The second day of the Morocco rally proved to be another sand-filled affair with a lot of navigation as the caravan rolled on through the treacherous dunes of Erg Chebbi. The Husqvarna Team by Speedbrain finished the day well with Barreda in fourth place just a minute away from a podium place. Barreda who made a mistake some nine km (six miles) into the race and dropped back several places, was able to deal well with the situation and managed to pull back to within three minutes of the winner. Goncalves put in a good race to come in seventh, and Fish made a good comeback in eighth. Barreda keeps a firm grip on the overall fourth place and Goncalves fifth. Tomorrow a 350 km stage (219 miles) with 290 km of special test awaits that will take the riders from Ergoud to Zagorà.
Juan Barreda: “I got off to a swift start to try and make up some time, but I made a mistake nine kilometres into the race. I lost a lot of time trying to find the right route. Nevertheless, I’m happy with the way I pulled back close to the first three. The bike is going really well and there is still a long way to go in the rally. ”
Paulo Goncalves: “Today was a really tough day with such a lot of navigating to do. I raced well until the refuelling, then I started to lose time looking for the right route. But anyway, I’m happy with the way the race has gone up until now. The bike’s great and I think that it’s good preparation for the Dakar
Matt Fish: “Today was a lot better. You learn something every day and gain experience. It’s all new to me here: the bike, the navigation and Morocco! There are four stages still to go. It’s been a great learning experience for the Dakar”
Wolfgang Fischer – Team Manager :”Today too has been a great day. All three of the riders came in without any particular problems. Barreda got off to a flying start. Unfortunately he chose the wrong route that made him lose a lot of time. He dropped down to sixteenth place eight minutes behind the front runners. He managed to fight his way back without any further mistakes’ and closed in on the leaders. Goncalves did well in spite of a minor error. Here in Morocco navigation is really tricky. There are so many different possible interpretations. After a careful race yesterday, Fish managed to make a good comeback without taking too many risks overtaking other riders. “
Second stage result: 1.Despres (KTM), 2. Coma (KTM) at 1’45”, 3. Rodrigues (Honda) a 3’11”, 4. Barreda (Husqvarna) at 3’26”, 5. Casteu ( Yamaha) at 6’02”, 6.Lopez (KTM) at 7’12”, 7. Goncalves (Husqvarna) at 7’13”, 8. Fish (Husqvarna) at 10’42”.
Overall standings after two stages: 1. Despres (KTM), 2. Coma (KTM) at 37”, 3. Rodrigues (Honda), at 51”, 4.Barreda (Husqvarna Rally Team by Speedbrain) at 11’47”, 5. Goncalves (Husqvarna Rally Team by Speedbrain) at 18’29”,…….14 Fish (Husqvarna Rally Team by Speedbrain ) at 50’12”.