Stage 3San Juan de Marcona - Arequipa

  • Benavides Moves into Overall 2nd while Barreda Exits the Race

    Kevin Benavides finished Stage 3 of the 2019 Dakar Rally just seconds behind the stage winner pushing him up to 2nd overall, while a ravine meant the end of Joan Barreda's chances in the race.

Report

Benavides Moves into Overall 2nd while Barreda Exits the Race

January 9, 2019


DAKAR RALLY 2019 - Stage 3

DAKAR RALLY 2019 - Behind the Scene Stage 3

Stage 3 was full of drama for the Monster Energy Honda Team. The long 331km ended with Kevin Benavides in 3rd, 2 minutes 37 seconds behind the winner pushing him up to 2nd overall. On the other hand, Joan Barreda had fallen into an inescapable ravine due to ill visibility, forcing him to leave the race at this early stage.

January 9: Stage 3 of the 2019 Dakar rally was contested over 798km, set between San juan de Marcona and Arequipa. The 331km Special Stage set in the earlier miles of the total distance is where the team faced drama.

The Special Stage for Stage 3 took off at 6:15am, only 5km away from the bivouac of San juan de Marcona. It was set in two parts, the 264km first part and the shorter 65km latter half which had a connecting Liaison of 2km in between. Benavides who started 8th today maintained a high pace in this complicated route and finished the Stage in 3rd position, 2 minutes 37 seconds behind the winner. His overall standing rose to 2nd which was a nice way to celebrate his 30th birthday.

Paulo Goncalves who started from 11th also showed good pace in the physically demanding stage, finishing 6th, 9 minutes 31 seconds behind the winner and also pushing him two positions up into 9th on the leaderboard. Ricky Brabec and José Ignacio Cornejo weren't as lucky. Brabec was riding well in the earlier hours but between Way-points 4 and 5 he dropped his pace, completing the stage in 12th, while Cornejo lost time fixing a loose chain which caused him to finish in 18th position.

It was a pity that leading rider Barreda left the race today. The going was good until around 143km, but the rocky gouge with thick fog challenged his navigation skills. Despite opening the track with great care, limited visibility caused him to fall into a ravine and was not able to escape. Successful so far and starting from 1st today, it was a shame and also a great loss for the team that Barreda was forced to retire the 2019 Dakar at such an early stage.

The following two stages are going to be the highlight of the first half of the Dakar. Stage 4 is set between Arequipa and Moquegua over 511km with a Special Stage of 405km, and the following 5th stage will bring the riders back to Arequipa via another route over 776km with a Special Stage of 345km. These two stages are a Marathon where the riders will not be able to receive support from the team and will have to solve any problems on their own. The total distance will be 1287km and it symbolizes the days when the Dakar had stages of over a 1000km a day, and it's sure to be full of drama. After this Marathon Stage, the first half of the Dakar is over and riders will get their only rest day in Arequipa, before challenging the latter half.

Comments

Kevin Benavides, Stage: 3rd Overall: 2nd

It was a long but successful day for me. I started from an ideal position to attack from and was able to make the best of it. There were a few navigational mistakes but I still finished the stage well. It was my birthday today and an overall 2nd place is a good present. I'm gaining confidence each stage I ride and hope to keep it up.

Paulo Goncalves, Stage: 6th Overall: 9th

It was a long stage with a lot of sand and dunes like the previous stage, however I felt much more confident and was able to maintain a comfortable pace. Just before refueling there was a small issue which cost me 10 minutes or so, but other than that, I'm happy with today's ride and am glad to finish safely. I intend to maintain the good feeling into the Marathon stage starting tomorrow.

Ricky Brabec, Stage: 13th Overall: 7th

It was a tough stage. I was opening the track through the dunes a lot of the way and the navigation was hard especially in the mountains where there was a lot of fog. Joan(Barreda) had fallen into a ravine but that point was very difficult and I slowed down a lot not to make mistakes. Also at 178km there was a way-point not where it was shown on the road book. It cost me an extra 30km and 15 minutes to find this making it an unsuccessful day. I'll have to fight hard to make up the loss of today, but I feel it's going to be tough.

José Ignacio Cornejo, Stage: 18th Overall: 14th

Because of a chain-tensioner that came loose, and not noticing it for a long time, the slack chain had been hitting the crank case causing it to leak oil. I was lucky to realize before it was too late. I tightened the chain and was able to deal with the leak and finish the stage. I lost some time but it was better than leaving the race. I still have stages to claw back the lost minutes.

Joan Barreda, Stage: DNF Overall: DNF

I was opening the track and setting the pace in the beginning. It was all going well until I fell into a ditch, and that's when the 2019 Dakar had ended for me. Visibility in the mountains was low with thick fog. I was following the road book and the GPS but I couldn't see the ditch for the fog . When at the bottom, I saw Walkner had caught up but he saw me and was able to turn around before it was too late. I sought for a different route out of the ravine but it was impossible.

Taichi Honda, Monster Energy Honda Team Rally Large Project Leader

It was a long day for the riders, but the support team also drove for an exhausting 12 hours and 600km to the bivouac of Arequipa. We are now preparing and maintaining the bikes for the oncoming Marathon Stage.

Today's Stage 3 had good and bad news for the Monster Energy Honda Team. The good news is that Benavides has been successful to reach an overall 2nd and also Goncalves is steadily climbing the leaderboard. The bad news is that Barreda is out of the race. He had good pace from the start and passed the two riders ahead of him at an early stage, opening the track from there on. The route then led into the mountains and the thick fog limited visibility to as little as one meter. He was seeking the way-point according to his GPS readings but fell in a ravine from which he couldn't escape. Cornejo hadn't fallen but suffered damage to his bike. He spent time fixing the problem at an assistance-point which cost him time. MEC HRC-supported Walter Nosiglia also retired today due to a fall at an early part of the stage. To look on the bright side, both Benavides and Goncalves are amongst the top-runners and the Rally's only into its 3rd day. We have our eyes firmly set on the overall victory and will proceed. The Monster Energy Honda Team appreciates your support.

Results

Dakar Rally 2019 Stage 3

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Xavier de Soultrait (YAMALUBE YAMAHA OFFICIAL RALLY TEAM)
2 Pablo Quintanilla (ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING)
3 Kevin Benavides (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
4 Adrien Van Beveren (YAMALUBE YAMAHA OFFICIAL RALLY TEAM)
5 Sam Sunderland (RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM)
6 Paulo Goncalves (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
12 Ricky Brabec (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
19
Daniel Nosiglia (MEC HRC)
24
José Ignacio Cornejo (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM)
47 Diego Martin Duplessis (MEC HRC)

Overall

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

Photos