Shaking off yesterday’s troubles which ruled out any chance of winning the overall rally, Joan Barreda today re-established himself with a second-stage triumph in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Paulo Gonçalves remains in third and Brabec finishes among the top riders.
The longest stage in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge got underway with a motocross-style start and concluded with a rampant Joan Barreda clocking the best score in the timed special. It was certainly no easy day out in the Al Garbia desert for the Spaniard aboard the Honda CRF450 RALLY. With no reference points ahead to guide him, Barreda showed some classy navigational skills that saw him romp home 11 minutes ahead of the stage’s runner-up.
Likewise, Paulo Gonçalves did a fine job of keeping Marc Coma in check, trailing him in the overall by 5’33.
Ricky Brabec, Team HRC’s rookie, crossed the line in sixth and also occupies sixth on the overall leaderboard.
Joan Barreda Stage: WinnerOverall: 43rd – I’m satisfied. Today was a great day after the bad one yesterday. I rode a good pace, opening the way all day alone. I had a problem yesterday but we have figured out what it was and are working to get it sorted out; it’s the same specification that we had in the Dakar. Some things are being worked on that will be at our disposal from the summer onwards. I really have great faith in the work that Honda is doing on the bike.
Ricky Brabec Stage: 6thOverall: 6th –Yeah, today was great. The mass start was a little bit different. Paulo and I just sat back and watched what everyone was doing. I think he finished where he wanted to. The bike felt better and rode the sand-dunes much better. Also, there were no mistakes today so that is always a plus.