Dakar: HRC Race Report Stage #6 - Iquique (Video)

2015 HRC Rally Team Dakar race action shot

Honda Racing Corporation Press Release:

Helder Rodrigues pulls out all the stops and takes a well-deserved win in a decisive sixth stage of the Rally Dakar 2015. Team HRC make it to Dakar’s first rest-day with a highly impressive first week scorecard.

Helder Rodrigues stepped back into the limelight today proving himself to be the man of the moment. Displaying all the skills necessary to negotiate mountains, hard track, potholed paths, taxing navigation and a full range of hazards, the Portuguese ace, nevertheless, claimed the rally’s sixth stage on a zippy 318 kilometer timed special that wound up in Iquique.

In doing so, Helder leapfrogs into fourth overall position, in a race currently led by Joan Barreda. The plucky Spaniard, starting out in second place, cut down the gap with Marc Coma in the first kilometers, and made it to the finish-line with the sixth best time. Barreda furthers his overall advantage to 12’27’’.

2015 HRC Rally Team Dakar race action shot

In between Helder and Joan, in third place on today’s card and overall, lies Paulo Gonçalves, just five minutes off second spot. Jeremias Israel’s fall a couple of days ago, has started to show with the Chilean unable to attack, and clearly not at his physical best. Laia Sanz, can be content with the way the stage played out, and is now a hair’s breadth away from the top fifteen.

Honda South America Rally Team round off a productive first week at the Dakar. Daniel Gouet and Javier Pizzolito finished in 18th and 19th positions. The Chilean leads the team in the general standings in 18th.

The sixth stage ground to a halt in Iquique, which will play host to the caravan's well-earned day of rest. Team HRC will take advantage of the break to give the bikes a once-over and prepare for the first of the Dakar's two marathon stages this Sunday. The participants will be isolated from their mechanics, and any repairs to the Honda CRF450 RALLY machines, will have to be undertaken by HRC riders themselves.

Dakar Rally 2015 Team HRC Stage 6:

Helder Rodrigues - 1st 3:40'10:

I started out from behind, but I caught up with the riders who were opening the road. They were very quick, but I also had the speed to catch them. I’m pleased with the way it turned out and was very calm until the end. It’s rest-day tomorrow, which we really need, to get the energy back and plan next the second week as well as possible. I want to keep attacking and claw back a bit of time in the overall standings.

Paulo Goncalves - 3rd + 1'42:

Another fairly tough stage, especially up in the mountains. The track was very broken up, very soft, full of danger and difficult to get up. The navigation was very hard too. But in the end I’m happy with my third place today and the third overall, that’s very important for me. Today Hélder won and HRC are having a really great week, ahead overall, and winning a lot of stages. Jere and Laia are helping a lot. Next week will be harder than this one, and we will have to be very careful not to make any mistakes.

Joan Barreda - 6th + 7'20:

I’m pleased to be here in Iquique and happy with the way that we have arrived here. I caught up with Marc quickly and we were together all the way from then on. There were some parts of fast track, some stretches were harder, some were like trial, and when we got to the dunes some of the other riders caught up with us and stayed there until the end. It was what we had expected but you still had to be careful. The second week will see the first days in Bolivia. It’ll be tough, and also the Iquique desert will be a tricky one for the navigation. In the end, the entrance into Argentina is not likely to be easy with some stages at over 4300 meters. There is a lot of race left, but the way to do it is the one we’ve been doing up until now.


REST DAY - Copiapó (CHI)

For this exceptional part of the race, marked by the bivouac stop in Iquique and the Bolivian podium in Uyuni, separate rest days will be observed: 10th January for the motorcycles and quads and 12th January for cars and trucks. However, on Sunday 11th January, all the categories will be back on the race, competing in a different stage. Everyone will have taken part in a marathon stage by then.

Results Stage 6:

1     RODRIGUES Helder         POR     Team HRC     Honda     3:40'10

2     PRICE Toby         AUS     KTM AUS Rally Factory     KTM     + 1'10

3     GONCALVES Paulo         POR     Team HRC     Honda     + 1'42

4     QUINTANILLA Pablo         CHI     KTM     KTM     + 6'11

5     SVITKO Stefan         SLO     Slovnaft Team     KTM     + 6'42

6     BARREDA Joan         SPA     Team HRC     Honda     + 7'20

** 7     ISRAEL Jeremias         CHI     Team HRC     Honda     + 8'58**

8     COMA Marc         SPA     KTM Red Bull Rally Factory     KTM     + 9'14

9     FARIA Ruben         POR     KTM Red Bull Rally Factory     KTM     + 9'34

10     JAKES Ivan         SLO     Microstep Industry Team     KTM     + 13'59

11     CABRERA Patricio         CHI     Kawasaki Chile Team     Kawasaki     + 14'04

12     BOTTURI Alessandro         ITA     Yamaha Racing     Yamaha     + 15'03

13     DUCLOS Alain         FRA     Sherco Rally Factory     Sherco     + 16'04

14     VAN NIEKERK Riaan         RSA     Brother Link KTM Rally     KTM     + 16'29

15     METGE Mickael         FRA     Yamaha Racing     Yamaha     + 17'09

17     SANZ Laia         SPA     Team HRC     Honda     + 17'57

** 18     GOUET Daniel         CHI     Honda South America Rally Team     Honda     + 18'42**

** 19     PIZZOLITO Javier         ARG     Honda South America Rally Team     Honda     + 19'44**

** 33     AZEVEDO Jean         BRA     Honda South America Rally Team     Honda     +41'19**

Provisional Standings after Stage 6:

1     BARREDA Joan         SPA     Team HRC     Honda     21:38'35

2     COMA Marc         SPA     KTM Red Bull Rally Factory     KTM     + 12'27

3     GONCALVES Paulo         POR     Team HRC     Honda     + 17'12

4     QUINTANILLA Pablo         CHI     KTM     KTM     + 29'57

5     PRICE Toby         AUS     KTM AUS Rally Factory     KTM     + 33'44

6     RODRIGUES Helder         POR     Team HRC     Honda     + 36'04

7     FARIA Ruben         POR     KTM Red Bull Rally Factory     KTM     + 40'27

8     SVITKO Stefan         SLO     Slovnaft Team     KTM     + 41'27

9     DUCLOS Alain         FRA     Sherco Rally Factory     Sherco     + 52'56

10     ISRAEL Jeremias         CHI     Team HRC     Honda     + 1:00'48

** 16     SANZ Laia         SPA     Team HRC     Honda     + 1:23'09**

** 18     GOUET Daniel         CHI     Honda South America Rally Team     Honda     + 1:53'48**

** 28     AZEVEDO Jean         BRA     Honda South America Rally Team     Honda     + 3:11'36**

** 44     PIZZOLITO Javier         ARG     Honda South America Rally Team     Honda     + 5:03'51**

For more information: www.hondaracingcorporation.com