Video - Dakar Rally 2015 Stage 3: KTM Responds to Honda Challenge!!

Video - Dakar Rally 2015 Stage 3: KTM Responds to Honda Challenge!!

Snapshot: Rookie Shines as KTM Responds to Honda Challenge and Wins Stage 3!!

After covering 175 miles of connection, riders in the 2015 Dakar Rally started Stage 3, a rocky 136-mile test which led competitors above an altitude of 10,000 feet. It proved to be a day for Dakar rookies, with Red Bull KTM’s Matthias Walkner scoring the stage win and his teammate, Toby Price, finishing fourth. Veterans of the event also performed well, with KTM’s Marc Coma finishing second-fastest and Team HRC’s Joan Barreda claiming third. In response to a difficult Stage 2, Dakar officials shortened Stage 3 of the 2015 Dakar Rally, but the picturesque course was still enough to shake up the standings a bit.

Winning the stage was Dakar newcomer, MX3 World Champion Matthias Walkner — the first Austrian rider in The Dakar since the 1990’s. “I already had a good feeling when I got to the finish because I knew I had a good day. But at the end I was a bit tired and wasn’t concentrating so well and I made some small mistakes,” explained stage-winner Walkner. “It is an amazing feeling to win the stage and for sure I didn’t expect this. It will be difficult to open the piste tomorrow. Now for the rest of the rally I just want to enjoy every kilometer, to learn and to stay focused on the road book so I don’t make many mistakes.” Continued the Factory KTM rider, Walkner added some orange to the stage podium, and was joined by KTM’s Marc Coma, who finished second for the day, 40 seconds behind his teammate. Managing the gap though, Honda’s Joan Barreda finished the day third, only a minute and change behind Walkner.

As such, Barreda stays in control of the overall standings, but Coma is within a comfortable 11-minute gap of the HRC rider. “Today was not a long stage and I thought it would be a good day to recover some time,” said Marc Coma. But in the end that is quite difficult to do if the distance is short. Tomorrow the skyline of the rally completely changes. We arrive in the open desert and the sand dunes where I feel more comfortable. Everything is possible.” While everything is possible for Coma and KTM, the Yamaha Racing squad continues to languish at the bottom half of the Top 20, citing issues with the Yamaha YZ450F in off-piste and rocky terrain.

Olivier Pain has also been vocal about the relatively easy navigational challenges in the 2015 Dakar Rally, and the Frenchman hopes to make up his 37-minute deficit in the more technical stages. “Over the fast terrain at the beginning of the rally, I was able to find a good rhythm on the bike. Then after the CP we got into more rocky terrain, in a rio and some off-piste, and it was harder work. The team is working hard to improve the bike in these kind of conditions and there was definitely some improvement today,” said Pain. “Tomorrow we have a very long liaison of 594 kilometres to get across the Andes into Chile…Once we’ve negotiated that we have a quite tough 315 km special to take us all the way to Copiapo. I’m hoping that there will be more navigation than we’ve had up until now and that it will allow me to pull back some time,” he added.

With Stage 4 a difficult high-altitude stage, Pain might be finally getting his wish, but in the mean time Juan Pedrero has been holding the banner for Yamaha, currently sitting 10th overall and 23-minutes back from Barreda.  Will tomorrow show favour on the trailing riders, or will Honda and Joan Barreda pull the pin and surge ahead? Only time will tell, and truly anything can happen.

Top 10 from Stage 3 – San Juan to Chilecito – of the 2015 Dakar Rally:

Pos.

Rider

Country

Brand

Time

1

WALKNER

AUT

KTM

02:34:28

2

COMA

ESP

KTM

+00:40

3

BARREDA BORT

ESP

HONDA

+01:53

4

PRICE

AUS

KTM

+02:45

5

GONCALVES

PRT

HONDA

+02:49

6

DUCLOS

FRA

SHERCO TVS

+03:11

7

FARIA

PRT

KTM

+03:26

8

ISRAEL ESQUERRE

CHL

HONDA

+04:02

9

VILADOMS

ESP

KTM

+04:36

10

PEDRERO GARCIA

ESP

YAMAHA

+05:21

Overall Top 10 of the 2015 Dakar Rally:

Pos.

Rider

Country

Brand

Time

1

BARREDA BORT

ESP

HONDA

09:43:05

2

GONCALVES

PRT

HONDA

00:05:33

3

WALKNER

AUT

KTM

00:10:33

4

COMA

ESP

KTM

00:10:50

5

FARIA

PRT

KTM

00:12:10

6

PRICE

AUS

KTM

00:12:24

7

VILADOMS

ESP

KTM

00:14:07

8

ISRAEL ESQUERRE

CHL

HONDA

00:18:33

9

RODRIGUES

PRT

HONDA

00:18:34

10

PEDRERO GARCIA

ESP

YAMAHA

00:23:02

Watch the Video After the Jump:

Dakar Rally 2015 - Honda Shines at Stage 2 - Watch the epic video here!!!

•  Honda •  KTM
on 2015-01-07 02:40:54

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