Laia Sanz continues to break Dakar records claiming highest female finish in any stage of the rally’s history, posting fifth place. Paulo Gonçalves finishes the special after overcoming various setbacks on the Uyuni salt lake, which sees the Portuguese rider move up to second place overall.

After enduring the rain, mud, sub-zero temperatures, corrosive waters, altitudes of over 3,600 metres and the dunes of Iquique, it was a spectacular downhill run for the Honda CRF450 RALLY and a fifth place finish at the checkered flag in Iquique for Laia Sanz. Top finisher in Team HRC in the Dakar’s eighth outing; she rewrites the rally’s history books in the process. The Spanish ace fought her way up into the leading group, and with highly-consistent handling, speed and effective navigation, hung in there until the race end. It was an enormous result for Laia who leaps up the overall leaderboard from 14th to 9th.

The eighth stage and first marathon stage, initially marked out on the routebook at 784 kilometres, was shortened by around 100 kilometres as the race authorities deemed one section to be of excessive danger to participants. It had been a unique departure earlier in the day as riders lined up elbow to elbow across the start-line looking out onto the imposing Uyuni salt lake awaiting them.

Paulo Goncalves, after having endured several set backs in the timed special, finished in 15th place, which sees the Portuguese rider jump to second in the overall rankings 9’11” off leader Marc Coma.
The harsh conditions which the riders have been subjected to over the two legs of Sunday’s and today’s marathon stage shook up the scorecard and wreaked havoc among virtually all the teams, of which Team HRC was no exception.

Helder Rodrigues saw valuable time slip away near the end of the special as he struggled to repair an electrical complication on the bike.

Joan Barreda, who finished yesterday’s stage with his handlebar broken in two, made an overnight swap with those of Demian Guiral from the Honda South America Rally Team. In a monumentally heroic effort the rider from Castillon had ridden over 120 km on the Honda CRF450 RALLY with just one hand, dropping barely six minutes to rivals. But likewise, an electrical fault put paid to any chances of a significant result today. Team-mate Jeremias Israel was on hand to help him through to the finish-line.


TOMORROW’S STAGE
STAGE 9 – Monday, 13th January
Iquique (CHI) – Calama (CHI)

Liaison:
88 km
Special stage: 450 km


Watch out for your bodywork
For this farewell session to the Atacama Desert, all the competitors will come together once again for the special stage, with fifty-odd kilometres over sand and dunes. They should revel in these sensations because the next stage will put both drivers and their teams into much less comfortable positions. The routes have suffered the rages of time and will be equally harsh on them: frequent potholes and bumps combined with the narrowness of the tracks will expose their vehicles’ bodywork to scratches.

DAK15_Stage9

DAK15_Stage9_profil_ENG

Laia Sanz

5th + 2'36

For me, it’s been a really great day, but this morning I would have preferred not to set off. The conditions were not for racing and my hands practically froze. The altitude, the cold and the lack of visibility…. The bikes took such a beating from the water and the salt. It was really dangerous, but we decided that we had to go for it, and we ended up starting the special.
I got up among the front-runners from the start. I managed to warm up a bit in the refuelling and I was able to set a good pace. It was a pity that Price and Quintanilla were so fast and were able to get past me, but it wasn’t worth risking everything just to improve on the position.
It’s a great result, and I’m really happy to have achieved it especially on such a hard day as this one. This morning it was hellish.

Paulo Goncalves

15th + 12'17

This first marathon has been really gruelling. Yesterday was a really technical stage, and with all the rain became very dangerous. Today was a different story; we were crossing a real sea. The riders didn’t want to race for safety reasons, but the rally got underway and ended up causing a massive amount of problems for many riders. Some of them had to be rescued with hypothermia. It was too dangerous. We shouldn’t have run today. Tomorrow we will do whatever it takes to get back in the rally.

Joan Barreda

74th + 3:05'43

In the end it’s been collateral damage, and a disgrace what they’ve made us do today; to race in a sea. It was out of place. All the work on all the projects that we’ve done has gone down the pan. To make a decision like that just wasn’t right. Today you couldn’t see a thing; visibility was zero. We were floating around on top of the water. They ordered us to start and this is what happened; my Dakar is over.

Jeremias Israel

75th + 3:05'48

This race should never have been disputed. It was a compromise, but with those conditions, the start was too dangerous. Yesterday, we just made it, and the riders had to try and get through any way they could. It’s a pity that a stage like this one has destroyed a race that had been so interesting.

Helder Rodrigues

76th + 3:05'50

It’s been a really difficult day for the team. We had problems and we’ve lost it all: my place in the overall standings, Joan’s leadership…. It’s been really hard. The salt has been disastrous for the bikes and has broken up everything. I want to carry on, win some stages and help the team to finish with the best result possible.

Javier Pizzolito

13th + 8'25

We left from the Uyuni salt lake with a 100 kms through a lot of water and the bike was performing well which allowed me to lead the race until kilometre 135 where I fell and twisted the back brake and hit my elbow. I tried to finish the rally without taking any risks and slowed the pace down a touch. We have finished not where we had planned to be, but are in a position with some good perspectives for what remains of the Dakar.

2015 Dakar Rally
Stage 8   Dakar

Results Stage 8

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Quintanilla Pablo CHI KTM KTM 2:56'19
2 Pedrero Joan SPA Pont Grup Yamaha JVO Yamaha + 00'11
3 Svitko Stefan SLO Slovnaft Team KTM + 00'12
4 Price Toby 3 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM + 00'41
5 Sanz Laia SPA Team HRC Honda + 2'36
6 de Soultrait Xavier FRA Xavier de Soultrait Yamaha + 6'36
7 Duclos Alain 20 FRA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco + 6'42
8 Vogels Hans NDL Team Hans Vogels KTM + 7'34
9 Coma Marc SPA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM + 7'37
10 Faria Ruben POR Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna + 7'44
11 Casteu David 9 FRA Team Casteu KTM + 8'01
12 Pain Olivier 16 FRA Team Top KTM + 8'15
13 Pizzolito Javier ARG Honda South America Rally Team Honda + 8'25
14 Verhoeven Frans NDL Yamaha Racing Yamaha + 10'22
15 Goncalves Paulo POR Team HRC Honda + 12'17
17 Planet Fabien FRA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco + 12'38
18 Arana Txomin SPA GOR Sport Yamaha + 15'05
19 Przygonski Kuba POL Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM + 16'13
20 Ceci Paolo ITA Chavo Salvatierra Racing KTM + 17'25
51 Azevedo Jean BRA Honda South America Rally Team Honda + 1:34'36
74 Barreda Joan SPA Team HRC Honda + 3:05'43
75 Israel Jeremias CHI Team HRC Honda + 3:05'48
76 Rodrigues Helder POR Team HRC Honda + 3:05'50
2015 Dakar Rally
Stage 8   Dakar

Provisional Standings after Stage 8

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Coma Marc SPA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 28:51'12
2 Goncalves Paulo POR Team HRC Honda + 9'11
3 Quintanilla Pablo CHI KTM KTM + 11'11
4 Price Toby 3 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM + 15'56
5 Svitko Stefan SLO Slovnaft Team KTM + 26'30
6 Faria Ruben POR Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna + 34'34
7 Duclos Alain 20 FRA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco + 58'08
8 Casteu David 9 FRA Team Casteu KTM + 1:10'48
9 Sanz Laia SPA Team HRC Honda + 1:18'51
10 Jakes Ivan SLO Microstep Industry Team KTM + 1:47'47
16 Barreda Joan SPA Team HRC Honda + 2:51'38
19 Rodrigues Helder POR Team HRC Honda + 3:25'41
27 Israel Jeremias CHI Team HRC Honda + 4:36'20
29 Azevedo Jean BRA Honda South America Rally Team Honda + 4:47'51
30 Pizzolito Javier ARG Honda South America Rally Team Honda + 5:08'55

Team HRC Dakar Rally 2015 - Stage 8


Team HRC Dakar Rally 2015 Stage 8 - Behind the Scenes

Location Information

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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