Two timed stages over some 170 kilometres put the Team HRC riders through their paces on a high-speed dust and rock-filled track near Teruel. It was Joan Barreda who stood out on the day, finishing both specials with the quickest time of the day. The Spaniard clocked up a commanding four minute advantage in the first section and then stretched his advantage by another three minutes in the second special. The rider on the Honda CRF450 Enduro thus sports a total lead of 6’50” over second place Gerard Farrés in the overall standings. Tomorrow there will be only one lap for the last stage of the Baja Aragon.
Frenchman Michael Metge astride the Honda CRF450 RALLY was also flying today. His second place finish in the second special was enough for him to climb the general rankings.
Honda come away more than content, dominating the whole event with four out of the top five machines belonging to the marque. The third and fifth positions were for Oriol Mena and David Adrià supported by Honda Spain.
STAGE: 1st / 1st OVERALL: 1st
Obviously, I’m very happy. In the first part I went out looking for pace with some good feelings. After, I attacked and I finished well. The second special was more complicated and dangerous. I had a few problems with Stella, the new navigational system; it’s positive but it has to be developed a bit more. The aim of tomorrow is to not make any mistakes in a really gruelling special. It will be dangerous, but if I can find a good rhythm it will be a good race. If not, we will just have to try and stay in control of the race.
STAGE: 4th / 2nd OVERALL: 4th
I thought things would be much worse riding the rally bike on the curves that were very rutted, with fesh-fesh, from all the cars and trucks that had passed. It’s my first Baja and I like these great tracks very much. Tomorrow I will try and enjoy myself but it’s not going to be easy. We will do everything that we can.
I’m really pleased because we are doing a great job. Barreda and Metge are doing really well. It is a very high speed race and everyone has to keep up the pace, but so far everything is going very smoothly. Joan is managing the race very well and Mika is getting some great results out of the RALLY bike. There are a lot of people and a lot of passion here. Let’s see what happens tomorrow. It will be very important to stay focused and keep up the fast pace. Joan knows this very well and he will try and keep the competitors in check without losing concentration.
Atacama Rally 2016
Round R4, August 18, 2016 - August 27, 2016
OiLibya Rally du Maroc
September 29, 2016 - October 8, 2016