Monster Honda’s Joan Barreda proved the man to beat, claiming victory on today’s second Dakar 2021 stage and clinching the overall race leadership.
But these two feats weren’t the only thing Barreda was celebrating. With today’s race, the rider from Castellón takes his Dakar Rally stage victory tally to 25, the fourth best rider in the Dakar role of honour. Barreda held a six-and-a-half minute margin over the day’s runner-up, team-mate Ricky Brabec.
“It was a very good stage. We were forced to attack from the very first kilometre until the end and the truth is that it went well,” said Barreda.
“But this is only the second stage of the Dakar and we know that tomorrow it will be difficult starting from the front once again. You have to stay calm, try not to make any mistakes and take it stage by stage.
Brabed added: “Unfortunately we didn’t win, but I’m not sure if I want to win a stage for the rest of this Dakar. It bit us hard yesterday. It’s going to be a long Dakar. We are going to do our best each day to finish each and every day.
“We’re trying to make up time that we lost. We have ten days left. Right now we’re in a good spot. We’ve got to be smart. We’ve got to keep the bike moving fast. Today was really fast. I feel the navigation wasn’t that tricky. It’s a different story when you are opening the stage.
“My team-mate Kevin found that out today. He’s a solid opener, but he had a couple of issues. He lost time as well as Toby. We are safe and healthy and ready for day three.”