Monster Energy Honda Team rider Joan Barreda has secured his fourth victory in the Baja Aragon 2017 with team-mate Michael Metge making it onto the podium, repeating third place.
Round two of the FIM Bajas Cross-Country World Cup, originally got underway with two special stages between Perales de Alfambra and Alfambra for the first, and between Celades and Villaespesa for the second. At the start of stage two, 26 motorcycles and 12 quads in the FIM section took the start.
Over very arid and tricky terrain, Joan Barreda was once again the fastest and the Honda rider demonstrated his surpremacy by finishing the leg 7min 38sec ahead of his French team-mate Michael Metge (Honda). Joan Pedrero (Sherco) claimed third position from David Adrià (Yamaha) and Cristian España (KTM).
“I am pleased with this result today because it was not an easy stage. At the start of the first, rather short, it was a bit cold and I had to solve a small problem. The second stage, was much longer and the surface had been broken by the cars and the trucks, which had ploughed the ground. I fell in a stony area and I damaged my exhaust. So I had to preserve my bike over the last kilometres.”
While everyone waited for the performance of Ivan Cervantes, the KTM rider faced problems with his fuel tank in the first stage and was forced to retire in the second after a fall resulted in a fractured collar bone.
The Baja Aragon 2017 concluded in Teruel with the victory of Joan Barreda and a podium place for Michael Metge. It is the fourth win in the Spanish race for the Castellón rider, who outclassed the opposition in each of the stages.
In the final stage of the 154-kilometre race, the Monster Energy Honda Team rider once again established the fastest time to become the victor of this 34th edition of the legendary Baja Aragón.
Team-mate Michael Metge finished in third place overall after a controversial five-minute penalty following a GPS error. It is the second consecutive podium for the French rider in Teruel.
Joan Barreda – 1st
“It is not easy to win the Baja Aragon and I am very happy to have won four times here. Although I have had some minor mishaps, I feel satisfied to have been able to overcome the circumstances when things weren’t going right. I put in a good performance and so I’m happy about it. We were looking for pace in this rally and I think we showed greater rhythm than the rest of the participants. Throughout the weekend we have attacked and it went well.”
Michael Metge – 3rd
“In the end I finished on the podium, but I think what counts here are the good feelings that I’ve had all weekend, with good pace too. I was really getting to grips with the rally bike, and enjoyed it without taking any risks. I was always in the fight. It was a shame about the penalty because the GPS didn’t work and I followed the wrong track and made it late to a checkpoint. It was great training for us and I’m really happy for Joan who won the race.”
The next event will be the Atacama Rally in Chile with Paulo Gonçalves and Kevin Benavides, while Joan Barreda, Michael Metge and Ricky Brabec participate in the Vegas to Reno, in the United States.
Final Standings Baja Aragón 2017
BARREDA Joan – SPA – Monster Energy Honda Team 6:50’12
PEDRERO Joan – SPA – Sherco TVS Rally Factory +6’17
METGE Michael – FRA – Monster Energy Honda Team +7’43
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