Day one of the Dakar Rally is in the books now and it was HRC Honda rider Joan Barreda who was first to strike. This year marks the most competitive field in years, with four different makes in the top five. Marc Coma is mere seconds out of the lead with his KTM, and defending champ Cyril Despres is third in his first serious outing on the Yamaha.
JOAN BARREDA: ‘It’s been a great day. I’m really pleased for the first win with Honda, especially for the team that has worked so hard the whole year to produce this new bike. I’m really happy to have begun the Dakar like this. Today was a tough one. Few kilometres, but with a very difficult track full of rocks and very slippery. I managed to get off really well in the second part, keep up a good pace and get a result in the end.
MARC COMA: ‘It was not easy with just a special of 180 km and on the first day of the Dakar you don’t yet really have the right feeling. But I am happy for what we managed today. I took things fairly easy but the race is long and this is just the beginning.’
Provisional result
Stage 1:
1. Joan Barreda (ESP, Honda) 2:25:31 hrs
2. Marc Coma (ESP, KTM) +00:00:37
3. Cyril Despres (FRA, Yamaha) +00:01:40
4. Alain Duclos (FRA, Sherco) +00:01:56
5. Paulo Goncalves (PRT, Honda) +00:02:25
6. Francisco Lopez (CHL, KTM) +00:03:24
7. Juan Pedrero Garcia (ESP, Sherco) +00:03:47
8. Sam Sunderland (GBR, Honda) +00:04:33
9. Michael Metge (FRA, Yamaha) +00:04:33
10. Alessandro Botturi (ITA, Speedbrain) +00:04:48

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