Team HRCs’ Joan Barreda won his third stage of the Morocco Rally today, the Spaniard’s third victory of the five stages held so far, and the victory propelled him back into the overall lead.
Barreda’s latest win came in the longest stage of the rally and it kept the Honda CRF450 Rally’s perfect record intact: five stages and five stage wins.
Barreda won today’s stage by four minutes and 15 seconds over his teammate Sam Sunderland, the Brit having his best day of the rally so far. Third place today went to Red Bull KTM’s Marc Coma, the Spanish legend finishing four minutes and 26 seconds behind Barreda.
Stage four winner Paulo Gongalves, meanwhile, finished fifth to drop out of the overall lead. He now trails teammate Barreda by four minutes and 26 seconds going into tomorrow’s final stage.
Red Bull KTM’s Kurt Caselli finished sixth in today’s stage.
“It was a difficult day,” Barreda said. “There was a lot of dust and it was really hard to overtake. In the end I got a good result, but it was difficult to get past Olivier Pain. After refueling, I set a good pace and continued to push until the end. It’s really important to win the race for Honda; let’s see if Paulo can win the championship. At the moment we are well on the way. We are in a great position for tomorrow, and we hope it all goes well. We know that we are at a good level, that the bike is going really well, and we are in with a shout. We’ve got to work hard in the next two months, but I’m sure that we can get a good result in the next Dakar.”