For years, the Dakar has been about KTM and Yamaha, with Honda making an impact in 2014 after their return last year. But one major surprise this year has been Sherco’s performance.
While Alain Duclos has impressed on his Sherco (he’s currently in fourth overall), another rider took yesterday’s stage on one of the French/Spanish machines. Joan Pedrero finished in first in Stage 4, with a thin 29-second lead on Chaleco Lopez. Marc Coma finished third, 2:41 back.
Pedrero isn’t likely to threaten for top spot overall this year, as he’s in 16th overall, but it’s been fascinating to see how the usual power rankings have been shaken up at Dakar this year. He did finish fifth overall on a KTM last year, so maybe he’ll make things interesting.
Cyril Despres had a rough day; electrical woes meant he lost 40 minutes and dropped down to sixth in the standings. That’s a lot of time to make up, and it could cost him the 2014 title.
Joan Barreda Bort crashed and lost time to Marc Coma. Bort is still in first, but Coma is now much closer behind, only down 3:10. Chaleco Lopez (KTM) holds third overall, 5:12 back. Olivier Pain, on a Yamaha, is in fifth, 29:38 behind the leader.
Check out the video summary of Stage 4 action below. There’s an amusing compilation of onboard camera action as well.