The penultimate day of Dakar 2014 saw a dramatic change in the overall standings which could make for an exciting final stage tomorrow. Today, however, Yamaha Factory Racing rider Cyril Despres took his second special stage win of 2014 and his 33rd career win for Dakar. Coma, despite taking a 15 minute penalty, finished second for the day, maintaining his overall lead. Formerly second place overall, Barreda, had a day he would likely want to forget but never will, dropping to all the way to seventh the day before Dakar 2014’s conclusion.
After taking the lead early in the day, Despres completed the day in a back-and-forth battle with Coma to the finish line. Depres’ faster time for the day determined his win with the result shifting Despres from seventh to fourth, overall. Olivier Pain, Despres’ teammate, finished third for the day, just six minutes behind his fellow Yamaha rider. Overcoming, not one but two falls, Pain’s result for the day places him in third overall, just 10:21 from second place.
Overall leader, Coma started his day having received a 15 minute penalty for changing engines in his KTM overnight. During his duel with Despres for the stage win, both riders had to double back on the course to find a waypoint that was within sight of the finish. Still, his day’s performance leaves him comfortably in first place overall with a seemingly insurmountable 1:59’49 lead over KTM’s Jordi Viladoms in second overall (finishing fifth today).
The heartbreak of the day goes, without question, to Joan Barreda. A victim of a broken steering head and some electrical problems, Barreda had to stop multiple times during the timed special to perform repairs to his Honda. He eventually finished 63rd for the stage, pushing his bike across the finish line 2:29’35 after the winner. This phenomenal bad luck moved Barreda into seventh place overall without hope of recovering in the last day of racing.
|Classification Stage 12|
|1||Cyril Despres||03:58’18||FRA||YAMAHA||Yamaha Racing|
|2||Marc Coma||+02’17||ESP||KTM||KTM Red Bull Rally Factory|
|3||Olivier Pain||+05’53||FRA||YAMAHA||Yamaha Racing|
|4||Helder Rodrigues||+07’21||POR||HONDA||TEAM HRC|
|5||Jordi Viladoms||+09’10||ESP||KTM||KTM Red Bull Rally Factory|
|6||Daniel Gouet||+09’52||CHI||HONDA||Tamarugal Honda Racing XC Rally Team|
|7||Kuba Przygonski||+10’45||POL||KTM||KTM Rally Factory|
|8||David Casteu||+11’03||FRA||KTM||Team Casteu|
|9||Ivan Jakes||+12’04||SLO||KTM||Nad Ress Adventure|
|10||Javier Pizzolito||+12’49||ARG||HONDA||TEAM HRC|
|General standings after Stage 12|
|1||Marc Coma||52:40’16||ESP||KTM||KTM Red Bull Rally Factory|
|2||Jordi Viladoms||+01:59’49||ESP||KTM||KTM Red Bull Rally Factory|
|3||Olivier Pain||+02:10’16||FRA||YAMAHA||Yamaha Racing|
|4||Cyril Despres||+02:14’01||FRA||YAMAHA||Yamaha Racing|
|5||Helder Rodrigues||+02:20’39||POR||HONDA||TEAM HRC|
|6||Kuba Przygonski||+02:37’23||POL||KTM||KTM Rally Factory|
|7||Joan Barreda||+03:04’54||ESP||HONDA||TEAM HRC|
|8||Daniel Gouet||+03:17’10||CHI||HONDA||Tamarugal Honda Racing XC Rally Team|
|9||Stefan Svitko||+03:52’45||SLO||KTM||Oraving Slovnaft Team|
|10||David Casteu||+04:01’42||FRA||KTM||Team Casteu|