He won in Andalusia, also in Aragon and is willing to repeat in Morocco. Joan Barreda He is looking to make an impeccable road to the Dakar and the first step through the African desert could not have been better for him. Nobody covered the 288 kilometers of special faster than him, taking for very good the strategy that Honda carried out in the prologue on Friday, when its four drivers left others to fight at the top and sacrificed some time for a better starting position. Without a doubt, they knew what they were doing: they signed a triplet.

The Spaniard shone in the first stage that featured a 30-kilometer dune area along Erg Chegaga, but what really complicated the day was a sandstorm. That was where Barreda struck to be the winner of the day, in some more sinuous sections in which those strong gusts of wind made navigation difficult and he did a tandem with Brabec to come out with flying colors. Both crossed the finish line first and second within a minute of each other. Quintanilla made it third to three.

Normal that Joan was “really happy” after the stage that gives him the lead by 54 seconds over his American teammate. “There was a lot of dust, but in the dunes I was very tight. Afterwards, some had difficulties in finding their way due to a sand storm, I kept a cool mind and it was the best decision,” he explained. Worse it was to Lorenzo Santolino, who left more than half an hour after suffering youth problems with his new Sherco and some navigation problems.

Al-Attiyah takes advantage and Cristina shines

Contrary to usual, this time the most interesting thing is in the motorcycles, because in cars there is no mystery as long as the reliability of the Toyota respects Al-Attiyah, and the Qatari demonstrated it the first time he could. Four minutes ahead of Al-Rajhi to start, and with the next, the French Chabot, at 14, although Przygonski would have been closer had he not been stopped for 50 minutes. Almost those that Esteve yielded (53). And a brilliant start also for Cristina Gutiérrez, at 27 minutes she was eighth of the day among the cars and the best of the T3. On Sunday they expect the next 334 kilometers against the clock.

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