The Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain is making history, as Joan ‘Hurricane’ Barreda dominated the Baja Espana Aragon from start to finish aboard his Speedbrain-prepared Husqvarna TE 449. The legendary three-day race was held as the second round of the FIM Baja World Cup.
Barreda staked his claim on this competition staged in the area of Zaragoza right from the beginning of Friday’s prologue. The Spaniard continued to set the pace on the opening special test on Saturday, where he managed to gap the field by four minutes. Barreda never looked back throughout the race, producing a calculated and error-free performance. The 28-year-old ultimately won ahead of three-time Baja champ Gerard Farres.
Joan Barreda said, “Our cooperation started exactly a year ago at this very race. Speedbrain and I have worked very hard since then. We have made tremendous steps, doing development together and we are on the right track regarding the Dakar. The victory is a wonderful confirmation of our work and a thank you to our partners.”
This was a view shared by an overwhelmed team principal Wolfgang Fischer, who said, “I’m absolutely delighted to see Joan take his first major rally victory. This is a testimony of his capabilities. The Baja Aragon – the second round of the 2012 FIM Baja World Cup – has a long-standing tradition and is a very difficult race. It’s an event where you have to have the skills and the heart. We had a job to finish after last year’s inaugural attempt. It’s particularly special to add our own win to Stephane Peterhansel’s success in his Mini in the car category, making it a sweep for the BMW Group. Next stop for us is the Pharaons Rally in Egypt. Paulo Goncalves will be lining up as well and aiming to battle for a podium in the final world championship classification.”
Winning the Baja Aragon is considered a major achievement since the rally was introduced in 1983. Both Dakar winners Nani Roma and Marc Coma are past victors of the event. In 1991, Jordi Arcarons and Danny LaPorte took the win for Husqvarna. Now, two decades later, Joan Barreda aboard his Husqvarna TE 449 is adding his name to the prestigious winning list for the German-Italian Speedbrain squad.
1. Joan Barreda, ESP, (Husqvarna TE449) – 6:00:52.0 (Husqvarna Rallye Team By Speedbrain)
2. Gerard Farres, ESP, 6:02:33.0, Bordone Ferrari Moto Italia, TM 530
3. Victor Rivera, ESP, 6:19:36.0, Club Aventura Touareg, KTM 530 Exc-R
4. Marc Guasch, ESP, 6:20:59.0, Gas Gas Factory, Gas Gas 450
5. Jordi Viladoms, ESP, 6:35:49.0, Bordone Ferrari Moto Italia, TM 530