|Honda Racing Corporation|
|Stage Report||Saturday, Jan 17th 2015|
2015 Dakar Rally Stage 13
Paulo Gonçalves runner-up in the Dakar. An impressive Laia Sanz ninth
The Dakar 2015 ends after circling the loop and ending up back in Buenos Aires a fortnight later, bringing new successes for Team HRC. Paulo Goncalves finishes the world’s toughest rally in second place, while Laia Sanz breaks new ground with an unprecedented ninth place overall finish.
After picking up the world championship runner-up prize last October at the Morocco Rally, Portuguese ace Paulo Goncalves has once again pulled off another achievement for Team HRC. It was a display of grit, tireless effort, consistency and teamwork, which finally brought the rider’s Rally Dakar 2015 adventure to a close as runner-up in the final rankings.
Paulo Goncalves very nearly pulled it off in the world’s greatest rally challenge too. The rider had collected a total of 17 minutes of penalties, and eventually finished just 16’53” behind the eventual race winner Marc Coma.
Another of the big Team HRC success stories from this Dakar has been the astonishing ninth-place finish for a brilliant Laia Sanz. The Spaniard claims the best ever final position in the race’s female category.
Besides showing excellent riding dexterity and a true command of navigation aboard the Honda CRF450 RALLY, the athlete proved herself by finishing several of the special timed stages up among the top ten riders.
Noteworthy too, was the overall performance of Joan Barreda, with four stage victories, and always the man to beat at this Dakar 2015. The Castellon rider was unstoppable at the head of the race until stage eight, when extreme weather conditions at the Uyuni salt flats put an end to his chances of a win in the campaign. Barreda’s final overall ranking was an unjust 17th.
Helder Rodrigues has, likewise, been a cornerstone of the Team. In addition to two stage victories, Hélder finished in 12th place on the final leaderboard.
Honda South America Rally Team close their crusade after a valiant effort that sees Javier Pizzolito and Jean Azevedo take 19thand 22ndrespectively. HSA Rally Team offered crucial support to the riders of Team HRC throughout the event.
The rally came to an end in Baradero, with what had been planned as a 174 kilometre special, reduced by 73 kilometres due to the conditions, before the final connection phase brought the entourage into Buenos Aires, where the final ceremonial podium was held in Tecnopolis.
Results Stage 13
Final standings Dakar Rally 2015
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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.