A highly productive day for Team HRC riders at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, with Joan Barreda flying to victory in the third special just ahead of team-mate and reigning world champion Paulo Gonçalves.
It was a terrific win for Joan Barreda in the third stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and a worthy second place for Paulo Gonçalves, who moves in on the front-runners. The race goes into the final days with everything left hanging in the air.
It was a very positive day for the riders of Team HRC in the third stage that took place between Moreeb and the luxurious bivouac in Qasr Al Sarab. After the 256.4 km special over the dunes of the great erg of Moreeb in the country’s south, Joan Barreda was able to floor his Honda CRF450 RALLY to reach Paulo Gonçalves and accompany him to the finish-line. In doing so, the Portugese rider closes in on the two race leaders ahead in the overall standings. Paulo now sits just 52 seconds behind the leader Sam Sunderland.
Hélder Rodrigues finished the stage comfortably without taking any excessive risks in what had proved to be a tricky stage, where high speed corresponded to high danger. Hélder was fifth some 8’51” behind Barreda.
This marks Team HRC’s first double with the new line-up so far in the 2014 season. In the last edition of the Rally Dakar, Joan Barreda and Hélder Rodrigues, again on the Honda CRF450 RALLY, had finished first and second in the tenth stage. (Iquique-Antofagasta).
Tomorrow’s stage will have a new twist: the riders will set off in groups of fifteen in a motocross-style start.
The Eurosport International TV channel will be showing the highlights of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Broadcast time is scheduled for Tuesday at 23:30 hrs.
Stage 4 – Madinat Zayed-Qasr Al Sarab
Liaison: 127.81km Special Stage: 239.68km Liaison: 11.20km
|1||Barreda Joan||SPA||Team HRC||Honda||03:20'02|
|2||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+01'05|
|3||Sunderland Sam||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+03'04|
|4||Coma Marc||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+04'59|
|5||Rodrigues Helder||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+08'51|
|6||Viladoms Jordi||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+10'39|
|7||Al Balooshi Mohammed||UAE||KTM UAC||KTM||+20'33|
|8||Stanovnik Miran||SLO||Team Stavnovik||KTM||+22'24|
|9||Karcher Kristian||GER||Team Karcher||Yamaha||+27'59|
|10||Nikishkin Aleksei||RUS||WI Rally||Honda||+28'33|
Provisional Standings after Stage 3
|1||Sunderland Sam||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||10:33'00|
|2||Coma Marc||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+00'30|
|3||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+00'52|
|4||Barreda Joan||SPA||Team HRC||Honda||+07'45|
|5||Viladoms Jordi||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+31'19|
|6||Stanovnik Miran||SLO||Team Stavnovik||KTM||+01:20'41|
|7||Al Balooshi Mohammed||UAE||KTM UAC||KTM||+01:26'39|
|8||Nikishkin Aleksei||RUS||WI Rally||Honda||+01:48'50|
|9||Rodrigues Helder||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+01:56'02|
|10||Karcher Kristian||GER||Team Karcher||Yamaha||+01:58'30|
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.
Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates - View in Google Maps