Joan Barreda commanded a particularly hazardous fourth stage of the Dakar, Nazca – Arequipa with 289 km of special test, which covered all types of terrain, and was made difficult by the “fesh-fesh” dust. The Spaniard on the Husqvarna TE449RR by Speedbrain battled his way to an eight minute lead over his nearest rival, and managed to come from behind in the process.
This is the second win for Barreda and Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain so far in this Dakar and allows the rider who hails from Castellon to move up to fourth overall place (18th yesterday).
Botturi (12th) and Goncalves (18th) put in fine performances too riding together for the whole of the special, with Botturi in front of the leading group, trying hard to stay out of trouble and avoid mistakes on a route where mistakes and loss of way are highly probable due to such limited visibility.
The consistency of the performance by Jordi Viladoms on a Husqvarna TE449RR by Speedbrain should also be pointed out, who after today’s eighth place, now finds himself fifth in the overall standings hot on the heels of fellow-Husqvarna rider Barreda. Matt Fish made an effort to make up for yesterday’s performance and his twenty-fourth place today moves him up seven places in the overall.
The caravan rolls on tomorrow to Arequipa ad Arica with 411km including 136 km of special test.
Joan Barreda: “I really rode well today. I’m very pleased. I knew it would be a tough one today, so I wanted to push hard. My starting place in twenty-fourth didn’t really favour it especially with the first 20 kms of dust. What’s more, I had the electronic road book broken and I had to move it forward manually throughout the whole stage. I did a perfect stage!”
Alessandro Botturi :”A really difficult stage where at certain points visibility was zero. I did a good race. I pass the 3 riders in front of me and arrive first at the end of the stage. It turned out well, and now I’m in ninth overall place, and that gives us a bit of breathing room for tomorrow”
Paulo Goncalves: ”What a lot of dust! Even though I got away in second place today, it was still really tough. We opened the stage and was not so easy. I managed to do not make mistake and I follow Botturi that was leading for mostly of the stage ”
Team Manager, Wolfgang Fischer:” Barreda today rode a blinder. Really tremendous! He showed just how able he is to navigate especially under these conditions. I really pleased too for all the other team riders who were able to interpret the stage so well.”
Dakar Project Leader, Berthold Hauser: “Winning two out of the four stages gives us enormous satisfaction. The riders and the whole team are doing a great job! There’s still a long way to go but we couldn’t have got off to a better start.”