Joan Barreda landed a victory in the second leg of the Marathon stage, which ran from Cachi to San Miguel de Tucuman. A heavy rainfall in the night forced the organizers to reprogram a shorter than planned stage, and cancel the first part of the special test, leaving only the final 183 km (114 miles). The surprise for the day was Johnny Campbell’s finish in second place. After a terrible start to the rally, Campbell had resigned to his role as a water carrier for his Honda teammates, but  in  this case, a late start time actually played to his advantage, as the front runners lost time searching for the waterlogged course. Virtually all of the riders suffered navigational problems, leaving the overall leaderboard in chaos. Yesterday’s winner Kurt Caselli, as well as overall leader Olivier Pain and a large group of other riders got lost and fell back in the standings. That left the door open for David Casteu to regain the overall lead.
Through most of the night, Caselli and his factory teammates had helped Cyril Despres to change engines on his machine after he suffered mechanical issues the previous day. Stages seven and eight were designated ‘marathon’ stages in which competitors were allowed no outside assistance from their support team. So it was up to his fellow factory riders to help Cyril make the switch. In a show of typical KTM team solidarity they all worked to change over the engine of Despres’ bike with the KTM-supported bike of Polish rider Marek Dabrowski. KTM is indebted to Marek’s team for allowing the changeover. In the end, Cyril made up time in the overall standings because he got “less lost” than Caselli and the other early starters, eventually finishing 11th. The engine swap will cost Despres a 15 minute penalty at the end of the day.
Joan Barreda on the Husqvarna TE449RR by Speedbrain notched up his third stage victory so far in this Dakar, equalling Chilean Lopez as the rider with most stage victories to date. Barreda navigated through a tough, technical special, making an excellent interpretation of the course, whilst imposing a seven minute advantage over his nearest rival.
Joan Barreda :”After a couple of days in which just about everything has happened to me, this is a really important victory! Winning again is vital for me and for the whole team. I was up with Despres, but 50 km from the finish I saw that he had taken the wrong route, so I halted and then decided to take another path, and that led to victory. “


Results Stage Eight
Calama to Tucuman (first half stage canceled because of heavy rain)
1, Joan Barreda , Spain, Husqvarna, 2 hours 07.26
2, Johnny Campbell, USA, Honda, 2:14.30
3, Ivan Jakes, Slovakia, KTM, 2:15.23
4, Bianchi Prata, Portugal Husqvarna 2:18.36
5, Vincent Guindani, Italy, Yamaha, 2:20.33
6, David Casteu, France, Yamaha, 2:21.39
11, Cyril Despres, France, KTM 2:23.35
28, Ruben Faria, Portugal, KTM 2:29.50
34, Ben Grabham, Australia, 2:38.25
38, Riaan Van Niekerk, South Africa KTM, 2:31.41
50, Chaleco Lopez, Chile, KTM 2:34.10
57, Kurt Caselli, USA, KTM 2:36.36
61, Jakub Przgonski, Poland, KTM 2:39.05
70, Joan Pedrero, Spain, KTM 2:42.20
76, Darryl Curtis, South Africa, KTM 2:44.20
86, Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Norway, KTM 2, 48.04

Overall Standings after Stage Eight
1, Casteu 19:56.37
2, Despres, KTM, 20:05.59 (provisional – will drop to sixth after being handed the regulation 15 minute penalty for changing engines)
3, Faria KTM 20:07.49
4, Lopez, KTM 20:08.33
Other KTM
8, Przygonski, KTM, 20:28.05
9, Svitko, KTM, 20:30.23
11, Caselli, KTM 20:23.39
15, Van Niekerk, KTM 20:39.40
17, Pedrero, KTM 20:45.61
19, Curtis, KTM 21:06.09
20, Ullevalseter, KTM 21:09.20
21, Grabham, KTM 21:10.06

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