Dakar participants got back underway after a rest day yesterday. Riders had taken a break in their hotels in San Miguel de Tucuman in Argentina while mechanics and technicians worked in the hot and muggy weather on their four Husqvarna TE499RR motorcycles to prepare them for the continuation of the rally.
Joan Barreda picked up a precious second place in today’s ninth stage, the longest in the Dakar 2013 covering some 533 miles (853 km) from San Miguel de Tucuman to Cordoba. Barreda set off first this morning and opened the path for the other riders while dominating throughout a special test which was divided into two parts. Despres, starting from further back, was the only competitor to outrun the Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain rider, winning the special just 4’03” ahead of Barreda.
A great day in the office for the Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain was rounded off with a seventh place for Paulo Goncalves, who also did a fine job in pulling back positions.
Joan Barreda: ”A really tough and dangerous stage. The ground was so slippery that it would have been really easy to fall. I open up the road coming across every type of animal imaginable: cows, horse, birds, and every time I had to slow down to avoid hitting anything. I’m pleased with the second place. With my hand the way it is I couldn’t do any more.”
Alessandro Botturi: Starting from that far back I was confronted with an incredible amount of dust. I pushed hard from the start and I’m happy with the way that it went. This was my stage. If I had started amongst the leaders, I’d have won the race.
Paulo Goncalves: ”I rode well in the first part and I was, in fact, in fifth place at the end of the first leg. Then it was simply too dangerous to push hard, so I sat back and tried not to make any mistakes.”
Wolfgang Fischer: “Congratulations to our riders for a job well done in this, the longest stage of the rally. We’re really pleased that Botturi is making ground on the leaders in the overall standings.”
Results Stage 9:
1. Despres (F, KTM)
2. Joan Barreda (ESP, Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain) 4’03”
3. Alessandro Botturi (ITA, Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain) 5’14”
4. Faria ( PRT, KTM) 7’47”
5. Rodrigues (PRT, Honda) 8’47”
7. Paulo Goncalves (PRT, Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain) 11’14”
18. Bianchi Prata ( PRT, Husqvarna)
29. Jordi Viladoms ( Spain, Husqvarna)
43. Alex Busquets (Spain, Husqvarna)
79. Fish (AUS, Husqvarna Rallye Team By Speedbrain)
Overall standings nine stages:
1. Faria (P, KTM)
2. Despres (FRA, KTM) 5’23”
3. Lopez (Cile, KTM) 9’03”
4. Jakes (Slo,KTM) 16’56”
5. Alessandro Botturi (ITA, Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain) 22’58”
19. Paulo Goncalves (PRT, Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain) 1h33’51”
35. Joan Barreda (ESP, Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain) 3h11’40”
96+. Matt Fish (AUS, Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain) +24h02’25”