Dakar Rally – Stage 3: Honda Makes It a Hat Trick

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Day three of the 2014 Dakar Rally sees the beginning of the first marathon stage, where only riders will be allowed to work tonight on their racing machines. Making it three stages in a row for HRC, Joan Barreda won his second stage of this year’s Dakar, and extended his overall lead to over 13 minutes.

Stage Three saw the return of Cyril Despres and Marc Coma to their riding pace, as the pair finished second and third for the day, respectively. The day also moved them into the same positions overall, behind Joan Barreda of course.

A tough and technical stage, the Honda CRF 450 Rally is proving itself to be a capable machine, and Barreda is showing himself to be less of an underdog, and now the man to beat on the race course.

“This has been a really exceptional special, one like the Dakar has never seen before,” said Barreda. “Not only for the altitude but also for the hills and the steep slopes that we have had to endure. It was like a trial. In second gear, revved up, then stopping for breath before taking off again. A real trial run where you just had to try and not make any mistakes and keep up the concentration.”

“The navigation was really tough and at no time did I really stop to see if I was on the right path,” he continued. “We crossed a few rivers at the start. I caught up with Chaleco and then Sam, who I saw had taken the wrong route. From then on I did the rest of the special on my own. In the final few kilometers on the way down I was able to open the throttle until the end. It really was a difficult one for everyone.”

Top 10 Riders from Stage 3 – San Rafael to San Juan:

1. Joan Barreda – ESP – Honda – 3:47:03 hrs
2. Cyril Despres – FRA – Yamaha – +00:04:41
3. Marc Coma – ESP – KTM – +00:06:56
4. Alain Duclos – FRA – Sherco – +00:10:51
5. David Casteu – FRA – KTM – +00:11:17
6. Francisco Lopez – CHL – KTM – +00:16:36
7. Gerard Farres Guell – ESP – Gas-Gas – +00:16:50
8. Stefan Svitko – SVK – KTM – +00:19:06
9. Jakub Przygonski – POL – KTM – +00:20:12
10. Olivier Pain – FRA – Yamaha – +00:20:34

2014 Dakar Rally Overall Standings after Stage 3:

1. Joan Barreda – ESP – Honda – 09:56:44 hrs
2. Cyril Despres – FRA – Yamaha – +00:13:04
3. Marc Coma – ESP – KTM – +00:13:56
4. Alain Duclos – FRA – Sherco – +00:16:38
5. Francisco Lopez – CHL – KTM – +00:18:39
6. David Casteu – FRA – KTM – +00:22:16
7. Jordi Viladoms – ESP – KTM – +00:34:33
8. Olivier Pain – FRA – Yamaha – +00:36:33
9. Jakub Przygonski – POL – KTM – +00:37:54
10. Stefan Svitko – SVK – KTM – +00:40:09

Source: Dakar; Photo: HRC

Jensen Beeler

Despite his best efforts, Jensen is called one of the most influential bloggers in the motorcycle industry, and sometimes consults for motorcycle companies, whether they've solicited his expertise or not.