Dakar, Stage Six Update: Honda on top again

Honda’s Helder Rodrigues finally earned a stage win in Stage Six of the Dakar Rally.

Rodrigues finished 1:10 ahead of Toby Price (KTM), who’s also undoubtedly over the moon over his result in his first Dakar. Another Honda, Paulo Goncalves, was third, and Joan Barreda was sixth, almost two minutes ahead of KTM’s Marc Coma, so he remains on top. Really, things realistically couldn’t have gone much better for Big Red today.

“I had a good day and rode very fast,” Rodrigues said after the riding was done. “I pushed a lot until I saw Marc and Joan and then I just rode to the finish and didn’t push anymore.”

“Some days I’m struggling with the navigation and other days like today I’ve done well,” Price said in his interview after the stage. “I thought that the navigation would have been really hard today, so I just took my time with it and made sure I didn’t make mistakes. It’s come out fairly well so we’re pretty happy with that.”

Coma said he’d had a little crash at the start of the stage that slowed him down in the early going. There was some conjecture that he’d actually faked the incident in order to try to lose Barreda, who’s still sticking close to him, benefiting from Coma’s navigational skills.

Despite a leaking gas tank, Pablo Quintanilla continued his impressive efforts in his Chilean homeland, bagging fourth place on the day. Stefan Svitko (KTM) was fifth, another fantastic finish for the racer who wasn’t necessarily expected to perform at the level he has this year.

Stage Six was the last before the first marathon stage. Riders have tomorrow off. Sunday, they’ll start the first marathon stage, where they must stay in the desert overnight and repair their bikes themselves, with no help from mechanics. Expect the list of dropouts to increase considerably after Stage Seven.

Dakar 2015 : Bike rankings after Stage 6

1. Barreda (Honda) – 21:38:35

2. Coma (KTM) – 21:51:02 (00:12:27)

3. Goncalves (Honda) – 21:55:47 (00:17:12)

4.  Quintanilla (KTM) – 22:08:32 (00:29:57)

5. Price (KTM) – 22:12:19 (00:33:44)

6. Rodrigues (Honda) – 22:14:39 (00:36:04)

7. Faria (KTM) – 22:19:02 (00:40:27)

8. Svitko (KTM) – 22:20:02 (00:41:27)

9. Duclos (Sherco) – 22:31:31 (00:52:56)

10. Casteau (Honda) – 22:53:27 (01:14:52)


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