Joan Barreda remains firmly in contention for the 2018 Dakar Rally victory after securing his third stage win of the rally on Saturday, but a tumble mid-stage meant it ended in pain for the Spaniard.
The Monster Energy Honda Team rider finished two minutes and fifty-one seconds clear of Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rival Adrien van Beveren during the stage between La Paz and Uyuni on Saturday, and is now only four minutes and forty-five seconds down on the Frenchman heading into Sunday’s stage between Uyuni and Tupiza.
However, Barreda fell hard during the latter half of the stage and damaged his knee, and although doctors have told him there is no break, there is liquid in the knee, and he is hopeful this can be rectified so he can ride pain-free, or at least with reduced pain, on Sunday.
“I was doing well and had recovered several minutes when in the middle of the storm I left the track and the bike fell on me, hitting my left knee,” said Barreda.
“I had the doctors look me over and they have told me that there is nothing broken, but that I have some liquid inside the knee. Let’s see if they can fix it and tomorrow we will start to try to hold on to the stage, although I saw the stars when I had to put my leg down on some corners.”