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Results Stage 1

Dakar 2015

maddix park mx

www.motorcycle-usa.com

Red Bull KTM’s Sam Sunderland got off to a strong start in the 2015 Dakar Rally, taking the Stage 1 win with a time of 1:18:57. He narrowly beat Team HRC’s Paulo Goncalves, the Portuguese rider logging a time just five seconds adrift of Sunderland for second-place. Defending Dakar champion and teammate to Sunderland, Marc Coma, finished the first day in third. 

The day’s route, which included 108 miles of special timed section, took riders across the Argentine countryside from Buenos Aires to Villa Carlos Paz. The special itself started nearly 90 miles outside Buenos Aires and consisted mainly of dirt trail without any dramatic elevation changes or obstacles to surmount. Sunderland claimed the early lead, coming to the initial checkpoint first on the timesheet, 17 seconds ahead of Coma. He maintained top position through the remaining checkpoints for the stage win. 

"It's difficult to judge your strategy based on the first day because you still don't know who's pulled out all the stops,” explained Sunderland afterward. “It's also important not to go all in, you've got to leave something for the other stages... However, I think I had a good special and that's always a reason to be happy. The bike didn't miss a beat, it was very fast and I probably posted a good time. I'm a contender... for the first day. I hope I'm also a contender at the end, but we've only covered 175 kilometers and there's still a long road before us.” 

Goncalves’ teammate, Joan Barreda, finished fourth less than two minutes behind the leader. Sherco’s Alain Duclos took fifth ahead of Barreda’s teammate, Jeremias Israel, in sixth. KTM pilot David Casteu took seventh followed by his teammate, Matthias Walkner, in eighth. 

Motorcycle USA contributing editor Llewelyn Pavey ended the opening day in 84th position followed by his father Simon in 85th. 

The action gets serious in Stage 2, with 321 miles of special timed section planned. 

Dakar Rally 2015 Stage 1 Results 
1. Sam Sunderland GBR (KTM) 1:18:57 
2. Paulo Goncalves PRT (Honda) 1:19:02 
3. Marc Coma ESP (KTM) 1:20:09 
4. Joan Barreda ESP (Honda) 1:20:38 
5. Alain Duclos FRA (Sherco) 1:21:05 
6. Jeremias Israel CHL (Honda) 1:21:13 
7. David Casteu FRA (KTM) 1:21:33 
8. Matthias Walkner AUT (KTM) 1:21:39 
9. Pablo Quintanilla CHL (KTM) 1:21:55 
10. Ruben Faria PRT (KTM) 1:21:59

 
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