms was eleventh in the stage and is still at overall third with a 14-minute advantage over Frenchman Olivier Pain.
Coma said it had not been an easy day and despite the margin of his lead, he is still cautious. When asked if he was already thinking about a possible victory he said: “No, if we start to think like that we’re in the wrong direction. We have to stay focused all the time. We have two very tough days, especially tomorrow. It is 600 km and the longest special of the rally and everything is possible.”
Coma started the day with a 55 minute 36 second lead over second placed Barreda after his rival picked up a 15-minute penalty overnight. Coma’s teammate Jordi Viladoms went into the stage at third with his closest challenge coming from Jeremias Esquerre of Chile. But today was the end of the Dakar for Esquerre who crashed out and had to withdraw.
Viladoms said at the end of the stage that it had been a tough day and navigation had been an issue. “I got lost twice and I lost some time so now we must push one hundred present if we want to keep this position. Fourteen minutes is nothing at the Dakar so we must work really hard for these three days. The most important thing is that I don’t make mistakes and then I can keep this position.”
It was a good day for KTM-supported rider Kuba Przygonski of Poland who finished in sixth for his best performance so far in this rally and is seventh overall. KTM Team Manager Alex Doringer said earlier in the week that Kuba was learning a lot from being in close contact with Coma this year and it was showing in the quality of his riding.
Przygonski after Stage 10: “The battle is from the beginning to the end and we have three more days to go. We have 600 km tomorrow and it will be a really tough stage. We’ll see what happens.”
Riders faced Wednesday’s special in two stages in sands of the Atacama Desert. The first took them on a descent down to the shores of the shores of the Pacific for the first 200 km but then the second part had its share of the fine and unpredictable dust called fesh-fesh at they headed along twisting and turning mining tracks on their way to the bivouac in Antofagasta.
KTM-supported rider Riaan van Niekerk of South Africa, riding in his second Dakar, is on a steep learning curve. He said navigation was key in the first part of the stage when riders were in the dunes. “There was quite a lot of fesh-fesh and its not nice at all. You’re in the dust and getting tired. As soon as you try to push you make a mistake. That’s what makes the Dakar. Its not the beginning, its trying to get to the finish.”
A fresh challenge awaits the riders on Thursday in Stage 11 from Antofagasta to El Salvador where they will be on their bikes for 749 km, 605 km of which is the timed special, the longest of this year’s rally. It will be a key stage and even the fastest of the motorcyclists can expect to be riding for around seven hours.
It was a fourth stage win for Joan Barreda in the 2014 Rally Dakar, and a fifth victory for the Honda CRF450 RALLY, as the team completed the double with Hélder Rodrigues coming in second. Javier Pizzolito ends in 8th place.
The tenth stage of the epic Rally Dakar proved to be a really long but fruitful one for the Honda riders who stole the top two positions on the CRF450 RALLY. Joan Barreda dominated the Antofagasta stage with Hélder Rodrigues finishing the 688 km course behind him.
Joan Barreda had previously picked up a fifteen-minute penalty for speeding in a radar control in the special yesterday. The Sentinel alarm system that reminds the riders they are entering an obligatory reduced speed zone failed to sound, and the rider from Castellón, Spain, momentarily exceeded the limit. The penalty dropped Barreda to tenth place in the standings. From the outset today, he set about making up the lost time on Marc Coma, his direct rival, and by the end of the day had clawed back 11 minutes 26 seconds.
Hélder Rodrigues too, got off to a flying start, hotting up the pace from the previous outings as he seeks to secure a podium place. Barreda caught him up and the two crossed the finish-line together. In doing so, Rodrigues outruns his immediate rivals for the third place, and now occupies fifth overall position just 19 minutes off the podium.
Javier Pizzolito put in a good stage performance too, picking up his best result so far in the Dakar 2014, arriving in Antofagasta with the eighth best time on the day.
It was a good day for Honda Argentina Rally Team, who are being supported by Honda with the new pre-production CRF450 RALLY machine, with Laia Sanz continuing to break new ground for female motor sport. The Honda Argentina Rally Team rider finished the ninth stage of the Dakar in seventh place, which marks a best female partial classification so far to date in the rally. Today both Laia and team-mate Pablo Rodríguez finished a long gruelling stage in respectable positions after suffering some problems after a crash.
Joan Barreda 1st 04:42’00 TEAM HRC
“It was a real shame about yesterday. I was relying on the Iritrack alarm sounding, but by the time I realized that it hadn’t gone off, it was already too late. A shame. Today we started out from behind and I had to stay really focused because the navigation was tricky. I kept a cool head and kept upping the pace with every kilometre. I clawed back a few minutes. Let’s see how it plays out tomorrow in Copiapó.”
Helder Rodrigues 2nd +08’00 TEAM HRC
“It’s been a good day for me. I tried to push really, really hard. It turned out well. I passed the dunes and saw only two indications. It was Cyril and Marc. I kept trying to gain on them until Joan caught up with me. We finished together. In the end Joan took the stage and I was second. It’s been really good for Honda and for me too. I’m pleased.”
Javier Pizzolito 8th +16’58 TEAM HRC
“It was a really nice, but long special. The first part with dunes had a bit of everything; the second with fesh-fesh and hidden rocks. I had a few issues with a fuel pipe that unnerved me a little but not too much. The bike ran really well with a high speed of 183 km/h, and that means the bike is… ‘wicked’!
Strong rides by both Cyril Despres and Olivier Pain on stage ten of the 2014 Dakar Rally have seen them move further up the overall standings today. The 631km special stage between Iquique and Antofagasta required all the skill of the Yamaha Factory Racing riders to conquer the fesh-fesh and sand along the coast line of Chile. Despres was the fastest Yamaha rider of the day, completing the timed section in third to move up two places in the overall standings to sixth. Despres is now just 26 minutes and 24 seconds from the top three.
Olivier Pain was not far behind Despres, coming home in fourth today to move up to fourth in the overall standings, just 14 minutes and 9 seconds from the podium. Fellow Frenchman and third Yamaha Factory rider Michael Metge had a less successful tenth stage. Having found a good pace and holding good time, Metge fell whilst leaving the track to overtake a slower rider, costing valuable time and dropping him to 20th. Despite the result he Metge moves up a place to 13th overall.
The leading Yamaha 700 quads were again the machines to beat in the quad class, taking the top three positions on the stage. Russian Sergey Karyakin took the win with Chile’s Ignacio Casale in second and Uruguay’s Sergio Lafuente in third. The results mean Casale sits in top overall with Lafuente second and Polish rider Rafal Sonik rounds out the Yamaha top three.
Cyril Despres – “I really enjoyed the first special in the dunes. I caught up Marc Coma, got past him and then opened the piste. The navigation wasn’t easy but I managed to stay concentrated and really enjoyed myself on the bike. And as is often the case, when you are enjoying yourself you go quicker and pull back time. The second special was a completely different story, with a lot of fesh fesh and zero riding pleasure. At the end Marc was just in front of me when he made a little error and we turned too early into a gully. When we realised our mistake, instead of turning back, we rode out the side, up a really steep climb, to get back on to the road book. We had a good laugh about our ‘debutants’ error when we got to the finish line.”
Olivier Pain – “Now, with Viladoms’s penalty and the time I took off him today, I’m just over 14 minutes off the podium and hopefully he’s feeling the pressure. For my part I’d rather push for the third than settle for 4th – it was the objective I gave myself at the start of the rally and I’m sticking to it. The problem is that ‘they’ are coming up behind me and I while 3rd is a possibility 7th is also a possibility!
Michael Metge – “I was riding at a good pace and feeling happy on the bike when I came up behind another rider in the fesh fesh. I should have held back and waited but I wanted to maintain my rhythm. Result: I fell changing ruts and landed right on my head. I felt a bit groggy after that and backed right off. I think I might be in for a telling off from ‘the boss’ this evening!”
The Speedbrain Rally Team experienced an ill-fated Wednesday at the Rally Dakar. The 10th stage from Iquique to Antofagasta ruined all hopes for the team´s top rider Jeremias Israel Esquerre with an unlucky crash. The Chilean so far had enjoyed a flawless race, lying in fourth place overall. Today Israel Esquerre was positioned as high as second place in the stage when he, according to eyewitnesses, collided with the car of some onlookers. The 32-year-old does not remember the incident, which is being further examined. Israel Esquerre, who suffered injuries to arm and shoulder, had to withdraw from the rally.
The stage was characterised by sand dunes and navigational challenges. The second part brought the dreaded fesh-fesh, making it a classic desert stage. “Chavo” Salvatierra felt home in these conditions. The Bolivian loves this type of terrain and it showed in his times during the respective sections. He finished the day once more inside the Top 15. Salvatierra now sits 14th overall. The experienced Dakar participants Paolo Ceci and Pedro Oliveira continued their solid performance. Both moved up the ranks. The Speedbrain 450 Rally meanwhile keeps working no problem without any technical worries.
Team Coordinator Ulrich Hanus: “Neither we as a team nor Jeremias deserve such bad luck! All have done an excellent job so far – then this miserable accident happens. We are still shocked. Certainly everyone is relieved that Jeremias didn´t injure himself too seriously. Here are our best wishes for a full and speedy recovery. Our team is doing its best to provide the riders with the best possible environment. There´s nothing we can do about things like this, they just occur. Guess that´s racing. Often it´s just a matter of good or bad luck.”
TOMORROW’S STAGE – Thursday, January 16 – Stage 11: Antofagasta – El Salvador / Liasion: 144 km Special: 605 km Total: 749 km
The Atacama, in all its splendour – In addition to the distance, here the competitors will be put to the test by all the difficulties offered by the Atacama Desert… and will have to display all the qualities required for off-road races. After the mine tracks and the many rivers to cross, the competitors will have to distinguish themselves in the heart of the Dunes of Copiapo: the fastest motorcyclists are expected to spend seven hours behind th e wheel. Needless to say that on this decisive day there will be no shortage of opportunities for competitors to make a winning comeback in the race. This will be the key stage of the 2014 edition.