Monday, January 12, 2015

Team Honda's Laia Sanz Makes History With 5th-Place Finish in Stage 8 of Dakar Rally, Barreda Loses Overall Bike Lead

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Honda Racing Corporation
Historic Dakar Rally fifth place finish for Laia Sanz
Stage ReportMonday, Jan 12th 2015

  Dakar Rally


2015 Dakar Rally Stage 8


Historic Dakar Rally fifth place finish for Laia Sanz

Laia Sanz continues to break Dakar records claiming highest female finish in any stage of the rally’s history, posting fifth place. Paulo Gonçalves finishes the special after overcoming various setbacks on the Uyuni salt lake, which sees the Portuguese rider move up to second place overall.
After enduring the rain, mud, sub-zero temperatures, corrosive waters, altitudes of over 3,600 metres and the dunes of Iquique, it was a spectacular downhill run for the Honda CRF450 RALLY and a fifth place finish at the checkered flag in Iquique for Laia Sanz.
Top finisher in Team HRC in the Dakar’s eighth outing; she rewrites the rally’s history books in the process. The Spanish ace fought her way up into the leading group, and with highly-consistent handling, speed and effective navigation, hung in there until the race end. It was an enormous result for Laia who leaps up the overall leaderboard from 14th to 9th.
The eighth stage and first marathon stage, initially marked out on the routebook at 784 kilometres, was shortened by around 100 kilometres as the race authorities deemed one section to be of excessive danger to participants. It had been a unique departure earlier in the day as riders lined up elbow to elbow across the start-line looking out onto the imposing Uyuni salt lake awaiting them.
Paulo Goncalves, after having endured several set backs in the timed special, finished in 15th place, which sees the Portuguese rider jump to second in the overall rankings 9’11” off leader Marc Coma.

The harsh conditions which the riders have been subjected to over the two legs of Sunday’s and today’s marathon stage shook up the scorecard and wreaked havoc among virtually all the teams, of which Team HRC was no exception.
Helder Rodrigues saw valuable time slip away near the end of the special as he struggled to repair an electrical complication on the bike.
Joan Barreda, who finished yesterday’s stage with his handlebar broken in two, made an overnight swap with those of Demian Guiral from the Honda South America Rally Team. In a monumentally heroic effort the rider from Castillon had ridden over 120 km on the Honda CRF450 RALLY with just one hand, dropping barely six minutes to rivals. But likewise, an electrical fault put paid to any chances of a significant result today. Team-mate Jeremias Israel was on hand to help him through to the finish-line.


STAGE 9 – Monday, 13th January
Iquique (CHI) – Calama (CHI)

88 km
Special stage:450 km

Watch out for your bodywork

For this farewell session to the Atacama Desert, all the competitors will come together once again for the special stage, with fifty-odd kilometres over sand and dunes. They should revel in these sensations because the next stage will put both drivers and their teams into much less comfortable positions. The routes have suffered the rages of time and will be equally harsh on them: frequent potholes and bumps combined with the narrowness of the tracks will expose their vehicles’ bodywork to scratches.

Laia Sanz

5th + 2'36

For me, it’s been a really great day, but this morning I would have preferred not to set off. The conditions were not for racing and my hands practically froze. The altitude, the cold and the lack of visibility…. The bikes took such a beating from the water and the salt. It was really dangerous, but we decided that we had to go for it, and we ended up starting the special.
I got up among the front-runners from the start. I managed to warm up a bit in the refuelling and I was able to set a good pace. It was a pity that Price and Quintanilla were so fast and were able to get past me, but it wasn’t worth risking everything just to improve on the position.
It’s a great result, and I’m really happy to have achieved it especially on such a hard day as this one. This morning it was hellish.
Laia Sanz

Paulo Goncalves

15th + 12'17

This first marathon has been really gruelling. Yesterday was a really technical stage, and with all the rain became very dangerous. Today was a different story; we were crossing a real sea. The riders didn’t want to race for safety reasons, but the rally got underway and ended up causing a massive amount of problems for many riders. Some of them had to be rescued with hypothermia. It was too dangerous. We shouldn’t have run today. Tomorrow we will do whatever it takes to get back in the rally.
Paulo Goncalves

Joan Barreda

74th + 3:05'43

In the end it’s been collateral damage, and a disgrace what they’ve made us do today; to race in a sea. It was out of place. All the work on all the projects that we’ve done has gone down the pan. To make a decision like that just wasn’t right. Today you couldn’t see a thing; visibility was zero. We were floating around on top of the water. They ordered us to start and this is what happened; my Dakar is over.
Joan Barreda

Jeremias Israel

75th + 3:05'48

We left from the Uyuni salt lake with a 100 kms through a lot of water and the bike was performing well which allowed me to lead the race until kilometre 135 where I fell and twisted the back brake and hit my elbow. I tried to finish the rally without taking any risks and slowed the pace down a touch. We have finished not where we had planned to be, but are in a position with some good perspectives for what remains of the Dakar.
This race should never have been disputed. It was a compromise, but with those conditions, the start was too dangerous. Yesterday, we just made it, and the riders had to try and get through any way they could. It’s a pity that a stage like this one has destroyed a race that had been so interesting.
Jeremias Israel

Helder Rodrigues

76th + 3:05'50

It’s been a really difficult day for the team. We had problems and we’ve lost it all: my place in the overall standings, Joan’s leadership…. It’s been really hard. The salt has been disastrous for the bikes and has broken up everything. I want to carry on, win some stages and help the team to finish with the best result possible.
Helder Rodrigues

Javier Pizzolito

13th + 8'25

We left from the Uyuni salt lake with a 100 kms through a lot of water and the bike was performing well which allowed me to lead the race until kilometre 135 where I fell and twisted the back brake and hit my elbow. I tried to finish the rally without taking any risks and slowed the pace down a touch. We have finished not where we had planned to be, but are in a position with some good perspectives for what remains of the Dakar.
Javier Pizzolito

Results Stage 8

2PEDRERO JoanSPAPont Grup Yamaha JVO+ 00'11
3SVITKO StefanSLOSlovnaft Team+ 00'12
4PRICE TobyAUSKTM AUS Rally Factory+ 00'41
5SANZ LaiaSPATeam HRC+ 2'36
6DE SOULTRAIT XavierFRAXavier de Soultrait+ 6'36
7DUCLOS AlainFRASherco Rally Factory+ 6'42
8VOGELS HansNDLTeam Hans Vogels+ 7'34
9COMA MarcSPAKTM Red Bull Rally Factory+ 7'37
10FARIA RubenPORKTM Red Bull Rally Factory+ 7'44
11CASTEU DavidFRATeam Casteu+ 8'01
12PAIN OlivierFRAYamaha Racing+ 8'15
13PIZZOLITO JavierARGHonda South America Rally Team+ 8'25
14VERHOEVEN FransNDLYamaha Racing+ 10'22
15GONCALVES PauloPORTeam HRC+ 12'17
16KLYMCIW OndrejCZEBarth Racing+ 12'33
17PLANET FabienFRASherco Rally Factory+ 12'38
18ARANA TxominSPAGOR Sport+ 15'05
19PRZYGONSKI KubaPOLKTM Red Bull Rally Factory+ 16'13
20CECI PaoloITAChavo Salvatierra Racing+ 17'25
51AZEVEDO JeanBRAHonda South America Rally Team+ 1:34'36
74BARREDA JoanSPATeam HRC+ 3:05'43
75ISRAEL JeremiasCHITeam HRC+ 3:05'48
76RODRIGUES HelderPORTeam HRC+ 3:05'50

Rider Standings

Provisional Standings after Stage 8

1COMA MarcSPAKTM Red Bull Rally Factory28:51'12
4PRICE TobyAUSKTM AUS Rally Factory+ 15'56
5SVITKO StefanSLOSlovnaft Team+ 26'30
6FARIA RubenPORKTM Red Bull Rally Factory+ 34'34
7DUCLOS AlainFRASherco Rally Factory+ 58'08
8CASTEU DavidFRATeam Casteu+ 1:10'48
9SANZ LaiaSPATeam HRC+ 1:18'51
10JAKES IvanSLOMicrostep Industry Team+ 1:47'47
16BARREDA JoanSPATeam HRC+ 2:51'38
19RODRIGUES HelderPORTeam HRC+ 3:25'41
27ISRAEL JeremiasCHITeam HRC+ 4:36'20
29AZEVEDO JeanBRAHonda South America Rally Team+ 4:47'51
30PIZZOLITO JavierARGHonda South America Rally Team+ 5:08'55


These videos are available on YouTube although may be unlisted.
Team HRC Dakar Rally 2015 - Stage 7Team HRC Dakar Rally 2015 - Stage 7Team HRC Dakar Rally 2015 - Stage 7 Behind 
the ScenesTeam HRC Dakar Rally 2015 - Stage 7 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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