High speeds throughout and a lot of navigation made the 12th stage of the Dakar, from Fiambala to Copiapo a tough one. Joan Barreda proved to be the best of the Husqvarna Team by Speedbrain taking third place on the day, and bringing the team its 10th podium place out of the 12 stages competed so far. Barreda, who led throughout the race made a slight navigational error which dropped him down into third place finishing just three minutes behind winner Verhoeven.
Alessandro Botturi, on the other hand, had a day worth forgetting. After holding seventh place for the first half of the race, the rider lost a lot of time looking for the way point. Botturi finished 14 minutes behind the leader, but now runs the risk of being penalized with a one hour penalty for failure to pass Way Point 13.
Goncalves had a fairly lackluster day, opening the track for the other riders after starting from second position. He came in 16th, 10 minutes behind the winner.
Tomorrow sees the penultimate stage of the rally from Copiapo to La Serena including a 275-mile (441-km) special test and a total distance of 460 miles (735 km). This is the last real stage before they roll into Santiago.
Joan Barreda: “I really pushed hard right from the start today, and I led the way for quite a stretch. Then I made a slight navigational error and lost a few minutes, but I managed to pull it back almost straight away. I’m pleased with my race today.”
Paulo Goncalves: “It was difficult to open a race like today’s. I started out from second, and was like a hare to the other greyhounds that were in chase. Anyway, I’m fairly pleased with my race and I didn’t make any significant mistakes.”
Alessandro Botturi: ”I’m really disappointed. Everything went really well until halfway through the race. Then I lost patience when I couldn’t find the right route and I missed a way point which will cost me a one hour penalty. Today I threw away practically everything… a shame.”
Results stage 12:
1. Verhoeven (NL, Yamaha)
2. Faria (S, KTM) a 1’38”
3. Joan Barreda (ESP, Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain) a 3’01”
4. Duclos (F,Sherco) 3’17”
5. Rodrigues (PRT,Honda) 3’35”
16. Paulo Goncalves (PRT, Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain) 10’39”
20. Alessandro Botturi (ITA, Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain) 14’35”
23. Fish (AUS, Husqvarna Rallye Team By Speedbrain) 17’36”
Overall standings after 12 stages:
1. Despres (FRA, KTM)
2. Faria (P, KTM) 5’39”
3. Lopez (Cile, KTM) 13’40”
4. Jakes (Slo, KTM) 20’16”
5. Alessandro Botturi (ITA, Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain) 34’52”
12. Paulo Goncalves (PRT, Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain) 1h29’42”
20. Joan Barreda (ESP, Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain) 3h05’33”