Sunday, January 11, 2015

Team Honda's Goncalves Wins Stage 7 of 2015 Dakar Rally, Barreda Still Leads Overall Bike Standings

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Honda Racing Corporation
Paulo Gonçalves snatches victory in Uyuni. Epic stage finish for Barreda
Stage ReportSunday, Jan 11th 2015

  Dakar Rally


2015 Dakar Rally Stage 7


Paulo Gonçalves snatches victory in Uyuni. Epic stage finish for Barreda

Team HRC keeps options wide-open in Bolivia as a lightning Paulo Gonçalves claims 7th stage honours. Epic stage finish for Joan Barreda, who breaks handlebars in a fall and yet fights on to retain leadership.
Portuguese Paulo Gonçalves was victorious as the Dakar 2015 riders rolled into Uyuni, Bolivia with its parc fermé where the bikes will be isolated overnight. The rules governing the end of the first marathon stage specify that, where necessary, machines can only be repaired by the actual competitors themselves.
The mountainous zones that led from Chile to Bolivia amounted to a tough test for bikes and riders alike. The altitude of over 3600 metres for the 321 kilometres were taxing enough, but add in dire meteorological conditions which included rain and snow in Uyuni, and the result was dusty tracks turned into a veritable quagmire.
Gonçalves hit hard from the outset, keeping up an even pace through most of the race, and forcing a more ferocious final stretch, that saw the Team HRC ace finish the special stage with the best time. As yesterday’s winner, Hélder Rodrigues, was first away and open the road until shortly after CP1 where he was overtaken by Walkner. He was reached by team-mate Gonçalves too, and the two rode the rest of the stage side by side.
Joan Barreda got off to a fine start in the timed special, but as the stage played out, he took a tumble, and managed to break the handlebars into two. Nevertheless, with 120 kilometres still to go, the never-say-die Spaniard dug deep and limited the time conceded to arch-rival Coma to a mere six minutes. The Honda ace’s cushion allows him, however, to stay ahead in the general rankings.
It was a relatively laid-back and trouble-free stage for Jeremías Israel and Laia Sanz. Both posted top twenty finishes, preferring to not take any unnecessary risks in such adverse conditions.
Honda South America Rally Team got their second week of competition underway with a nice, steady pace. Daniel Gouet and Javier Pizzolito were once again the best of the bunch; scoring 23rd and 25th place finishes respectively. Jean Azevedo claimed 31st.
Follow our riders in the race here !!


STAGE 8 – Monday, 12th January
Uyuni (BOL) – Iquique (CHI)

 24 km
Special stage: 784 km

The Salar: unconditionally

The Dakar bows to the laws of nature. Hence, the weather will decide which route will be taken to leave Bolivia. If it’s dry, the start could take place in the Salar de Uyuni, for a 100km route across a smooth road of white salt: full throttle and foot to the floor! The route then slows down abruptly, with the longest part of the special stage taking place on more technical mountain terrain. The day will end with more than 40km of dunes, concluding with the vertiginous descent to Iquique.

Paulo Goncalves

1st 3:56'00

This stage was great, I started in the front, and that’s always difficult as it’s very easy to lose time as you open the road. I pushed very hard, to stay at the front of the race. I’m very happy, of course, with my result today. I never stopped pushing until the finish. This stage was very hard, mud, stones, and many bumps, unbelievably hard, but I won it and that’s great.
Paulo Goncalves

Helder Rodrigues

8th + 4'05

Today was a really gruelling stage, I started in third position and caught the guys in front of me, then I stayed with them as our speed was good. In the middle of the stage it started raining and became dangerous, the bike was sliding and it was really dangerous at high speed. Fifty kilometres before the end of the stage I got a headache but I managed to finish. Now I need to recover before the second stage tomorrow, we have a lot of work to do on the bikes as we picked up a lot of mud.
Helder Rodrigues

Joan Barreda

12th + 6'13

It was a tough stage where you had to be careful, but when I came to a muddy section around kilometre 200, while I was breaking before a danger marked on the road book, the bike slid and I crashed. The handlebars were damaged, so I had to do the last 120 kilometres just with the right hand. I was pushing hard to lose a minimum of time, but that was not easy. We are now at the marathon stage, we are a great team and we will solve the problem with my teammates.
Joan Barreda

Jeremias Israel

17th + 10'02

It was a really special stage today with the rain, everything changed a little bit, I took it really easy as there were a lot of dangers. The landscape was nice today, the dirt was good except in some muddy sections, but my personal result at this point is not important. For me it’s very important to support and help Paolo and Joan and to back them up, and hopefully make it to the finish in the number one spot.
Jeremias Israel

Laia Sanz

21th + 13'24

It was a good day, a fast stage but you had to be careful in the mud, as we ran into the rain on the way. I think I had a good rhythm, and the good point is that the bike and myself are in good shape so that’s perfect for the second part of the marathon stage tomorrow. I feel better now after the rest-day, it was important today to finish the stage without problems. The spectators was amazing, there were people everywhere to support us and that’s great.
Laia Sanz

Results Stage 7

1GONCALVES PauloPORTeam HRC3:56'00
2COMA MarcSPAKTM Red Bull Rally Factory+ 00'14
3WALKNER MathiasAUTKTM Red Bull Rally Factory+ 00'30
5PRICE TobyAUSKTM AUS Rally Factory+ 1'49
6PEDRERO JoanSPAPont Grup Yamaha JVO+ 3'20
7DUCLOS AlainFRASherco Rally Factory+ 3'48
8RODRIGUES HelderPORTeam HRC+ 4'05
9SVITKO StefanSLOSlovnaft Team+ 5'09
10VAN NIEKERK RiaanRSABrother Link KTM Rally+ 6'06
11VILADOMS JordiSPAKTM Red Bull Rally Factory+ 6'10
12BARREDA JoanSPATeam HRC+ 6'13
13BOTTURI AlessandroITAYamaha Racing+ 6'13
14FARIA RubenPORKTM Red Bull Rally Factory+ 6'41
15CASTEU DavidFRATeam Casteu+ 8'13
16JAKES IvanSLOMicrostep Industry Team+ 9'24
17ISRAEL JeremiasCHITeam HRC+ 10'02
18VOGELS HansNDLTeam Hans Vogels+ 11'20
19CABRERA PatricioCHIKawasaki Chile Team+ 12'42
20DE SOULTRAIT XavierFRAXavier de Soultrait+ 13'09
21SANZ LaiaSPATeam HRC+ 13'24
23GOUET DanielCHIHonda South America Rally Team+ 15'13
25PIZZOLITO JavierARGHonda South America Rally Team+ 16'57
31AZEVEDO JeanBRAHonda South America Rally Team+ 21'47

Rider Standings

Provisional Standings after Stage 7

1BARREDA JoanSPATeam HRC25:40'48
2COMA MarcSPAKTM Red Bull Rally Factory+ 6'28
3GONCALVES PauloPORTeam HRC+ 10'59
5PRICE TobyAUSKTM AUS Rally Factory+ 29'20
6RODRIGUES HelderPORTeam HRC+ 33'56
7FARIA RubenPORKTM Red Bull Rally Factory+ 40'23
8SVITKO StefanSLOSlovnaft Team+ 40'55
9DUCLOS AlainFRASherco Rally Factory+ 50'31
10CASTEU DavidFRATeam Casteu+ 1:16'52
14SANZ LaiaSPATeam HRC+ 1:30'20
16ISRAEL JeremiasCHITeam HRC+ 1:44'37
18GOUET DanielCHIHonda South America Rally Team+ 2:02'48
28AZEVEDO JeanBRAHonda South America Rally Team+ 3:27'10
39PIZZOLITO JavierARGHonda South America Rally Team+ 5:14'35


These videos are available on YouTube although may be unlisted.
Team HRC Dakar Rally Rest DayTeam HRC Dakar Rally Rest DayTeam HRC Dakar Rally Rest Day - Behind the ScenesTeam HRC Dakar Rally Rest Day - 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.
Dakar Rally

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