Stage 4 Results
|1||BARREDA BORT (ESP)||HUSQVARNA||3:41:09|
|4||FARRES GUELL (ESP)||HONDA||3:52:49|
|11||VAN NIEKERK (ZAF)||KTM||3:56:16|
|14||ISRAEL ESQUERRE (CHL)||HONDA||3:58:21|
Overall after Stage 4
|4||BARREDA BORT (ESP)||HUSQVARNA||10:16:16|
|7||ISRAEL ESQUERRE (CHL)||HONDA||10:19:43|
|19||VAN NIEKERK (ZAF)||KTM||10:34:39|
Olivier Pain – I caught up with the group towards the end of the special because they strayed a bit off track and, being behind them, at the top of the valley, I was able to take the shortest route and make up a lot of time. I’ve been riding at my pace from the beginning, with no pressure, just to have fun, and doing my best not to fall because the rally’s just begun. I don’t want to get overexcited about my place in the overall, the rally’s still long and my objective is to finish in the Top 10 every day, and I hope to continue doing this well until the end.
Speedbrain Husqvarna – Joan Barreda commanded a particularly hazardous fourth stage of the Dakar, Nazca – Arequipa with 289 km of special test, which covered all types of terrain, and was made difficult by the “fesh-fesh” dust. The Spaniard on the Husqvarna TE449RR by Speedbrain battled his way to an eight minute lead over his nearest rival, and managed to come from behind in the process. This is the second win for Barreda and Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain so far in this Dakar and allows the rider who hails from Castellon to move up to fourth overall place (18th yesterday).
Alessandro Botturi (12th) and Paulo Goncalves (18th) put in fine performances too riding together for the whole of the special, with Botturi in front of the leading group, trying hard to stay out of trouble and avoid mistakes on a route where mistakes and loss of way are highly probable due to such limited visibility.
The consistency of the performance by Jordi Viladoms on a Husqvarna TE449RR by Speedbrain should also be pointed out, who after today’s eighth place, now finds himself fifth in the overall standings hot on the heels of fellow-Husqvarna rider Joan Barreda. Matt Fish made an effort to make up for yesterday’s performance and his twenty-fourth place today moves him up seven places in the overall.
The caravan rolls on tomorrow to Arequipa ad Arica with 411km including 136 km of special test.
Joan Barreda: “I really rode well today. I’m very pleased. I knew it would be a tough one today, so I wanted to push hard. My starting place in twenty-fourth didn’t really favour it especially with the first 20 kms of dust. What’s more, I had the electronic road book broken and I had to move it forward manually throughout the whole stage. I did a perfect stage!”
Alessandro Botturi: ”A really difficult stage where at certain points visibility was zero. I did a good race. I pass the 3 riders in front of me and arrive first at the end of the stage. It turned out well, and now I’m in ninth overall place, and that gives us a bit of breathing room for tomorrow”
Paulo Goncalves: ”What a lot of dust! Even though I got away in second place today, it was still really tough. We opened the stage and was not so easy. I managed to do not make mistake and I follow Alessandro that was leading for mostly of the stage.”
Yamaha’s Verhoeven -Frans Verhoeven is the fourth stage of the Dakar Rally lot of time lost. The Yamaha rider finished today as number 53, just over 51 minutes behind the day’s winner Joan Barreda. In the rankings Verhoeven tumbled to 27th place. The difference with Yamaha rider Olivier Pain, now ranking leader, is three quarters.
It could also be Verhoeven instead of Pain. The two rode together a long time, until the engine Verhoeven stopped. “The start was very good,” said Verhoeven, excited. “When the engine stopped, I checked everything. I’ve taken everything apart, but could not find the cause. Yamaha rider Michael Metge has stopped with me and together we checked everything again. Only when I loose the bottom plate was screwed, I saw that the connector of the fuel pump loose. That allowed us to quickly fix, but I do not know how long I stood still. ”
From KTM –Four times Dakar winner Cyril Despres of the Red Bull KTM factory team continued to ride at his own pace in Tuesday’s Stage Four on his KTM 450 Rally bike, sacrificing a few minutes to finish third in the overall standings but saving energy for the long and strenuous ride ahead.
Despres, not only an exceptional rider but also a great tactician said he had backed off a little in the stage, which gave those behind a chance to gain some time. “It’s not the first time this happens,” he said at the end of the stage. “But don’t worry about me, I’m racing my way. I’ve been riding at a high pace for three days, but not flat out, which helps me to save energy and avoid pushing the motorcycle to the limit. When you start at the back and go like crazy all day long, you ride in the dust, so if you later have mechanical problems, it won’t be down to just bad luck… The rally’s still long and I ride at my pace!”
Despres may have coasted in after the day’s ride at fifteenth place but he is only three minutes 09 behind the overall leader and feeling comfortable after what was a tough 720 km total ride in Tuesday’s stage. Organizers had planned it to be the reverse of a stage from last year’s edition and it included a tricky 2 km downhill slide in the first third of the special.
Fastest KTM factory rider in Stage Four was Despres’ support rider Ruben Faria who finished in sixth place 12:18 behind today’s stage leader Joan Barreda of Spain. Other riders from the two KTM factory teams included Jakub Przygonski in ninth, South Africa’s Riaan Van Niekerk in eleventh, American Kurt Caselli in seventeenth, Darryl Curtis of South Africa in twenty second and Joan Pedrero in twenty third. Faria is also now sixth overall 8:39 behind the leader and Przygonski is well placed at tenth with a deficit of 14:20, including a five-minute penalty.
Stage Five takes riders from Arequipa to Arica on the border with Chile over a total distance of 411 km – a liaison of 275 km and 136 km of timed special.