Team HRC keeps options wide-open in Bolivia as a lightning Paulo Gonçalves claims 7th stage honours. Epic stage finish for Joan Barreda, who breaks handlebars in a fall and yet fights on to retain leadership.

Portuguese Paulo Gonçalves was victorious as the Dakar 2015 riders rolled into Uyuni, Bolivia with its parc fermé where the bikes will be isolated overnight. The rules governing the end of the first marathon stage specify that, where necessary, machines can only be repaired by the actual competitors themselves.

The mountainous zones that led from Chile to Bolivia amounted to a tough test for bikes and riders alike. The altitude of over 3600 metres for the 321 kilometres were taxing enough, but add in dire meteorological conditions which included rain and snow in Uyuni, and the result was dusty tracks turned into a veritable quagmire.

Gonçalves hit hard from the outset, keeping up an even pace through most of the race, and forcing a more ferocious final stretch, that saw the Team HRC ace finish the special stage with the best time. As yesterday’s winner, Hélder Rodrigues, was first away and open the road until shortly after CP1 where he was overtaken by Walkner. He was reached by team-mate Gonçalves too, and the two rode the rest of the stage side by side.

Joan Barreda got off to a fine start in the timed special, but as the stage played out, he took a tumble, and managed to break the handlebars into two. Nevertheless, with 120 kilometres still to go, the never-say-die Spaniard dug deep and limited the time conceded to arch-rival Coma to a mere six minutes. The Honda ace’s cushion allows him, however, to stay ahead in the general rankings.

It was a relatively laid-back and trouble-free stage for Jeremías Israel and Laia Sanz. Both posted top twenty finishes, preferring to not take any unnecessary risks in such adverse conditions.

Honda South America Rally Team got their second week of competition underway with a nice, steady pace. Daniel Gouet and Javier Pizzolito were once again the best of the bunch; scoring 23rd and 25th place finishes respectively. Jean


Azevedo claimed 31st.
TOMORROW’S STAGE
STAGE 8 – Monday, 12th January
Uyuni (BOL) – Iquique (CHI)

Liaison: 24 km
Special stage: 784 km


The Salar: unconditionally
The Dakar bows to the laws of nature. Hence, the weather will decide which route will be taken to leave Bolivia. If it’s dry, the start could take place in the Salar de Uyuni, for a 100km route across a smooth road of white salt: full throttle and foot to the floor! The route then slows down abruptly, with the longest part of the special stage taking place on more technical mountain terrain. The day will end with more than 40km of dunes, concluding with the vertiginous descent to Iquique.

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Dakar Rally 2015 Team HRC Stage 7
Dakar Rally 2015 Behind the Scene Stage 7
Paulo Goncalves

Paulo Goncalves

1st / 3:56'00

Today was a really gruelling stage, I started in third position and caught the guys in front of me, then I stayed with them as our speed was good. In the middle of the stage it started raining and became dangerous, the bike was sliding and it was really dangerous at high speed. Fifty kilometres before the end of the stage I got a headache but I managed to finish. Now I need to recover before the second stage tomorrow, we have a lot of work to do on the bikes as we picked up a lot of mud.

Team HRC
Helder Rodrigues

Helder Rodrigues

8th / + 4'05

This stage was great, I started in the front, and that’s always difficult as it’s very easy to lose time as you open the road. I pushed very hard, to stay at the front of the race. I’m very happy, of course, with my result today. I never stopped pushing until the finish. This stage was very hard, mud, stones, and many bumps, unbelievably hard.

Team HRC
Joan Barreda

Joan Barreda

12th / + 6'13

It was a tough stage where you had to be careful, but when I came to a muddy section around kilometre 200, while I was breaking before a danger marked on the road book, the bike slid and I crashed. The handlebars were damaged, so I had to do the last 120 kilometres just with the right hand. I was pushing hard to lose a minimum of time, but that was not easy. We are now at the marathon stage, we are a great team and we will solve the problem with my teammates.

Team HRC
Jeremias Israel

Jeremias Israel

17th / + 10'02

It was a really special stage today with the rain, everything changed a little bit, I took it really easy as there were a lot of dangers. The landscape was nice today, the dirt was good except in some muddy sections, but my personal result at this point is not important. For me it’s very important to support and help Paolo and Joan and to back them up, and hopefully make it to the finish in the number one spot.

Team HRC
Laia Sanz

Laia Sanz

21st / + 13'24

It was a good day, a fast stage but you had to be careful in the mud, as we ran into the rain on the way. I think I had a good rhythm, and the good point is that the bike and myself are in good shape so that’s perfect for the second part of the marathon stage tomorrow. I feel better now after the rest-day, it was important today to finish the stage without problems. The spectators was amazing, there were people everywhere to support us and that’s great.

Team HRC
Dakar Rally

Dakar, Dakar (multiple countries)

Rally 2015

Sunday 11 Jan 2015, 16:38 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Paulo Goncalves POR 25 Team HRC Honda 3:56'00
2 Marc Coma SPA 20 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +00'14
3 Matthias Walkner AUT 16 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +00'30
4 Pablo Quintanilla CHI 13 KTM Rally Team KTM +1'32
5 Toby Price AUT 11 KTM AUS Rally Factory KTM +1'49
6 Joan Pedrero SPA 10 Pont Grup Yamaha JVO Yamaha +3'20
7 Alain Duclos FRA 9 Sherco Rally Factory Sherco +3'48
8 Helder Rodrigues POR 8 Team HRC Honda +4'05
9 Stefan Svitko SLK 7 Slovnaft Team KTM +5'09
10 Riaan van Niekerk RSA 6 Brother Link KTM Rally KTM +6'06
11 Jordi Viladoms SPA 5 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +6'10
12 Joan Barreda SPA 4 Team HRC Honda +6'13
13 Alessandro Botturi ITA 3 Yamaha Racing Yamaha +6'13
14 Ruben Faria POR 2 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +6'41
15 David Casteu FRA 1 Team Casteu KTM +8'13
16 Ivan Jakes SLK 0 Microstep Industry Team KTM +9'24
17 Jeremias Israel CHI 0 Team HRC Honda +10'02
18 Hans Vogels NDL 0 Team Hans Vogels KTM +11'20
19 Fabien Planet FRA 0 Sherco Rally Factory Sherco +12'42
20 Xavier de Soultrait FRA 0 Xavier de Soultrait Yamaha +13'09
21 Laia Sanz SPA 0 Team HRC Honda +13'24
23 Daniel Gouet CHI 0 Honda South America Rally Team Honda +15'13
25 Javier Pizzolito ARG 0 Honda South America Rally Team Honda +16'57
31 Jean Azevedo BRA 0 Honda South America Rally Team Honda +21'47
Friday 9 Jan 2015, 16:03 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Helder Rodrigues POR 25 Team HRC Honda 3:40'10
2 Toby Price AUT 20 KTM AUS Rally Factory KTM +1'10
3 Paulo Goncalves POR 16 Team HRC Honda +1'42
4 Pablo Quintanilla CHI 13 KTM Rally Team KTM +6'11
5 Stefan Svitko SLK 11 Slovnaft Team KTM +6'42
6 Joan Barreda SPA 10 Team HRC Honda +7'20
7 Jeremias Israel CHI 9 Team HRC Honda +8'58
8 Marc Coma SPA 8 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +9'14
9 Ruben Faria POR 7 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +9'34
10 Ivan Jakes SLK 6 Microstep Industry Team KTM +13'59
11 Patricio Cabrera CHI 5 Kawasaki Chile Team Kawasaki +14'04
12 Alessandro Botturi ITA 4 Yamaha Racing Yamaha +15'03
13 Alain Duclos FRA 3 Sherco Rally Factory Sherco +16'04
14 Riaan van Niekerk RSA 2 Brother Link KTM Rally KTM +16'29
15 Michael Metge FRA 1 Team HRC Honda +17'09
17 Laia Sanz SPA 0 Team HRC Honda +17'57
18 Daniel Gouet CHI 0 Honda South America Rally Team Honda +18'42
19 Javier Pizzolito ARG 0 Honda South America Rally Team Honda +19'44
33 Jean Azevedo BRA 0 Honda South America Rally Team Honda +41'19
Thursday 8 Jan 2015, 15:38 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Marc Coma SPA 25 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 4:38'16
2 Joan Barreda SPA 20 Team HRC Honda +2'16
3 Pablo Quintanilla CHI 16 KTM Rally Team KTM +2'40
4 Stefan Svitko SLK 13 Slovnaft Team KTM +3'54
5 Paulo Goncalves POR 11 Team HRC Honda +4'37
6 Helder Rodrigues POR 10 Team HRC Honda +6'35
7 Jeremias Israel CHI 9 Team HRC Honda +7'10
8 Matthias Walkner AUT 8 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +7'24
9 Alain Duclos FRA 7 Sherco Rally Factory Sherco +9'57
10 Toby Price AUT 6 KTM AUS Rally Factory KTM +10'05
11 Jordi Viladoms SPA 5 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +13'48
12 Joan Pedrero SPA 4 Pont Grup Yamaha JVO Yamaha +14'25
13 Javier Pizzolito ARG 3 Honda South America Rally Team Honda +16'49
14 Ivan Jakes SLK 2 Microstep Industry Team KTM +16'55
15 Ruben Faria POR 1 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +17'24
16 David Casteu FRA 0 Team Casteu KTM +17'47
17 Riaan van Niekerk RSA 0 Brother Link KTM Rally KTM +22'52
18 Alessandro Botturi ITA 0 Yamaha Racing Yamaha +23'31
19 Laia Sanz SPA 0 Team HRC Honda +26'46
20 0 +29'04
21 Daniel Gouet CHI 0 Honda South America Rally Team Honda +31'59
22 Patricio Cabrera CHI 0 Kawasaki Chile Team Kawasaki +32'40
23 Emanuel Gyenes ROU 0 Autonet Motorcycle Team KTM +35'07
24 Olivier Pain FRA 0 Yamaha Racing Yamaha +35'14
25 Hans Vogels NDL 0 Team Hans Vogels KTM +35'29
37 Jean Azevedo BRA 0 Honda South America Rally Team Honda +51'31
Wednesday 7 Jan 2015, 15:25 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Joan Barreda SPA 25 Team HRC Honda 3:27'28
2 Marc Coma SPA 20 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +1'59
3 Pablo Quintanilla CHI 16 KTM Rally Team KTM +2'49
4 Jordi Viladoms SPA 13 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +10'44
5 Ruben Faria POR 11 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +10'55
6 Javier Pizzolito ARG 10 Honda South America Rally Team Honda +11'29
7 Alain Duclos FRA 9 Sherco Rally Factory Sherco +12'51
8 Laia Sanz SPA 8 Team HRC Honda +13'48
9 Stefan Svitko SLK 7 Slovnaft Team KTM +13'51
10 Michael Metge FRA 6 Team HRC Honda +14'32
11 Alessandro Botturi ITA 5 Yamaha Racing Yamaha +14'52
12 Paulo Goncalves POR 4 Team HRC Honda +14'56
13 Daniel Gouet CHI 3 Honda South America Rally Team Honda +15'05
14 Ivan Jakes SLK 2 Microstep Industry Team KTM +15'30
15 Riaan van Niekerk RSA 1 Brother Link KTM Rally KTM +16'17
18 Helder Rodrigues POR 0 Team HRC Honda +20'31
27 Jean Azevedo BRA 0 Honda South America Rally Team Honda +27'53
40 Jeremias Israel CHI 0 Team HRC Honda +35'43
Tuesday 6 Jan 2015, 15:01 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Matthias Walkner AUT 25 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 2:34'28
2 Marc Coma SPA 20 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +00'40
3 Joan Barreda SPA 16 Team HRC Honda +1'53
4 Toby Price AUT 13 KTM AUS Rally Factory KTM +2'45
5 Paulo Goncalves POR 11 Team HRC Honda +2'49
6 Alain Duclos FRA 10 Sherco Rally Factory Sherco +3'11
7 Ruben Faria POR 9 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +3'26
8 Jeremias Israel CHI 8 Team HRC Honda +4'02
9 Jordi Viladoms SPA 7 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +4'36
10 Joan Pedrero SPA 6 Pont Grup Yamaha JVO Yamaha +5'21
11 Sam Sunderland GBR 5 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +5'23
12 Pablo Quintanilla CHI 4 KTM Rally Team KTM +5'39
13 Stefan Svitko SLK 3 Slovnaft Team KTM +6'15
14 Alessandro Botturi ITA 2 Yamaha Racing Yamaha +6'16
15 Helder Rodrigues POR 1 Team HRC Honda +7'01
16 Michael Metge FRA 0 Team HRC Honda +7'51
17 Laia Sanz SPA 0 Team HRC Honda +9'28
18 Ivan Jakes SLK 0 Microstep Industry Team KTM +9'42
19 David Casteu FRA 0 Team Casteu KTM +9'54
20 Riaan van Niekerk RSA 0 Brother Link KTM Rally KTM +10'07
21 Olivier Pain FRA 0 Yamaha Racing Yamaha +11'35
22 Hans Vogels NDL 0 Team Hans Vogels KTM +13'42
23 Xavier de Soultrait FRA 0 Xavier de Soultrait Yamaha +15'38
24 Daniel Gouet CHI 0 Honda South America Rally Team Honda +15'53
35 Jean Azevedo BRA 0 Honda South America Rally Team Honda +25'42
36 Javier Pizzolito ARG 0 Honda South America Rally Team Honda +25'43
83 Demian Guiral ARG 0 Honda South America Rally Team Honda +56'02
Monday 5 Jan 2015, 13:41 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Joan Barreda SPA 25 Team HRC Honda 5:46'06
2 Paulo Goncalves POR 20 Team HRC Honda +6'13
3 Ruben Faria POR 16 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +9'16
4 Jordi Viladoms SPA 13 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +9'20
5 Toby Price AUT 11 KTM AUS Rally Factory KTM +9'42
6 Matthias Walkner AUT 10 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +11'25
7 Helder Rodrigues POR 9 Team HRC Honda +11'35
8 Marc Coma SPA 8 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +12'32
9 Jeremias Israel CHI 7 Team HRC Honda +15'49
10 Joan Pedrero SPA 6 Pont Grup Yamaha JVO Yamaha +16'45
11 Pablo Quintanilla CHI 5 KTM Rally Team KTM +18:00
12 Stefan Svitko SLK 4 Slovnaft Team KTM +21:44
13 Alain Duclos FRA 3 Sherco Rally Factory Sherco +21:55
14 Pablo Quintanilla CHI 2 KTM Rally Team KTM +22:50
15 David Casteu FRA 1 Team Casteu KTM +23:20
16 Laia Sanz SPA 0 Team HRC Honda +23'34
17 Michael Metge FRA 0 Team HRC Honda +25'25
18 Alessandro Botturi ITA 0 Yamaha Racing Yamaha +26'11
19 Olivier Pain FRA 0 Yamaha Racing Yamaha +26'19
20 Ivan Jakes SLK 0 Microstep Industry Team KTM +31'05
21 Xavier de Soultrait FRA 0 Xavier de Soultrait Yamaha +32'39
22 Kuba Przygonski POL 0 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +32'43
23 Hans Vogels NDL 0 Team Hans Vogels KTM +35'14
24 Daniel Gouet CHI 0 Honda South America Rally Team Honda +35'56
Sunday 4 Jan 2015, 12:10 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Sam Sunderland GBR 25 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 1:18'57
2 Paulo Goncalves POR 20 Team HRC Honda +00'05
3 Marc Coma SPA 16 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +1'12
4 Joan Barreda SPA 13 Team HRC Honda +1'42
5 Alain Duclos FRA 11 Sherco Rally Factory Sherco +2'08
6 Jeremias Israel CHI 10 Team HRC Honda +2'16
7 David Casteu FRA 9 Team Casteu KTM +2'36
8 Matthias Walkner AUT 8 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +2'42
9 Pablo Quintanilla CHI 7 KTM Rally Team KTM +2'58
10 Ruben Faria POR 6 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +3'02
11 Toby Price AUT 5 KTM AUS Rally Factory KTM +3'31
12 Helder Rodrigues POR 4 Team HRC Honda +3'32
13 Olivier Pain FRA 3 Yamaha Racing Yamaha +3'34
14 Jordi Viladoms SPA 2 Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +3'45
16 Javier Pizzolito ARG 0 Honda South America Rally Team Honda +4'32
17 Laia Sanz SPA 0 Team HRC Honda +4'46