Joan Barreda wins yet another stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, commanding from the start after a spectacular motocross-style start. Paulo Gonçalves, is second in the overall standings keeping open his chances of winning the rally.
Joan ‘Bang Bang’ Barreda rode a superb fourth stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, winning the special and remaining alone up front from the start to the finishing-line in Qasr Al Sarab. It was a different start from the normal ones, with riders setting off in groups of fifteen at the same time. Barreda got off to a flying start on the Honda CRF450 RALLY, and upped the pace after the refuelling, crossing the line with a 1 minute 20 second advantage over Marc Coma. The rider who hails from Spain’s Castellón stands third on the overall leader-board.
Paulo Gonçalves kept up a cracking rhythm throughout most of the day, taking care not to lose Barreda and Coma, although a slight error on one of the dunes saw him lose a little time. In spite of this, the reigning world champion finished in third and climbs a place in the overall standings, just one and a half minutes behind Marc Coma as the race heads into its final stage.
Team HRC’s third rider HélderRodrigues, put in a comfortable ride to finish fifth. The Portuguese rider who has put Monday’s mishap behind him moves up to seventh place in the overall standings.
Tomorrow sees the fifth and final stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, with a 244.77 km special. Team HRC will be fighting to the final metre to obtain victory in the test and notch up a respectable final overall team result.
Eurosport International TV will broadcast the highlights of the second stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge today, Wednesday, at 23:05 hrs.
Stage 5 – Qasr Al Sarab-Yas Marina Circuit
Liaison: 7.8km Special Stage: 244.77km Liaison: 107.30km
|1||Barreda Joan||SPA||Team HRC||Honda||03:37'20|
|2||Coma Marc||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+01'20|
|3||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+02'29|
|4||Viladoms Jordi||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+03'22|
|5||Rodrigues Helder||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+04'31|
|6||Al Balooshi Mohammed||UAE||KTM UAC||KTM||+06'12|
|7||Stanovnik Miran||SLO||Team Stavnovik||KTM||+09'33|
|8||Abu Issa Mohammed||QAT||Abu Issa||Yamaha||+21'47|
|9||Lloyd Oliver||GBR||Team Speedbrain||Speedbrain||+29'05|
|10||Sonik Rafal||POL||Poland National||Honda||+29'20|
Provisional Standings after Stage 4
|1||Coma Marc||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||14:12'10|
|2||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+01'31|
|3||Barreda Joan||SPA||Team HRC||Honda||+05'49|
|4||Viladoms Jordi||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+32'51|
|5||Stanovnik Miran||SLO||Team Stavnovik||KTM||+1:28'24|
|6||Al Balooshi Mohammed||UAE||KTM UAC||KTM||+1:31'01|
|7||Rodrigues Helder||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+1:58'43|
|8||Lloyd Oliver||GBR||Team Speedbrain||Speedbrain||+2:38'17|
|9||Chunchungguppe Santosh||IND||Team CS||KTM||+02:45'37|
|10||Piatek Jakub||POL||Team Hanesco||KTM||+2:46'38|
The erstwhile UAE Desert Challenge, one of the world’s most prestigious international cross country rallies, entered a new era in March 2009 when it was renamed the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge with the five-day motor sport spectacular being staged in its entirety across Abu Dhabi emirate under the auspices of the Abu… read more.
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