The Rally Dakar 2014 has run its course. It was a fight to the finish for the TEAM HRC riders as the 36th edition of the world’s toughest race drew to a close. Hélder Rodrigues finished the highest of the Honda riders in fifth place, with Joan Barreda in seventh with five stage victories under his belt. All the Honda CRF450 RALLYs finished the gruelling rally with the same engines, signalling a huge success for the brand and highlighting the machine’s great potential.
It was a troublesome stage for TEAM HRC in Copiapo, where Helder Rodrigues finished fourth and Javier Pizzolito tenth, on a day which Joan Barreda’s chances of taking a podium place in Valparaiso ended.
The penultimate day of the Rally Dakar was played out first over rocky terrain before reaching a 150 km stretch of dunas outside Copiapó. Towering dunes in which one had to pay strict attention to the navigation.
Portuguese rider Hélder Rodrigues rode into Copiapó aboard his Honda CRF450 RALLY in fourth place. ‘Estrelinha’ now lies in fifth overall place just ten minutes away from a final place on the podium. Rodrigues will battle it out every inch of the way before the race winds up in Valparaíso tomorrow.
It was a fourth stage win for Joan Barreda in the 2014 Rally Dakar, and a fifth victory for the Honda CRF450 RALLY, as the team completed the double with Hélder Rodrigues coming in second. Javier Pizzolito ends in 8th place.
The tenth stage of the epic Rally Dakar proved to be a really long but fruitful one for the Honda riders who stole the top two positions on the CRF450 RALLY. Joan Barreda dominated the Antofagasta stage with Hélder Rodrigues finishing the 688 km course behind him.
It was a fourth place finish for Joan Barreda, and sixth for Hélder Rodrigues in this, the sixth stage of the Dakar 2014, which finished today in the city of Salta, Argentina. Both riders will be poised to attack from good positions when the the second part of the rally recommences.
It will be a well-deserved day of rest for the riders at the camp in Salta after six days of some of the most gruelling Dakar to date. It was, once again, a mountain stage full of hard ground, rocks, a lot of dust, some fesh-fesh and a fair share of animals.
Joan Barreda took victory in the third stage of the Rally Dakar 2014, and in doing so widens the deficit over his nearest rival to 13’04 minutes. This is the third straight win for Honda in three outings so far in the rally, and the second victory for the Spanish rider from Castellón, bringing his career track record at the Dakar up to seven.
Sam Sunderland, as victor of the last stage, set off from the front of the rally. The British rider from TEAM HRC held his place firmly until the arrival of Joan Barreda, who quickly took over the leadership of what was a very complicated third stage of the Dakar. Barreda stayed at the head until the race wound up in San Juan.
The second rider from TEAM HRC to finish turned out to be Helder Rodrigues who arrived home in 15th position. In spite of some setbacks, the Portuguese rider pulls back various positions and is now 14th in the overall standings. Sunderland and Paulo Gonçalves, after wait the helicopter for another rider injured, both made navigational errors and finished the special further back as Javier PIzzolito.