“A hard, tough stage with quite a confusing part at the beginning where we had to keep our concentration. I jumped a dune hard and I really felt that in my hand over the next few kilometres. The final part was very fast and I was able to pick up quite a bit of space and in the end it turned out well. Tomorrow we have to open the track and everything changes again, but we always knew that it would be that way and we just have to keep on as best we can.”
Toby Price in to top ten
“It was the first stage with proper navigation today and I did ok. The cars ahead of us were everywhere – I think their numbers must have been halved after today, there were so many of them side-lined. I managed to catch Laia quite early on, around the 40 or 50km mark, and we rode together for a while. Overall, I am feeling good and inside the top-10 is not a bad place to be. I just need to concentrate on my riding, navigation and hopefully I can pick up the pace a little as the race progresses.”
Rodney Faggotter improves to 21st
“We had a good day as a team and for me individually. Going into the rally’s first long and difficult stage my plan was to remain focused on my navigation. There were some really tricky waypoints but I did my best to stick to the road book and to the guidelines we got from Jordi [Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team sport director Jordi Arcarons] during our pre-stage briefing. It all went well and I completed the stage without making any mistake. So far we had zero problems and I continue making some good progress in the overall rankings. I’m looking forward to stage three tomorrow.”
Dakar 2018 Day Two Report
Day Two of Dakar 2018 was a good day for Honda with the stage victory for Joan Barreda, plus fourth and fifth spots for Michael Metge and Kevin Benavides as the race moves on from Pisco.
A rough offroad ride and sand dunes were the order of the day for stage two of the 2018 Dakar Rally. The course featured a total of 279 kilometres with 95 per cent of the distance against the clock. The stage was something of an anomaly given that the cars got to start out before the bikes, leaving riders to deal with heavily churned up sand after their four-wheeled counter parts had roared through.
The initial section of the 277-kilometre stage around the outskirts of Ica and Paracas, required some skilful navigation in soft yet physically demanding dunes, complicated further by the altitude.
Day one winner Sam Sunderland opened the road for the bikes, which did not work to the advantage of the Briton.
“I’m happy with how things went today. I would have liked to finish a little higher up the order, but it was never going to be easy being the first bike on the stage. I thought it wouldn’t be too bad following the cars but as it turned out the first 50 or 60km of the stage were in chaos. The car tracks went everywhere as they had struggled to climb some of the dunes. I ended up catching a few and riding in their dust. It was hot out there today, but I felt ok even after such a tough stage. I’ve got a good start position for tomorrow so we’ll see what that brings.”
Joan Barreda gave a master class in speed with a commanding performance in the special stage. The Spaniard completed the course in 2 h 56’ 44” nearly three-minutes less than the stage runner-up, Yamaha’s Adrien Van Beveren.
“We got the first difficult stage out of the way with a good result. For me today wasn’t a day that I wanted to push hard. We all knew navigation would be tricky so my goal was to find the right balance between going fast and not making any mistakes. I’m happy it all went well and I could secure second again today. Starting behind the cars today we were faced with difficult track conditions and many, many stones. Despite that, it was easy for me to get a good race pace today and this is really encouraging for the days to come. I want to keep this same feeling for the rest of the race as I believe this is the key to success in the Dakar.”
Barreda has now moved to the head of the overall leader board ahead of Van Beveren and KTM’s Matthias Walkner.
Toby Price continues to get himself dialled in, both to his new KTM 450 RALLY and to competition in general. The Australian increased his pace as the day went on and moved up from his start position of 14th to 10th at the end of the stage.
Queenslander Rodney Faggotter made some good steps closer to the top of the leader board. Wrapping up the stage in 22nd position, the Yamaha rider is now one place away from the top 20 in the provisional overall standings.
Dakar 2018 Stage Two Results
1 BARREDA Joan 5 SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 02:56’44
2 VAN BEVEREN Adrien 4 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +02’54
3 WALKNER Matthias 2 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +04’24
4 METGE Michael 14 FRA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +04’39
5 BENAVIDES Kevin 47 ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +05’43
6 QUINTANILLA Pablo 10 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +05’45
7 SUNDERLAND Sam 1 GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +06’01
8 DE SOULTRAIT Xavier 23 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +06’12
9 CAIMI Franco 7 ARG Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +06’36
10 PRICE Toby 8 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +06’40
11 BARRAGÁN Jonathan 60 SPA Gas Gas Racing Gas Gas +06’43
12 BRABEC Ricky 20 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +07’19
13 CORNEJO José Ignacio 68 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +09’32
14 MEO Antoine 19 FRA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +09’43
15 FARRES Gerard 3 SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +10’53
22 Rodney Faggotter (AUS), Yamaha, 03:17:42, +20:45
Dakar 2018 – Provisional Standings after Stage 2
1 BARREDA Joan 5 SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 03:18’36
2 VAN BEVEREN Adrien 4 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +02’30
3 WALKNER Matthias 2 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +04’50
4 SUNDERLAND Sam 1 GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +05’04
5 QUINTANILLA Pablo 10 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +05’44
6 DE SOULTRAIT Xavier 23 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +06’22
7 BENAVIDES Kevin 47 ARG Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +06’39
8 CAIMI Franco 7 ARG Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +07’10
9 METGE Michael 14 FRA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +07’33
10 PRICE Toby 8 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +09’04
11 BRABEC Ricky 20 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +06’43
14 CORNEJO José Ignacio 68 CHI Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +09’32
21 Rodney Faggotter (AUS), Yamaha, 03:43:00, +24:24
Dakar 2018 Stage Three
Monday, sees the third stage of the 2018 Dakar Rally setting out from Pisco with destination San Juan de Marcona, covering a total of 504 kilometres, including 296 km against the clock.
The first of the bike category will set off at 0545 and is scheduled to arrive at the San Juan de Marcona bivouac at approximately 1400.
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