Joan Barreda has his second consecutive victory and Paulo Gonçalves has not released the pressure on Marc Coma.
Already a winner the day before in Cachi, Joan Barreda did not lower the pace – far from it – on the way to Termas de Rio Hondo with a second consecutive victory. Paulo Gonçalves, the second placed finisher on the day's stage, has not released the pressure on Marc Coma.
Already quick when leading the rally, Joan Barreda becomes almost untouchable when he is free from any pressure. The Spaniard seemed to have decided to show that he was indeed the quickest rider on the 2015 edition by picking up a second consecutive triumph, his fourth since the start. However, the most noteworthy performance on Thursday came from Paulo Gonçalves who has still not given up on final victory.
Efforts in vain
The Portuguese rider regained 2'23'' from Marc Coma to move within 5'12 in the general standings. However, the efforts of the Honda HRC rider could be in vain because he will receive a fifteen minute penalty in the general standings for having changed his engine. He borrowed this engine from Barreda who in turn had benefitted from the sacrifice of Jeremias Israel Esquerre, forced to exit the race after giving the engine of his Honda to his team-mate during this marathon stage.
Coma still remains in the lead, but will have to pull out all the stops over the next two stages if he decides to keep the same engine on his KTM. Ivan Jakes had a field day with third place, 1'35'' behind the stage winner, which is his best result since the start of the rally, finishing ahead of Ruben Faria and Toby Price. The Australian took advantage of Pablo Quintanilla feeling very ill to regain more than two minutes and thus climbs onto the provisional podium in the general standings. Helder Rodrigues, Alain Duclos and Stefan Svitko were the other riders in the day's top 10.