Team HRC’s Joan Barreda on the Honda CRF450 Rally, got off to a storming start in day one of the 2014 Dakar rally, clocking up the fastest time of all the 175 riders at the first time-check. The former Husqvarna rider who moved to Honda in the middle of the season inaugurated his 2014 Dakar with an acrobatic performance. The motorcycle competition was expected to be wide open, and that is indeed what the classification shows after the opening stage.
It was a very early start for the Rally Dakar. The pack of riders headed off at four in the morning on a long 251 miles that took them towards the vibrant city of Rosario for the start of the 112 mile special.
“I´m super happy to take the opening stage today,” said Barreda. “I´d like to give a big thanks to my team as a reward for the hard work in recent months. The stage wasn´t long, but it was a difficult one. We raced on hard-pack terrain with stones and blind corners. The course was twisty and you had to stay focused. I was doing fine, finding my rhythm soon and keeping it to the finish. I will enjoy this evening!”
Provisional Results Stage 1:
1. Joan Barreda (ESP, Honda) 2:25:31 hrs
2. Marc Coma (ESP, KTM) +00:00:37
3. Cyril Despres (FRA, Yamaha) +00:01:40
4. Alain Duclos (FRA, Sherco) +00:01:56
5. Paulo Goncalves (PRT, Honda) +00:02:25
6. Francisco Lopez (CHL, KTM) +00:03:24
7. Juan Pedrero Garcia (ESP, Sherco) +00:03:47
8. Sam Sunderland (GBR, Honda) +00:04:33
9. Michael Metge (FRA, Yamaha) +00:04:33
10. Alessandro Botturi (ITA, Speedbrain) +00:04:48