Dakar 2017, Stage 8: Barreda quickest, Sunderland edges clear

Joan Barreda was the pacesetter on the eighth stage of the 2017 Dakar Rally, as overall leader Sam Sunderland added to his advantage over his nearest rivals.

Dakar 2017, Stage 8: Barreda quickest, Sunderland edges clear
#11 Monster Energy Honda Team: Joan Barreda
Joan Barreda, Monster Energy Honda Team
#11 Monster Energy Honda Team: Joan Barreda
#3 Husqvarna Factory Racing: Pablo Quintanilla
#11 Monster Energy Honda Team: Joan Barreda
#14 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing: Sam Sunderland
#14 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing: Sam Sunderland
#14 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing: Sam Sunderland

Barreda, who had led the rally early on but was thrown virtually out of contention by a one-hour penalty for illegal refuelling, was unmatched throughout Tuesday's Uyuni-Salta stage.

The Spaniard led the Bolivian part of the special, (originally due to be 492km, but shortened due to rainfall by 73km), and pulled further ahead once the race returned to Argentina.

Sherco's Joan Pedrero ran Barreda closest before the border, but lost time in the Argentina section.

As such, it was KTM duo Matthias Walkner and Sunderland who made up the top three, with Walkner finishing 3m51s behind Barreda and just three seconds clear of Sunderland.

With his second stage win of the Dakar, and the 16th of his career, Barreda remains in ninth, more than an hour and 10 minutes adrift of the lead in the overall classification.

Crucially, Sunderland gained time on his main chasers, the Briton outpacing Husqvarna's Pablo Quintanilla and Yamaha's Adrien van Beveren in the stage.

Quintanilla and van Beveren remain second and third overall, trailing Sunderland by 21 and 29 minutes respectively.

Walkner moved up to fourth at the expense of KTM privateer Gerard Farres, but remains 34 minutes behind teammate Sunderland.

Bikes standings after Stage 8:

Pos.RiderBikeTime/Gap
1  Sam Sunderland KTM 22h01m08s
2  Pablo Quintanilla Husqvarna +20m58s
3  Adrian van Beveren Yamaha +28m49s
4

 Matthias Walkner

KTM +34m14s
5  Gerard Farres KTM +34m24s
6  Xavier de Soultrait Yamaha +50m10s
7  Pela Renet Husqvarna +1h08m09s
8  Paulo Goncalves Honda +1h08m34s
9  Joan Barreda Honda +1h10m53s
10  Joaquim Rodrigues Hero +1h36m00s
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