Just a short special stage of less than two kilometres in Zuo Qi separates Joan Barreda from overall victory in the China Grand Rally. The Spaniard has scored a full house of stage wins and sports a huge advantage over the nearest rival. Michael Metge finished second on the day.
The eighth and penultimate stage of the China Grand Rally bore witness to another Joan Barreda and Honda CRF450 RALLY master class. The Team HRC ace scorched over the 70 kilometre route to Ling Wu, leading from pole to flag. It was a short run, but far from easy. The course required some tough navigation in the dunes in the first part of the day. The latter stretches were crowded with spectators and vehicles on the track, making a complicated ride for the competitors.
Joan’s win over teammate Michael Metge leaves the Spaniard poised to snatch overall victory in his maiden China Grand Rally adventure. A triumph tomorrow will wrap up a rally which has seen Barreda clinch victory in every stage. It will also mark his third rally win on the spin, after taking top honours in the Baja Aragón and the Vegas to Reno Race. Zuo Qi will host the 1.5 kilometre special tomorrow.
Frenchman Metge continues to lie in third spot after having whittled four more minutes off the second place rider.