Dakar, Stage Ten: Too little, too late

Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool

Photo: Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool

Joan Barreda, seemingly revitalized after his setbacks in Stages Seven and Eight of the Dakar Rally, took the Stage Ten win, but it wasn’t what the Honda team really needed.

While Barreda certainly proved he’s got what it takes to beat everyone on an individual stage basis, he’s still mired in 15th place. He’s climbing the ranks, but not quickly enough, and his teammate Paulo Goncalves failed to make up any time on Marc Coma (KTM), who finished second.

Goncalves started the day five and a half minutes back of Coma; he ended seven and a half minutes back of the KTM ace. It looks as if the canny vet will once more prevail, but he’s still playing it cautious, saying “This is an endurance race, a stamina race, and you have to take things one at a time.”

Stage Ten was nothing like the difficulties of Stage Eight, but still threw rain, mud, cold temperatures and high altitudes at the riders. Navigation was easier for the riders, though, which would partially explain Barreda’s win, as well as rookie Toby Price’s (KTM) fourth place.

Ruben Faria (KTM) was third, a good result for him after his troubles the day before.

Stage Ten is the start of the second marathon stage; as in Stage Seven, the riders are camped in their bivouacs, sans mechanics, tonight. There are no reports of major problems amongst any of the front-leaders; indeed, it seems some of the riders went to special effort today to conserve their machines, knowing what lay ahead.Despite his win, Barreda still seemed depressed over his woes.

“It’s a pity, what happened in Uyuni, on the salt flat,” he said, “I was in the lead, the toughest part was over, the odds were stacked in my favour… There’s nothing I can do now apart from finishing like this.”  You can see an amateur fan video of Barreda and teammate Jeremias Israel Esquerre’s struggle through Stage Eight’s dunes here.

It’s amazing to see how much adversity the Honda racers were able to struggle through. We’ve also found a video of a crash that’s reportedly Marc Coma, but we can’t confirm that it’s him, or that it’s this year’s rally. It’s impressive to see what the racers can handle, though.

While it’s looking more and more like Coma will repeat, much of the rest of the top 10 is still up in the air; several racers could move up or down in the standings yet. None of the top 10 moved up or down today, but they’re all looking for their chance.

“The race is open until the last special,” said Pablo Quintanilla (KTM). “The fight for the podium will be fierce. There’s less than a minute between me and Price in the general classification. The end of the Dakar will be fiercely contested. I’ll give it my all to defend my third place.”

The rally has now crossed the border into Chile; the normal wear and tear has been accelerated greatly by the salt in Stage Eight, with rider Simon Pavey supposedly saying the machines look like they are 15 years old. Rumour has it that all the factory bikes have changed engines, but penalties have not been awarded yet. We’ll know whether that’s true by rally’s end.

Check out the day’s video summary below. Overall rankings are below that.

Dakar 2015 : Bike rankings after Stage 10

1. Coma (KTM) – 38:13:50

2. Goncalves (Honda) – 38:21:25 (00:07:35)

3. Quintanilla (KTM) – 38:45:32 (00:31:42)

4. Price (KTM) – 38:45:56 (00:32:06)

5. Svitko (KTM) – 38:59:09 (000:45:19)

6. Casteau (KTM) – 39:55:04 (1:41:14)

7. Faria (KTM) – 39:55:30 (01:41:40) (00:40:00 penalty)

8. Sanz (Honda) – 40:18:50 (02:05:00)

9. Jakes (KTM) – 40:39:41 (02:25:51)

10. Pain (Yamaha) – 41:04:01 (02:50:11)


    • I was wondering the same thing.
      She’s been mentioned in other stages, so it’s strange we don’t get an update at stage 10.

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