Joan Barreda finished the day as the top team rider with a third place finish at the end of the second leg of the marathon stage. Barreda himself and Kevin Benavides both retain podium aspirations as the rally heads into its final stage tomorrow (Saturday) in Copiapó.
The second part of the Atacama Rally marathon stage concluded today with the fourth stage fought out between Bahía Inglesa and Copiapó. Competitors faced a total of 426.68 kilometres, including a taxing 350-kilometre timed special over broken track, mountain paths, rocky terrain and a smoother final section that even took in some sand dunes.
Amid such treacherous conditions none of the Monster Energy Honda Team riders wanted to take a risk. The perilous rocks and stones in the mountainous areas elicited a more precautious ride. The consequence saw Barreda come away with a podium finish for third, with Kevin Benavides taking sixth, Ricky Brabec, eighth and Nacho Cornejo, ninth.
In the general standings, with just one stage remaining, Barreda holds fourth some 6’42” behind the overall leader and, like Benavides in fifth place, nine minutes astray, both still have chances of making the final podium. Brabec is sixth overall and Cornejo continues in ninth.
The fifth and final stage will consist of 260 kilometres featuring a 184.5-kilometre special against the clock which will bring the show to a close in Copiapó.