The Dakar Rally
Stage 4 : On the track of the Mummy
Total stage: 361 km / Special stage: 295 km
It’s as good a start as it gets for the Honda CRF450 with four wins out of four stages of the OiLibya Morocco Rally. The second half of the OiLibya Morocco Rally was a long and arduous stage, but one of great satisfaction for Team HRC. The move from Zagora to Erfoud brought a fine victory for the team with Paulo Gonçalves winning his second day as well as taking the overall leadership, bringing the Honda CRF450 RALLY tally to four straight wins. In addition Hélder Rodrigues made a return to front with a third place on the day.
Paulo Gonçalves stated that he was very pleased with his performance in the rally, not just for having got through a long and tricky course, but also for getting back on top of the overall leaderboard. The day turned out to be one of heavy navigation, in which the Portuguese rider set off at a great pace in persuit of his main championship rival, crossing the Erfoud finishing line in victorious fashion.
Likewise, his fellow Portuguese TEAM HRC rider Hélder Rodrigues had a smile back on his face after having getting over a couple of eventful days. Hélder took the third fastest time in the special. British rider Sam Sunderland also did well in the special finishing in fifth place after starting out in third.
Joan Barreda started the day well, but lost all the advantage that he had built up over the other riders trying to find a hidden waypoint. In the end the Spanish rider came in seventh place. Argentinian Javier Pizzolito was struck by a similar fate, falling while in search of an obligatory passing point and digging a stone in his right leg. Even so, he was still able to take eighth spot, but will not start tomorrow because the medical staff give not him the permission for safety reason.
|1||Paulo Goncalves (TEAM HRC) 3h 01'49|
|2||Marc Coma (KTM) +02'26|
|3||Helder Rodrigues (TEAM HRC) +05'56|
|4||Olivier Pain (YAMAHA) +07'39|
|5||Sam Sunderland (TEAM HRC) +07'46|
|7||Joan Barreda (TEAM HRC) +09'37|
|8||Javier Pizzolito (TEAM HRC) +16'14|
|1||Paulo Goncalves (TEAM HRC) 11h 13'00|
|2||Joan Barreda (TEAM HRC) +02'10|
|3||Marc Coma (KTM) +02'40|
|4||Chaleco López (KTM) +12'28|
|5||Sam Sunderland (TEAM HRC) +14'35|
|6||Javier Pizzolito (TEAM HRC) +30'51|
|48||Helder Rodrigues (TEAM HRC) +9h 59'02|