|Sealine Rally Qatar: Honda´s Barrera and Sonik the early bike / quad leader|
Spanish rider Joan Barreda stormed through the field from ninth to seal a stunning opening stage win for Honda. The CRF 450 rider completed the stage 1min 02sec quicker than defending champion Marc Coma (KTM), with Jordi Viladoms reaching the flying finish in third place.
"It was a good stage for me, very happy," said Barreda. "I rode fast from the start and tried to push and then I slowed down a little in the dunes at the end. I did not want to make a mistake there. We have a good strategy for this race."
Coma was upbeat in second position. "This is just the first day. We came from Abu Dhabi, where the terrain is quite different and there is more navigation here. We will see tomorrow."
Emirati rider Mohammed Al-Balooshi was an impressive fourth. “At the moment my navigational skills cannot match my pace. I need to practice my navigation. I rode with the master (Coma) for a while. I really enjoyed that. Today was a great experience for me.”
Poland’s Rafal Sonik held ninth overall and was the quickest of the three quad riders on his Honda. Mohammed Abu Issa was a close second and a mere three seconds in front of Adel Hussein, who lost time after problems with his road book scroll. "After the last tarmac road, the scroll broke on my road book and I kept having to stop and turn it manually," said Qatar’s Adel Hussein.
Abu Issa said: "It was a short stage, but very tough. Tomorrow will be cooler at the start, but the last 150km will be boiling and that’s when you get dizzy and need to concentrate. It was harder than I imagined today. I need new knuckles!"
Red Bull KTM factory team rider Sam Sunderland lost his way before the first passage control and dropped over 16 minutes to the leaders trying to regain the correct track. He finished the day in a disappointing seventh position after a late charge through the stage.
BIKES / QUADS Results Sealine Qatar Top 10 SS01 Monday
01) Barreda, Joan (ES) I Honda CRF 450 01:42:31 I 00:00:00
02) Coma, Marc (ES) I KTM 450 I 01:43:33 I 00:01:02
03) Viladoms, Jordi (ES) I KTM 450 I 01:47:43 I 00:05:04
04) Al-Balooshi, Mohammed (UAE) I KTM 450 I 01:49:34 I 00:07:03
05) Rodrigues, Helder (PT) I Honda CRF 450 I 01:51:55 I 00:09:24
06) Goncalves, Paolo (PT) I Honda CRF 450 I 01:54:01 I 00:11:30
07) Sunderland, Sam (GB) I KTM 450 I 01:59:34 I 00:17:03
08) Faria, Ruben (PT) I KTM 450 I 02:01:43 I 00:19:12
09) Sonik, Rafal (PL) I Honda TRX 700 I 02:13:48 I 00:31:17
10) Abu Issa, Mohammed (QT) I Honda TRX 680 I 02:15:50 I 00:33:19
2014/04/21 | 14:56 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/PERKINS