2014 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge Stage 3 Results
The man who won Sunday’s Super Special that designated starting positions for the 2014 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Joan Barreda, took his first stage victory Tuesday.
The Spaniard, who lost five minutes at a refueling stop during stage 2 Monday, dominated stage 3, which took riders 372 kilometers from Moreeb and the luxurious bivouac in Qasr Al Sarab.
He caught up with teammate Paulo Goncalves near the end, and finished stage 3 just over a minute ahead of the Portuguese rider. This was the first time the Team HRC team finished 1-2 in the 2014 FIM Cross Country Rallies Championship. The team did score a 1-2 stage win at the Dakar Rally when it took stage 10 with Joan Barreda and Helder Rodrigues.
Taking third in stage 3 was the man who retains the overall lead, stage-one winner Sam Sunderland. With his second-place finish, Gonclaves is now third overall, just 52 seconds behind the British rider Sunderland with two stages remaining.
Second overall is Red Bull KTM’s Marc Coma; the four-time Dakar winner finished fourth on Tuesday.
Marc Coma (Red Bull KTM 450 Rally) says: “I opened the track today and when you are out in front and concentrating on the navigation, you tend to lose some time. But I am happy that we are still fighting for the victory and with two days to go it is important to stay very focused and make no mistakes.
“Today was a little like we expected because it was not open desert and the dunes were quite narrow. This means it was difficult to keep a high pace. The level is high and our rivals are not making it easy. So it’s important to continue the fight. We have a good speed and the bike is running smoothly.”
As for Barreda, he is fourth, 7:45 behind Sunderland, but is happy with his stage-3 results.
Joan Barreda (Team HRC Honda CRF450 Rally) says: “I’m happy. Finally on the third stage we had a good day, spending the whole day pushing. I started in fourth position and I caught up with Paulo and we pushed together trying to catch up with the front runners.
“I’m very pleased and have a good feeling because the bike performed perfectly today. It was a perfect day and we will try to go on this way, and the day after tomorrow we should finish the rally with a good result.”
Wednesday’s stage 4 of 5 will take riders a total of 379 kilometers from Madinat Zayed to Qasr Al Sarab. But there will be a new twist – the riders will set off in groups of 15 in a motorcross-style start.
2014 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge Stage 3 Results:
1. Joan Barreda 03:20’02 ESP HONDA TEAM HRC
2. Paulo Goncalves +01’05 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
3. Sam Sunderland +03’04 ENG KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
4. Marc Coma +04’59 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
5. Helder Rodrigues +08’51 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
6. Jordi Viladoms +10’39 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
7. Mohammed Albalooshi +20’33 UAE KTM KTM UAC
8. Miran Stanovnik +22’24 SLO KTM Team Stavnovik
9. Kristian Karcher +27’59 GER YAMAHA Team Karcher
10. Aleksei Nikishkin +28’33 RUS HONDA WI Rally
2014 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge Provisional Standings after Stage 3:
1. Sam Sunderland 10:33’00 ENG KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
2. Marc Coma +00’30 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
3. Paulo Goncalves +00’52 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
4. Joan Barreda +07’45 ESP HONDA TEAM HRC
5. Jordi Viladoms +31’19 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
6. Miran Stanovnik +01:20’41 SLO KTM Team Stavnovik
7. Mohammed Albalooshi +01:26’39 UAE KTM KTM UAC
8. Aleksei Nikishkin +01:48’50 RUS HONDA WI Rally
9. Helder Rodrigues +01:56’02 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
10. Kristian Karcher +01:58’30 GER YAMAHA Team Karcher