Stage 1Lima-Pisco

  • Joan Barreda Scores Win in Opening Round

    All five of the Monster Energy Honda Team riders scored good positions in the first stage of the 2019 Dakar Rally.

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Joan Barreda Scores Win in Opening Round

January 7, 2019


DAKAR RALLY 2019 - Stage 1

DAKAR RALLY 2019 - Behind the Scene Stage 1

After the joy and delight of the starting ceremony, the real battle of the Dakar has now started. Counting as a warm-up round and also qualifying for the second stage, all five of the Monster Energy Honda Team riders scored good positions in the first stage.

January 7: The first stage of the 2019 Dakar took place between Lima and Pisco, over a total of 331km with a short 84km timed Special Stage. The first stage is traditionally short as it determines the starting order of the second stage where the racing starts to become intense. In this first stage, Joan Barreda finished in 1st position with a time of 57 minutes 36 seconds, while Ricky Brabec came in 2 minutes 52 seconds behind in 3rd position. 4 minutes behind was Kevin Benavides in 8th position, 5 minutes 22 seconds behind was José Ignacio Cornejo in 9th, and 6 minutes 41 seconds behind was Paulo Goncalves in 11th place, all securing a good position to challenge the 2nd stage tomorrow.

The 2019 edition’s first stage took off from a reverse grid, and most of the factory riders including the Monster Energy Honda Team riders with low bike numbers started from the final group, moving their way through the field.

Although the Special Stage was a short 84km, 80 percent of the distance was set in the dunes of Adrenarena and parts of it also had “Wadi” (dried up river beds) which could be difficult to find a good route through. Multiple tracks in the dunes were distracting, making precise navigation a must.

Tomorrow’s stage will be between Pisco and San juan de Marcona over a total of 553km with a 342km Special Stage. Joan Barreda, the top finisher today, will start first in the bike category. Unlike usual, the cars are planned to start ahead of the bikes on this second stage of the 2019 edition.

The sand gets softer as the sun rises and dries the land. By the time the bike category reaches the dunes of Ica, which by then will be full of ruts left by the cars, it could be a tricky situation for the riders. They will have to endure the heat and sand while keeping a calm head for an accurate navigation.

Comments

Joan Barreda, Stage: 1st, Overall: 1st

It was a good way to start the 2019 Dakar. The stage was short but the pace was fast. It’s always difficult to find the rhythm at the beginning but I managed to find my pace by the time I was at the 20km post, and was able to maintain it to the goal. Tomorrow will be a longer stage with more chances to get lost, and the pace is also sure to be fast again. I’ll keep focused and hope to keep the good results constant.

Ricky Brabec, Stage: 3rd, Overall: 3rd

I was able to finish the first stage with a good feeling. Although the stage wasn’t long, there were a lot of dunes and people and also some fesh-fesh. But the special went well and I’m happy to be here. I’m ready to tackle the oncoming days.

Kevin Benavides, Stage: 8th, Overall: 8th

It was a good stage to get warmed up. The reverse grid made it a little difficult to make it to the lead, especially when trying to overtake where there was a muddy river, but I felt more comfortable and fast in the dunes that followed. The navigation was relatively easy and I was confident throughout the stage.

José Ignacio Cornejo, Stage: 9th, Overall: 9th

The short stage was perfect to get to know the bike, and I felt confident and comfortable on it all the way. It was a good way to start the Dakar, and a lot lays ahead.

Paulo Goncalves, Stage: 11th, Overall: 11th

I’m glad I’ve safely finished the first stage. I took a slow pace without any risks to make a smooth start for the long event. I shall now slowly pick up the pace with a good feeling and take each stage day by day with care, finding my own rhythm.

Taichi Honda, Monster Energy Honda Team Rally Large Project Leader

The 2019 Dakar is finally underway. Today’s 1st stage between Lima and Pisco was a short 84km and more like a warm up run for both the bikes and the riders. They all took it carefully and got feeling for the bike and the sand, but with the dunes and the heat, It wasn’t a piece of cake.

The starting order was from a reverse grid according to the bike number, meaning that most of the Monster Energy Honda Team riders started in the final group and had to overtake many riders ahead. There was a GPS problem with the organizers which left the riders waiting in the heat for a further hour before starting.

Kevin Benavides who was amongst the earlier starters had to deal with many uncertain tracks, but managed to concentrate on his own navigation and finish 8th. Joan Barreda who had shown amazing performance from the shakedown won the opening stage and Ricky Brabec followed in 3rd, all showing what good shape we are in. Paulo Goncalves in 11th, José Ignacio Cornejo in 9th rounds up the team and we are in good shape for the longer stages from tomorrow on.

Results

Dakar Rally 2019 Stage 1

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Joan Barreda (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
2 Pablo Quintanilla (ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING)
3 Ricky Brabec (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
4 Adrien Van Beveren (YAMALUBE YAMAHA OFFICIAL RALLY TEAM)
5 Sam Sunderland (RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM)
6 Toby Price (RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM)
8 Kevin Benavides (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
9 José Ignacio Cornejo (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
11 Paulo Goncalves (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
17 Daniel Nosiglia (MEC HRC)
19 Walter Nosiglia (MEC HRC)
33 Diego Martin Duplessis (MEC HRC)

Overall

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Joan Barreda (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
2 Pablo Quintanilla (ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING)
3 Ricky Brabec (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
4 Adrien Van Beveren (YAMALUBE YAMAHA OFFICIAL RALLY TEAM)
5 Sam Sunderland (RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM)
6 Toby Price (RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM)
8 Kevin Benavides (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
9 José Ignacio Cornejo (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
11 Paulo Goncalves (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
17 Daniel Nosiglia (MEC HRC)
19 Walter Nosiglia (MEC HRC)
33 Diego Martin Duplessis (MEC HRC)

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