Joan Barreda and the Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain celebrated a win at stage 10 of the Rally Dakar 2012 — a 431 mile run with 234-mile special test stage from Iquique to Arica, Chile. Barreda managed to close the gap to his fellow countryman Marc Coma right after the start. He was able to ride with the three-time Dakar champion and both caught race leader Cyril Despres. The three riders rode at ridiculously high speeds all stage long, with Barreda eventually taking a convincing win. This proves two things: Barreda has the skills to ride at the same speed as the best rally pilots in the world and the Speedbrain-developed Husqvarna rally bike is capable of victories.
Paulo Goncalves’ day also started well as he had the virtual lead for the first 110 miles. A Husqvarna one-two was in the cards but the Portuguese rider hit a hidden stone in the sinking sand, sending him violently over the handlebars. While the bike was damaged, the rider was luckily okay. Goncalves fixed the bike and went back into the race. He finally arrived at Arica 19:23 minutes behind his teammate. Despite his difficulties, Goncalves remains in the seventh spot in the overall standings.
Jose Manuel Pellicer and Zé Hélio rode a steady stage. The Brazililan and the Spaniard are just out of top 20 overall.
Team principal Wolfgang Fischer said after the stage, “All our hard work has been rewarded with this historic win. We’re extremely happy to see our bike perform that well — obviously a machine capable of winning at the Dakar against the world’s best. Earning this result is very satisfying to say the least. A stage win against two of the sport’s greatest.”
Dakar 2012, Stage 10 Results:
1. Joan Barreda (SPA) Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain, 4:18:43 hrs
2. Marc Coma (SPA) KTM, 1:32 min behind
3. Cyril Despres (FRA) KTM, 3:39
4. Helder Rodrigues (POR) Yamaha, 5:16
5. Jordi Viladoms (SPA) KTM, 8:48
12. Paulo Goncalves (POR) Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain, 19:23
19. Jose Manuel Pellicer (SPA) Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain, 35:45
27. Zé Hélio (BRA) Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain, 42:47
Dakar 2012, Overall Standings:
1. Despres, 33:07:39 hrs
2. Coma, 0:21 min behind
3. Rodrigues, 45:56
4. Viladoms, 1:18:52
5. Stefan Svitko (SVK) KTM, 1:24:38
7. Paulo Goncalves (POR) Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain, 1:41:41
14. Joan Barreda (SPA) Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain, 3:29:27
21. Zé Hélio (BRA) Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain, 4:48:22
22. Jose Manuel Pellicer (SPA), Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain, 4:49:06