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).

Dakar Marathon Stage

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 stormed his way through a tough, technical special, making an excellent interpretation of the course, whilst imposing a seven minute advantage over his nearest rival. Noteworthy too, was the performance of Portuguese privateer Bianchi Prata aboard a standard TE449, a result which further evidences the excellent competitive edge that the 449 has in the rally. Goncalves and Botturi, on the other hand, made a navigational blunder as they followed the main leader’s group down a mistaken route. Jordi Viladoms is still in with a shout; he restarted today after yesterday’s long delay and came in twenty-first on the day.

After eight stages and around 4000 km of racing, the Dakar caravan gets a well-deserved day of rest tomorrow. But there’s still another 4000 km to go before Santiago…

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. “

Alessandro Botturi: “I was unable to find the right route. A whole load of us arrived at that point about a 110 km into the special. Besides the track was really dangerous. Anyway, we are only at the halfway point, and I’m happy with the way things have gone up until now.”

Wolfgang Fischer: “We are halfway through the race and we have won three out of the eight stages. Barreda has shown again today just how valuable he is, and how mature he is, especially with navigation. It’s a real shame that he won’t be battling for a place at the top of the leader board after the setbacks of a couple of days ago. But there’s still a long way to go…”

Dakar Marathon Stage

Eighth Stage Result:

1. Joan Barreda (Husqvarna)
2. Campbell (Honda) 7:04
3. Jakes (KTM) 7:57
4. Bianchi Prata (Husqvarna) 11:10
21. Viladoms (Husqvarna) 18:42
22. Fish (Husqvarna) 19:08
28. Busquets (Husqvarna) 21:21
39. Paulo Goncalves (Husqvarna) 24:22
52. Pavey Simon (Husqvarna) 27:01
53. Alessandro Botturi (Husqvarna) 27:19

Overall Standings After Eight Stages:

1. Casteau (Yamaha)
2. Despres (KTM) 9:26
3. Faria (KTM) 11:16
4. Lopez (KTM) 12:00
5. Pain (Yamaha) 16:10
13. Alessandro Botturi (Husqvarna) 36:47
24. Paulo Goncalves (Husqvarna) 1:41:40
41. Joan Barreda (Husqvarna) 3:26:40
48. Viladoms (Husqvarna) 7:48:02
71. Matt Fish (Husqvarna) 22:39:22