be_ixf;ym_202205 d_18; ct_100
Joan Barreda at the Baja Aragon

Barreda blasts to first major HRC Rally win in Aragon

Jul 232017

Sweet victory tasted fine for Monster Energy HRC’s Joan Barreda as the Spaniard ruled proceedings for the three days of the Baja Aragon rally in Spain; one of the most prestigious off-road chases in Europe and a competition the Dakar star and stage winner had owned on three previous occasions.

Barreda came into his ‘home’ event hungry and for what was the 34th edition of the rally. He’d recovered from the broken collarbone that kept him on the sidelines for the opening two chases of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies Championship in Abu Dhabi and Qatar and was fixed on gaining a maiden piece of silverware for the vast and well-supported Honda crew.

The defending title-holder from 2016 was one of the favourites for success on the wide-ranging and challenging trek 350km through the north eastern region in Spain and took the event by the scruff of the neck right from the short prologue section on his CRF450. Across the next two days Barreda was flanked by Metge (the Frenchman only falling foul of a GPS penalty on the final stage) as the Hondas filled first and third spots on the final box.

“It is not easy to win the Baja Aragon and I am very happy to have won four times here,” said former motocrosser Barreda who was also glad of the confidence shot with some other big competitions coming up through the summer and autumn months. “Although I have had some minor mishaps, I feel satisfied to have been able to overcome the circumstances when things weren’t going right. I put in a good performance and so I'm happy about it. We were looking for pace in this rally and I think we showed greater rhythm than the rest of the participants.”


Honda can now look to another journey across the Atlantic. The Atacama Rally in Chile constitutes round three of the FIM chase in the second week of August and should see Paolo Goncalves and Kevin Benavides back in play with the CRF450 Rally.