Dakar 2016 – Stage 3 Summery Video (Cars and Bikes)
On this third stage of the Dakar 2016, the special was predicted to suit quick drivers and riders. Indeed, it lived up to its expectations. Sébastien Loeb gave a veritable demonstration behind the wheel of his Peugeot, just like Joan Barreda behind the handlebars of his Honda. Whilst Barreda, enjoying his 14th stage win on the Dakar with this success, regained the lead in the bike category, Sébastien Loeb strengthened his position of leader in the car race.
What a difference a day makes. Head and shoulders above the rest yesterday, KTM’s Australian rider Toby Price (KTM) did not get it right on the stage today. Perhaps it was due to having to open the way, but Price was never able to follow the pace of the Hondas. Even at the first CP, he was overtaken by the “red army” and could not buck the trend, finishing in 10th place in the provisional standings more than 5 minutes off the lead.
He was not the only one to suffer the demonstration by the Honda riders, because Ruben Faria (Husqvarna), who was second to start this morning behind the Australian, also had to hold his hands up and face the music at the finish where lost almost 6 minutes to the day’s winner. The Portuguese rider drops to eighth position in the general standings, almost 4 minutes off the top. Fortunately for the KTM Husqvarna group, Antoine Meo, the five times world enduro champion, put in a superb performance on his KTM number 49. The Frenchman, participating in his first Dakar, took fourth place on the stage, climbing up to 13th place in the general standings. Below the new leader Barreda, Stefan Svitko (KTM), fifth on the day’s special, is 14 seconds behind and Kevin Benavides (Honda) is 48 seconds behind.
In the quad category, the day was marked by the battle between the two leaders of the general standings. In the end, Brian Baragwanath, second behind Ignacio Casale, won the stage by just four seconds. It was a prestigious victory, but unfortunately for the South African, he is still 3’56” behind the Chilean. Behind the two men, Marcelo Medeiros, third to finish the stage, strengthens his hold on this same position in the general standings, but still lags behind the category leader by 6’58”.
Similar to his time as a WRC driver when he had to “sweep” the route for the others on the specials, Sébastien Loeb did not shirk his responsibilities today. Opening the tracks ahead of a pack of old hands ready to take advantage of the slightest mistake, the nine times world rally champion drove a faultless stage. The Frenchman, leading at each intermediate point, did not miss out on the opportunity to win a special on which navigation was merely a secondary concern. However, he had to remain watchful to avoiding making a blunder. Though he acknowledges that the finishing line is still far away, it must be noted that Sébastien Loeb has already left his mark on this 38th edition of the Dakar.
Behind the Peugeot driver, the favourites for victory in Rosario worked to limit the damage but the gaps in the general standings are all greater than five minutes. De Villiers (Toyota) is 5’03” behind, Peterhansel (Peugeot) 5’15” and Hirvonen (Mini) 5’52”. As for Al Attiyah (Mini) he lags behind by more than 6’30” whilst Despres and Sainz in the other two Peugeots are more than 10 minutes from Loeb.
Finally, in the truck race, Czech driver Martin Kolomy (Tatra) triumphed ahead of Hans Stacey (Man) and Pieter Versluis (Man). Stacey keeps the lead in the general standings but loses 22 seconds to Versluis. Federico Villagra (Iveco), thanks to his third place on the special, climbs up to the same rank in the general standings.
Source – Dakar 2016, Redbull Media