Three stages, three different winners, three different manufacturers. That’s how competitive the 39th edition of the Dakar Rally is so far.The opening stage was won by Sherco’s Juan Pedrero, and stage two by last year’s Dakar winner Toby Price on the Red Bull Factory KTM 450 Rally.
On Wednesday, it was Monster Energy Honda Team’s turn. The stage, which took competitors a total of 485 miles from San Miguel de Tucuman to San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina, included a timed special of 226 miles and tricky navigation. Starting his seventh Dakar Rally, Spain’s Joan Barreda took the top time Wednesday to claim his 16th-career Dakar stage win.“Bang Bang” Barreda dominated 2017 Dakar Rally Stage 3, finishing 12:29 minutes ahead of Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team’s Sam Sunderland, and 15:30 ahead of Husqvarna Factory Rally Team’s Renet Pierre-Alexandre.With his victory, Barreda also took over the general standings. He is now 10:20 minutes ahead of Sunderland, and 13:42 ahead of teammate Paulo Gonclaves.“Today has been a great day. I’m very pleased because today the plan that we had worked out turned out perfectly,” Barreda says. “It was a tough day, as I had to push really hard all day, stay really focused, not make any mistakes and give 100% in the area of navigation at the beginning. At the waypoint at kilometer 40 I circled around a bit until Ricky showed up and gave me some references to mark the waypoint. It went really well and error-free with a very fast pace.”As for the sole American in the 2017 Dakar Rally, Monster Energy Honda CRF450 Rally pilot Ricky Brabec finishing 10th in stage three, and is ninth overall, 24:13 minutes behind teammate Barreda.“Stage 3 was technical for everyone. Today I made a few mistakes,” Brabec says. “I was going a bit too fast in the dust and I came across a tree but at that speed I had to jump it. Luckily my front wheel and skid plate made it over just in time. I hit the other side with the wheel and blew the fender right off the bike.“I don’t know exactly what went wrong with the bike but shortly after I pulled over. (Stefan) Svitko was coming right behind me but he crashed. I turned around and went backwards for him. By the time I got there he was getting up, so I parked the bike and repaired it and tried to make it to the finish.”The reigning Dakar Rally champion, Price, finished ninth in Wednesday’s stage, and dropped back to fifth overall, 16:19 minutes behind Barreda.
2017 Dakar Rally Stage 4 Preview
Thursday’s stage 4 will challenge riders for a total of 324 miles from San Salvador de Juju to Tupiza, with a timed special of 258 miles. The riders will meet a “cruising altitude” of 3,500 meters to navigate for the next six days—a very grueling part of 2017 Dakar Rally.
2017 Dakar Rally Stage 3 Results
1. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 04:23:41 2. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 04:36:10, +12:29 3. Pela Renet (FRA), Husqvarna, 04:39:11, +15:30 4. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 04:39:43, +16:02 5. Paulo Goncalves (POR), Honda, 04:40:01, +16:20 6. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 04:43:21, +19:40
2017 Dakar Rally Overall Results (after three of 12 stages):
1. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 07:36:30 2. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 07:46:50, +10:20 3. Paulo Goncalves (POR), Honda, 07:50:12, +13:42 4. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 07:51:26, +14:56 5. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 07:52:49, +16:19 6. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 07:58:30, +22:00
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!