Stage 4 of the 2016 Dakar Rally saw competitors racing mostly in a 420km loop near Jujuy, Argentina. Stage 4 is also the start of the marathon stage of the Dakar Rally, where this year team mechanics and competitors are forbidden from working on their machines, until the next day’s liaison section.
Always a decisive moment, it means that riders especially need to ensure no harm comes to their race motorcycles over the course of the stage, as they will not have the benefit of their support crews.
In that way, concentration is very much a key element to winning The Dakar, which as a segue, is something HRC rider Joan Barreda is learning the hard way.
Despite being the fastest man on Stage 4, another speeding penalty on the liaison section means that Barreda had five minutes tacked onto his time for the day, which drops him to third overall. With his pace in the special section, Barreda should be leading this edition of The Dakar, but the unforced errors are costing him.
Meanwhile, teammate Paulo Gonçalves continues to benefit from Barreda’s mistakes, and thus gets the stage win after the times for Stage 4 were tallied.