Joan Barreda showed his and his bike’s true potential at today’s second stage of the Dakar 2012. The Spaniard powered his Husqvarna 449 RR by Speedbrain to third place at what’s been the first real test in this year’s race. This stage was 485 miles from Santa Rosa de la Pampa to San Rafael and included a 183-mile special test.
“The first 170 km were very fast, often full throttle,” said Joan Barreda. ” Then came a river bed with huge stones. I didn’t start any takeovers, as it was pretty risky to crash. I gained ground to the riders in front of me, managed to pass them in the sand and make up time. The final kilometres were physical and reminded me of a sandy Motocross track. Navigation was tricky also. I’m happy to start tomorrow’s stage in third.”
Unfortunately the young Spaniard received a time penalty of five minutes because he lost his time card during strong winds on Sunday. Barreda bounced back and has improved to fifth place overall. Teammate Paulo Goncalves meanwhile suffered from a similar misfortune. The Portuguese, who placed 13th today, also picked up a penalty due to speeding. The remaining three riders, Zé Hélio, Ike Klaumann and Jose Pellicer, are doing fine a little further down the ranks.
“I was a little too cautious yesterday, which resulted in a not-so-great starting position today.” said Paulo Goncalves. “Whenever I closed in on riders, it was not risk-free to pass due to the course. But I’m delighted having finished the first two days without a crash and plan to attack these coming days. I received a penalty yesterday bacause of speeding, now I have to fight and play catch-up. Nothing is lost, the real difficult stages are waiting.”
The next stage sends the field towards the Andes and up to an altitude of 9,800 feet. It’s a challenging stage to San Juan, with river crossings and a 168-mile-long special test.
Dakar 2012, Stage 2 Results
1. Marc Coma (SPA) KTM, 3:07:21 hrs
2. Cyril Despres (FRA) KTM, 1:18 min behind
3. Joan Barreda (SPA) Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain, 2:33
4. Francisco Lopez (CHI) Aprilia, 2:44
13. Paulo Goncalves (POR) Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain, 12:30
21. Zé Hélio (BRA) Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain, 17:49
34. Ike Klaumann (BRA) Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain, 27:22
37. Jose Manuel Pellicer (SPA) Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain, 31:16
1. Coma 3:40:12 hrs
2. Lopez 2:30 min behind
3. Despres 2:52
5. Joan Barreda (SPA) Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain, 8:16
21. Goncalves (POR) Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain, 20:13
23. Zé Hélio (BRA) Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain, 21:07
33. Ike Klaumann (BRA) Husqvarna Ralllye Team by Speedbrain, 32:04
35. Jose Manuel Pellicer (SPA) Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain, 36:31