News 6 Jan 2016

Barreda regains Dakar lead following stage three

Difficult day drops Price down the order overall.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

On this third stage of the 2016 Dakar Rally, the special was predicted to suit quick riders and indeed it lived up to its expectations. Honda’s Joan Barreda took his 14th stage win of the Dakar, regaining the lead in the bike category.

What a difference a day makes. Head and shoulders above the rest yesterday, KTM’s Australian rider Toby Price (KTM) did not get it right on the stage today. Perhaps it was due to having to open the way, but Price was never able to follow the pace of the Hondas.

Even at the first CP, he was overtaken by the ‘red army’ and could not buck the trend, finishing in 10th place in the provisional standings more than five minutes off the lead.

He was not the only one to suffer the demonstration by the Honda riders, because Ruben Faria (Husqvarna), who was second to start this morning behind the Aussie, also had to hold his hands up and face the music at the finish where lost almost six minutes to the day’s winner. The Portuguese rider drops to eighth position in the general standings, almost four minutes off the top.

Fortunately for KTM, Antoine Meo, the five-times World Enduro Champion, put in a superb performance. The Frenchman, participating in his first Dakar, took fourth place on the stage, climbing up to 13th place in the general standings. Below the new leader Barreda, Stefan Svitko (KTM), fifth on the day’s special, is 14 seconds behind and Kevin Benavides (Honda) is 48 seconds behind.

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