A very short stage one of Dakar 2019 started in Lima, Peru today. The top man, with a score of 57 minutes, was Monster Energy Honda HRC rider Joan Barreda. Rockstar Husqvarna’s Paublo Quntanella was second. As for the Americans, it was Ricky Brabec in third and Andrew Short in 13th, just over a minute back.
JOAN BARREDA: I’m very happy to start like this. Today was a short stage but where everyone went very fast. Without making mistakes I managed to push for the whole of the special. In the beginning it’s always a bit difficult to pick up the rhythm, but from kilometre 20 I started to improve and I was able to maintain a good rhythm during the whole stage with very good results. Now it’s time to think about the long stages where the way of preparing them changes. Tomorrow we will have to stay focused, since the pace will also be high and there is more chance of getting lost.”
RICKY BRABEC: “The stage was not very long, but there were many dunes and a lot of people. I have found the whole special went pretty well: there was a bit of fesh-fesh but I’m very happy to be here and am prepared to give it my best shot over the coming days.”
ANDREW SHORT: “I’m really happy with my performance today. Compared to last year, I am a lot more confident and I feel more familiar with the terrain and with racing at high speeds. I was a little bit nervous before the start, but it all went well and I could do my own race today. In rally racing you never know when it gets tricky, so it’s nice to be prepared for anything that’s thrown at you. Overall, I had a good feeling today. There were some dusty parts today in the special test and it got very windy close to the end. Hopefully I can continue to improve my pace as the race goes on and I can get closer to the top 10 in the overall standings.”
STAGE 1 RESULTS