The Monster Energy Honda Team is going all out in the battle for the Rally Dakar 2017 as the squad posts their best podium finish to date. Today, Ricky Brabec picked up top honours for the first time in the rally, with team-mate Paulo Gonçalves taking second spot.
After an opening week where the Monster Energy Honda Team put on a fine display of quality, the team once again got straight down to business in the first stage of week two, climbing the overall leaderboard in the process.
Although yesterday’s re-routing of the timed sections did little to favour the Monster Energy Honda Team, today’s modified stage nevertheless saw the team in an especially gung-ho spirit, going flat out to achieve their goal. The result was all four of the team placing amid the top six finishers. The best of the day was Ricky Brabec, clinching his first Dakar stage win in just his second year of participation. A noteworthy achievement for the American who was able to really let rip on the Honda CRF45O RALLY, chalking up the day’s fastest time and making up positions in the general rankings. Portuguese team-mate Paulo Gonçalves was on fire today too and made short work of catching up with the rider ahead, before going on to clinch the runner-up spot.
Joan Barreda, like his team-mates, came out guns blazing in a bid to win the stage. However, a minor error saw him take a parallel route that required more caution and more time. The fourth place on the stage does, however, allow the Spaniard to move two positions up the overall rankings. Michael Metge was again showing form with sixth place on the day.
Recent heavy rain continues to wreak havoc with the Bolivian road system and subsequently the scheduled Dakar route. Not only did this force the complete cancellation of the sixth stage but it also saw the seventh stage suffer heavy modifications. The stage was, in the end, raced over half of the originally planned course with a total of 160 kilometres against the clock, rather than the 322 of the programme. Part of today’s stage, between La Paz and Uyuni, featured dune-filled routes that had been scheduled for stage six together with other slippery, mud-soaked stretches.
The rally leaves Bolivia tomorrow and re-enters Argentina. The stage concludes in Salta, home of injured Monster Energy Honda Team rider Kevin Benavides, who will be reunited with his team-mates at the end of the two-day marathon stage. Riders, of course, are not permitted to receive any kind of outside mechanical assistance, although they can work on the bikes themselves. Riders are camped in Uyuni and the assistance in Tupiza.
Tuesday, January 10
STAGE 8: UYUNI – SALTA
SELECTIVE SECTOR: 492 km TOTAL: 892 km
SMOOTH AND COLOURFUL DESCENT
The Dakar will leave the Altiplano for an off-road special stage in its first half, where the crossing of fords will follow the dune sectors. The race has often set up camp in Salta, but never has a special stage been contested in the region where the battle for the general classification will be played out in new canyons to be admired with a marriage of spectacular colours.
Results Stage 7
|1||Brabec Ricky||9||USA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||2:02'05|
|2||Goncalves Paulo||17||POR||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+1'44|
|3||Sunderland Sam||16||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+4'43|
|4||Barreda Joan||11||SPA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+6'51|
|5||de Soultrait Xavier||23||FRA||Viltais Racing Team HFP||Yamaha||+7'10|
|6||Metge Michael||15||FRA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+8'21|
|7||Smith Todd||76||AUS||Duust Rally Team||KTM||+9'39|
|8||Walkner Matthias||14||AUT||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+9'59|
|9||Quintanilla Pablo||3||CHI||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+10'28|
|10||Nosiglia Walter||66||BOL||MEC Team Nosiglia||Honda||+10'39|
|11||Van Beveren Adrien||6||FRA||Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team||Yamaha||+10'52|
|12||Farres Gerard||8||SPA||Himoinsa Team||KTM||+12'22|
|13||Renet Pierre-Alexandre||31||FRA||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+12'35|
|14||Metge Adrien||26||FRA||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||+13'05|
|15||Tomiczek Adam||POL||Orlen Team||KTM||+13'07|
Proivisional Standings after Stage 7
|1||Sunderland Sam||16||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||17:28'53|
|2||Quintanilla Pablo||3||CHI||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+17'45|
|3||Van Beveren Adrien||6||FRA||Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team||Yamaha||+22'16|
|4||Farres Gerard||8||SPA||Himoinsa Team||KTM||+28'36|
|5||Walkner Matthias||14||AUT||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+34'17|
|6||de Soultrait Xavier||23||FRA||Viltais Racing Team HFP||Yamaha||+38'33|
|7||Renet Pierre-Alexandre||31||FRA||Husqvarna Factory Rally Team||Husqvarna||+1:02'37|
|8||Goncalves Paulo||17||POR||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+1:05'22|
|9||Barreda Joan||11||SPA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+1:14'47|
|10||Duplessis Martín||34||ARG||Asistencia Med||KTM||+1:15'36|
|11||Rodrigues Joaquim||27||POR||Hero Motorsports Team Rally||Hero||+1:23'18|
|12||Caimi Franco||67||ARG||Honda South America Rally Team||Honda||+1:38'43|
|13||Rodrigues Helder||5||POR||Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team||Yamaha||+1:43'09|
|14||Brabec Ricky||9||USA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+1:44'44|
|15||Smith Todd||76||AUS||Duust Rally Team||KTM||+1:46'55|
|17||Metge Michael||15||FRA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+1:53'03|
The greatest and toughest rally in the world, the Dakar’s history has been written in the heart of some of the world’s most stunning deserts and belongs to the world of the greatest sporting challenges of our time. Both a motor race and an orienteering challenge, the Dakar Rally pits… read more.
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