Monster Energy Honda Team rider Joan Barreda claimed a final podium place at the end of the Atacama Rally after a second position finish in the final stage.
The Atacama Rally drew to a close today with the dispute of the fifth and final stage. The third round of the Cross-Country Rallies World Championship calendar came to a thrilling conclusion at the end of the 184.5-kilometre special stage which started and finished in the surroundings of Copiapó.
Joan Barreda headed out this morning hell bent on hunting down the two riders who had set off ahead in the starting order. The Spaniard’s intention was to make up time on the two riders and secure a final podium place. Monster Energy Honda Team’s rider from Castellón set a fine pace to eventually finish the stage second fastest and, in doing so, seal third spot on the final rostrum.
Kevin Benavides had likewise held an outside chance of finishing the Chilean rally on the podium. The winner of last year’s edition, who began further down the starting order, went all out to reduce the deficit with the riders ahead on the leader board, but did not succeed in making contact with the frontrunners. The Argentinean came home 6’42” behind the stage winner and overall rally winner, local boy Pablo Quintanilla.
Ricky Brabec acquitted himself well on the stage, finishing the day in fifth and sixth in the overall final standings. Nacho Cornejo posted seventh on the stage and ninth overall place and collects the 2019 Atacama Rally junior prize.
After this, the third round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship in the desert of Chile, Monster Energy Honda Team now eye the next prize, the Morocco Rally, set to take place in the North African country from 4th to 9th October, with start and finish scheduled to take place in Fez.