Joan Barreda similarly put in a fine performance, setting off from third position. The rider took command of the main group, dominating the entire stage in first place as well as doing an excellent error-free navigation job for the whole 400 km of the special. He marked up the fifth best time in today’s section against the clock.
Matt Fish crossed the finish-line in seventeenth place. Alessandro Botturi had a second really unlucky day. Yesterday, a penalty and navigation errors caused him to lose an hour and half, today it was a technical problem and he was unable to finish the stage.
Tomorrow sees the final stretch for all the participants with a 626 km stage (391 miles) that runs from La Serena to Santiago, including a special test of 346 km.
Paulo Goncalves: “Today was a great race for me. I wanted to really push it more today, as I really wanted a win in this Dakar, but towards the end it started getting really dangerous and there were rocks everywhere, so I decided to take it easier. I’m happy with the way the team and I have worked. Now there’s just the final stage to go, and I hope to keep my tenth overall place or maybe even improve on it. ”
Joan Barreda: “I had a ball navigating today. I was out there on my own practically the whole way once I’d got past Faria and Verhoeven a few kilometres into the race. I’m really happy.”
Alessandro Botturi: “Two days to forget about. 130 km into the special test the motor packed up on me. I was really disappointed because it’s really important to make it to the end in a race like this one, even if it wouldn’t make a difference in the overall standings. Still, I’ve made a big step forward compared to last year’s edition, and I have been up there battling amongst the leaders. We’ll have to see what happens next year.”
Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain