Wednesday 12th & Thursday 13th December: Tracks closed. The rain up here in the hills keeps coming.

Barreda Wins Stage 4

Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge

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Joan Barreda wins yet another stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, commanding from the start after a spectacular motocross-style start. Paulo Gonçalves, is second in the overall standings keeping open his chances of winning the rally.

Joan ‘Bang Bang’ Barreda rode a superb fourth stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, winning the special and remaining alone up front from the start to the finishing-line in Qasr Al Sarab. It was a different start from the normal ones, with riders setting off in groups of fifteen at the same time. Barreda got off to a flying start on the Honda CRF450 RALLY, and upped the pace after the refuelling, crossing the line with a 1 minute 20 second advantage over Marc Coma. The rider who hails from Spain’s Castellón stands third on the overall leader-board.

Paulo Gonçalves kept up a cracking rhythm throughout most of the day, taking care not to lose Barreda and Coma, although a slight error on one of the dunes saw him lose a little time. In spite of this, the reigning world champion finished in third and climbs a place in the overall standings, just one and a half minutes behind Marc Coma as the race heads into its final stage.

Team HRC’s third rider HélderRodrigues, put in a comfortable ride to finish fifth. The Portuguese rider who has put Monday’s mishap behind him moves up to seventh place in the overall standings.

Tomorrow sees the fifth and final stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, with a 244.77 km special. Team HRC will be fighting to the final metre to obtain victory in the test and notch up a respectable final overall team result.

Joan Barreda Joan Barreda 1st 03:37’20 Team HRC

Today was a really good day. After the first day without a very good feeling and some problems, suddenly we found a good pace and a good rhythm. The last two or three days we’ve found a really good speed, always pushing. We have another victory. I know that it is not easy to win this rally, but tomorrow we will be giving it our all.

Paulo Goncalves Paulo Goncalves 3rd +02’29 Team HRC

Today was a very hard day. Before the refuelling we were all riding together at a slower speed. After refuelling we speeded up. A few kilometres from the end as me, Joan and Marc were together, I got a bit caught up in one of the dunes. But tomorrow we have chance to win the race and we will try. I hope it all goes well.

Helder Rodrigues Helder Rodrigues 5th +04’31 Team HRC

It was a motocross day in the desert today. There was a MX type of start then a lot of open desert. The job today was for Paulo to do his best to win the race. Also Joan had a good stage. I tried to do my best to help the team rather than trying to win. I think tomorrow Paulo has a chance to win. Marc starts from behind. I’ll start behind Paulo. That will be my aim tomorrow.

Results Stage 4

1 Joan Barreda 03:37’20 ESP HONDA TEAM HRC
2 Marc Coma +01’20 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
3 Paulo Goncalves +02’29 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
4 Jordi Viladoms +03’22 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
5 Helder Rodrigues +04’31 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
6 Mohammed Albalooshi +06’12 UAE KTM KTM UAC
7 Miran Stanovnik +09’33 SLO KTM Team Stavnovik
8 Mohammed Abu Issa +21’47 QAT YAMAHA Abu Issa
9 Oliver Lloyd +29’05 GBR SPEEDBRAIN Speedbrain Rally Team
10 Rafal Sonik +29’20 POL HONDA Poland National

Provisional Standings after Stage 4

1 Marc Coma 14:12’10 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
2 Paulo Goncalves +01’31 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
3 Joan Barreda +05’49 ESP HONDA TEAM HRC
4 Jordi Viladoms +32’51 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
5 Miran Stanovnik +1:28’24 SLO KTM Team Stavnovik
6 Mohammed Albalooshi +1:31’01 UAE KTM KTM UAC
7 Helder Rodrigues +1:58’43 PRT HONDA TEAM HRC
8 Oliver Lloyd +2:38’17 GBR SPEEDBRAIN Speedbrain Rally Team
9 Santosh CS +02:45’37 IND KTM Team CS
10 Jakub Piatek +2:46’38 POL KTM Team Hanesco

 
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