Joan Barreda rode his Husqvarna By Speedbrain Husky to victory in today’s eight stage of the Dakar Rally, the Spanish rider taking advantage of the navigational miscues by some of the top men in the rally – including yesterday’s stage winner Kurt Caselli.
Caselli had never led off the start prior to today and he made a wrong turn at the 30 km and then got lost again at the 118 km mark, along with several of the other top men. Caselli ended up 57th in the stage and it drops him to 11th overall – 36 minutes and six seconds behind the overall leader.
Barreda won the last stage – from Salta to Tucuman in Argentina – over Honda’s Johnny Campbell, the Californian having his best day thus far in the rally. The second-place finish vaulted Campbell up to 67th overall as he continues to climb back up the rankings after a miserable stage three that saw mechanical problems push him down to 158th.
The Dakar is now being led overall by Frenchman David Casteau on the factory Yamaha. Casteau minimized his mistakes today to finish sixth and that gives him a nine-minute and 25-second lead over Red Bull KTM’s Cyril Despres in the overall standings.
Casteau’s Yamaha teammate Olivier Pain, the overall leader going into today’s stage, was one of those who had a rough day. Pain was one of those suffering with a navigational snafu and he ended up 79th today. It drops him to fifth overall – 16 minutes and 10 seconds behind Casteau.
Third, fourth and fifth in today’s stage went to men having their best days of the rally: Ivan Jakes, Pedro Bianchi Prata and Vincent Guindani.