The 2012 Rally Dakar is finished with the Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain managing an 11th place by Joan Barreda in the final standings. While not the overall result the team was looking to achieve, the team did well in their debut event on new motorcycles. If not for what the team is calling an “incomprehensible” jury decision, Paulo Goncalves would most likely have landed in the top five by the finish in Lima.
The highlights were six podium finishes and one stage victory. This was part of the initial objective the team had for the Dakar 2012. The team was consistently fast with two riders regularly up front — even if the aim to put one pilot on the overall podium couldn’t be fulfilled. The motivation of the team was tested with the jury decision against Paulo Goncalves. Also, Joan Barreda experienced bad luck during the stages three and four, when the talented Spaniard suffered from a crash and a broken rear wheel, which cost him a lot of valuable time. Barreda couldn’t make up the loss until the race end.
“Joan has the speed to run with the two best riders in the race,” says team principal Wolfgang Fischer. “His stage results definitely give proof and he would have deserved to stand on the overall podium.” Joan Barreda was considered by many to be the revelation of this year’s Dakar. He was matching the speed of the top riders and is regarded as a man to watch in the future.
Jose Manuel Pellicer performed as an excellent team addition. He was always there when needed, i.e. helping Barreda out of his rear wheel problem. Pellicer was a last-minute replacement but he nevertheless integrated himself seamlessly into the team and earned everybody’s respect right away. Zé Hélio rode a steady race to finish inside the top 20. His final result shows the depth of the field. Each year the Dakar becomes more and more competitive, especially at the front.
We would all like to extend the very best wishes to Ike Klaumann, the team’s fifth rider. The Brazilian is on his way to a full recovery after leaving the race following a crash. The team returns home on Tuesday after the podium ceremony where preparations for the next season will begin.
Dakar 2012, Final Standings:
1. Cyril Despres (FRA) KTM 43:28:11 hrs
2. Marc Coma (SPA) KTM, 53:20 min behind
3. Helder Rodrigues (POR) Yamaha, 1:11:17
4. Jordi Viladoms (SPA) KTM, 1:40:56
5. Stefan Svitko (SVK) KTM, 1:47:28
11. Joan Barreda (SPA) Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain, 3:37:25
19. Zé Hélio (BRA) Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain, 6:16:35
23. Jose Manuel Pellicer (SPA), Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain, 7:41:09
26. Paulo Goncalves (POR) Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain, 8:10:26
Manufacturer’s/Team Statistics, Podium Finishes:
1. KTM, 27
2. Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain, 6
3. Yamaha, 2
3. Sherco, 2
5. Aprilia, 1
5. Honda, 1