The 2017 edition of the Dakar rally took off in the Paraguayan capital Asuncion on the January 2, through Bolivia and Argentina, reaching its final 12th stage on the January 14 and on to the goal in the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires. The total distance added up close to 9000km with 3000km/six days of the route set in high altitudes in Bolivia and the Andes. The total of timed Special Stages were planned to be over 4000km with a need of high level navigation, however, due to heavy rain disturbing the planned route, two of the stages were cancelled and a number of others were shortened, largely affecting the race.
Joan BarredazoomJoan Barreda Joan BarredazoomJoan Barreda
Taken place in the outskirts of Río Cuarto, the last stage was a short 64km and started in the reverse order, a Dakar tradition for the last day before the goal. Monster Energy Honda Team riders Michael Metge, Paulo Goncalves and Joan Barreda started from positions 84, 92 and 93. Metge finished the stage 3minutes 1second behind the leader in 9th, while Goncalves in 5th (1minute 25seconds behind), and Barreda in 3rd, a close 18 seconds behind the winner of the final stage.
Final overall standings for the Monster Energy Honda Team show Barreda in 5th, Goncalves in 6th and Metge in 14th.
Also local Argentinian rider Franco Caimi who entered from the Honda South America Rally Team showed his skill and finished an overall 8th, the highest position for this year’s Dakar rookies and was rewarded the Rookie of the Year prize.
This year’s challenge for the Monster Energy Honda Team is over. The one hour sanction all the Honda riders received due to unclear description in the rulebook resulted in letting the rivals dominate the podium.
However, the fact that Barreda closed the gap to 43minutes 8seconds when reaching the goal line in Buenos Aires, when he was 1hour 14minutes behind when finishing the 7th stage, shows his determination and how strong he rode despite of the shortened and cancelled sections limiting his chances to catch up. The team winning five stages, four by Barreda and one by Brabec, is a huge achievement and both Goncalves and Metge also were always fighting amongst the top runners.
This comes to prove that the CRF450RALLY has further improved its reliability and dependability through the practical testing over the last year, and the advanced team structure has united the Monster Energy Honda Team, and was able to show their ability at the 2017 Dakar.
Paulo GoncalveszoomPaulo Goncalves Paulo GoncalveszoomPaulo Goncalves
#11 Joan Barreda, Stage12 3rd / Overall 5th :"I have done everything I could for the last two weeks but we were unable to reach our goal. Arriving here at the goal the sensation has also come that I’ve spent the whole year working for this. However the feeling inside is a good one because I’ve given it all I’ve got and done the best I possibly could, leaving me with a calm mind. I’ve worked hard for the last year in preparation and that has showed. Last year we developed a really magnificent bike which hasn’t given us the slightest problem throughout the race and the team has worked well together. These changes made the team much stronger and let us race a very positive Dakar. Ricky, only in his second year of challenge, has made a giant leap forward, Mika was always very close and Paulo was always in the top positions. We have to be pleased to have such a strong team."#17 Paulo Goncalves, Stage12 5th / Overall 6th :"The 2017 Dakar is over, and we are happy with the work that HRC have done and the achievements we have made throughout the year. The only thing that isn’t right is the final result. If it hadn’t been for the penalty we would have finished in first and second place, so we definitely deserved more and we will have to look into what happened, but we know how to win it now. The only thing is that we have to wait another year to show our true performance. I wish to thank the whole team as we would have clinched a one-two without the sanction, which was our aim."#15 Michael Metge, Stage12 9th / Overall 14th :"They told me that the last short Special Stage would be flat and simple, but it wasn’t true. We started our thirty seconds apart and the dust cloud caused by the riders starting ahead was enormous, totally blocking any vision. There was some broken up track and potholes and I needed to be careful in the limited visibility. I just wanted to make it to the end, I didn’t want to take any risks because there was nothing to be archived from it. I admit we are a bit disappointed by the penalty, but I think the Monster Energy Honda Team has had a great race. Hopefully the story hasn’t finished here and we can recover the hour in future challenges."
Michael MetgezoomMichael Metge
Dakar Rally 2017 - Stage 12
1 Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 00:30'29
2 Gerard Farres Guell (KTM) 00:30'29
3 Joan Barreda (Honda) +00:00'18
4 Matthias Walkner (KTM) +00:00'33
5 Paulo Goncalves (Honda) +00:01'25
6 Sam Sunderland (KTM) +00:01'42
9 Michael Metge (Honda) +00:03'01
10 Franco Caimi (Honda) +00:03'07
24 Daniel Nosiglia (Honda) +00:05'58
29 Walter Nosiglia (Honda) +00:07'27
49 Simone Agazzi (Honda) +00:11'07
73 Richard Fliter (Honda) +00:15'39
97 Pedro Bianchi Prata (Honda) +00:51'01
Dakar Rally 2017 - Overall classification
1 Sam Sunderland (KTM) 32:06'22
2 Matthias Walkner (KTM) 32:38'22
3 Gerard Farres Guell (KTM) 32:42'02
4 Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 32:42'50
5 Joan Barreda (Honda) 32:49'30
6 Paulo Goncalves (Honda) 32:58'51
8 Franco Caimi (Honda) 33:48'40
14 Michael Metge (Honda) 34:44'54
24 Daniel Nosiglia (Honda) 36:59'55
37 Simone Agazzi (Honda) 39:09'59
41 Walter Nosiglia (Honda) 40:47'03
57 Pedro Bianchi Prata (Honda) 44:38'21
59 Richard Fliter (Honda) 45:01'38
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