|Honda Racing Corporation|
|Stage Report||Friday, Jan 16th 2015|
2015 Dakar Rally Stage 12
Strong Team HRC presence among Stage 12 top finishers
As the Dakar draws towards its conclusion, the final push to secure podium places continues. The penultimate stage sees Paulo Gonçalves defend his overall second. Barreda finishes the stage second, as Laia seals tenth spot both on the day and in the general rankings.
Paulo Gonçalves has refused to throw in the towel, and remains locked in the battle at the head of the Dakar 2015 course. The Portuguese star grabbed third place in the rally’s twelfth day of racing, behind Joan Barreda, and goes into the final showdown tomorrow 17’49” off the leader, but 7’29” clear of the nearest third place pretender.
Rosario, the city where the race started from last year, played host to the last but one Dakar assault and featured the longest liaison section so far encountered, at 726 kilometres, with a modest 298 km timed special. It was a relatively complication-free affair, not too navigationally demanding, but not without its dangers either, with regular incursions from animals popping up at various points on the route.
Joan Barreda, once more, opened the way and was once again untouchable, crossing the finish-line outside Córdoba on the Honda CRF450 RALLY without having been reached. He recorded the second fastest time in the special.
Hélder Rodrigues, had it tougher, heading out from behind and having to eat a lot of dust before the day was done. Hélder chose the prudent option and sat it out with the group instead of going for the high-risk overtaking alternative.
All Team HRC finishers thus find themselves congregating the top-ten for the first time in the Dakar 2015. Laia Sanz scored a notable tenth, and barring eventualities, should hold on to tenth on tomorrow’s final leaderboard.
Argentine local-boy Javier Pizzolito again was the top Honda South America Rally Team finisher in 12th. Brazilian Jean Azevedo registered his best stage to date with a 14th position at the end of the special, and hops two places up the overall rankings.
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STAGE 13 – Saturday, 17th January
Rosario (ARG) – Buenos Aires (ARG)
Liaison: 319 km
Special stage: 174 km
Right to the end!
None of the drivers in the Dakar consider it over until they reach the end of this final day; and for good reason, because every year at least one competitor retires during this final stage. Caution is the name of the game on the fast tracks of the special stage, at the very least for those who haven’t got a position to defend. Because reaching the podium of the 2015 edition at the Technopolis in Buenos Aires is the ultimate goal which they have come to achieve.
Results Stage 12
Provisional Standings after Stage 12
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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.