The Rally Dakar 2016 roared into action today with Joan Barreda giving a fine display of speed to take the triumph in the 11 kilometre prologue stage in the north of Buenos Aires.

The Dakar curtain-raiser saw a great turnout from the Argentinean crowd who gave the competitors a warm reception as the 38th edition of the world’s toughest race got underway from Tecnopolis Park in the capital. The greater part of the rest of race will be played out on local soil too.

All riders took part in the starting podium and filed through in reverse order of their bib numbers, which meant that Paulo Gonçalves on the Honda CRF450 RALLY was the last rider in the motorcycle category to climb the ramp.

Today’s timed special stage was a short 11 kilometre prologue to warm up the engines and get the riders used to the sweltering climate in the Buenos Aires region. Team HRC’s Joan Barreda was the quickest on the day and comes away top of the leaderboard. Team-mate Michael Metge, from France, was the second best rider on the team, posting a fifth fastest time just eight seconds off Barreda.

Ricky Brabec got his Rally Dakar debut off to a flying start finishing just 22 seconds behind this Team HRC colleague. Italian Paolo Ceci finished half a minute behind the winner of the prologue, and is in 30th place. Portuguese rider Paulo Gonçalves wasn’t taking any risks in the prologue which was held in Arrecifes, halfway between Buenos Aires and Rosario, where the bivouac is situated that will host the riders tonight.

Kevin Benavides was the top competitor from the Honda South America Rally Team, clocking up an identical time to Metge. Benavides’ fellow countryman Javier Pizzolito and Brazilian Azevedo finished among the first twenty.

2016 January 3. Stage 1: Rosario – Villa Carlos Paz
Special sections: 227km
Total: 632km

Mountain slides
Argentina is a country of mountains, in all forms. Although the first stage is not yet at altitude, the summits are well and truly visible. The wheels of the vehicles follow sinewy and undulating tracks, with the exception of the first, faster, part of the special section. A partial separation of the categories will ensure dangerous overtaking is avoided.

You can see the details of Stage 1 (track and profile), here.

2016 Dakar Rally
Stage Round DAK16 , 1   Dakar

Results Session

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Barreda Joan SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 06'27
2 Faria Ruben POR Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +00'00
3 Rodrigues Helder 7 POR Yamaha Motor Europe Yamaha +00'03
4 Van Beveren Adrien 42 FRA Yamaha Motor Europe Yamaha +00'04
5 Metge Michael 19 FRA Team HRC Honda +00'08
6 Benavides Kevin 47 ARG Honda South America Rally Team Honda +00'08
7 Farres Gerard 23 SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +00'09
8 Quintanilla Pablo 4 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +00'10
9 Svitko Stefan 5 SLO Slovnaft Rally Team KTM +00'11
10 Viladoms Jordi 11 SPA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +00'13
11 Botturi Alessandro 18 ITA Yamaha Motor Europe Yamaha +00'14
12 Arana Txomin 27 SPA GOR Sport Husqvarna +00'15
13 Casteu David 9 FRA Team Casteu KTM +00'16
14 Pizzolito Javier 22 ARG Honda South America Rally Team Honda +00'16
15 Walkner Matthias 14 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +00'17
17 Azevedo Jean 26 BRA Honda South America Rally Team Honda +00'18
22 Brabec Ricky 48 USA Team HRC Honda +00'22
30 Ceci Paolo 32 ITA Team HRC Honda +00'31
32 Metge Adrien 61 FRA Honda South America Rally Team Honda +00'35
50 Goncalves Paulo 2 POR Team HRC Honda +01'00
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.

Lima, Perú - View in Google Maps