Joan Barreda has taken top honours in the Baja Aragón 2016. The Spaniard from Team HRC ruled the roost from start to finish throughout the entire rally to secure his his third overall win in the event.
He was joined on the podium by Gerard Farres and teammate Michael Metge.
In spite of starting the day with almost a seven-minute surplus over second place Joan Pedrero, today Barreda was not resting on his laurels. Setting an imposing pace over the 184 kilometre stage against the clock, the rider scorched to victory adding a further minute to his overall advantage.
“I’m really happy, particularly because we were able to race without making any mistakes, which was our original aim,” told Barreda. “We set out looking for a very fast pace. There were some stretches where we were really able to push hard. I had to really get to grips with the smaller, more aggressive bike, which will be good for us when we move back to the bigger bike.”
The final tally saw the Team HRC star accumulate an 8’17” difference over runner-up Gerard Farrés to make it a hat-trick of Baja Aragón victories.
Frenchman Michael Metge, took everyone by surprise to produce the third fastest time in the final special stage. Metge showed that, although not being armed with the most appropriate bike for this kind of Baja terrain, he was still able to blaze a trail around the sinuous, dusty tracks around Teruel.
The race also marked an impressive result for EnduroGP regular Oriol Mena. Dipping his toe in rally waters, the Spaniard ended the event fourth overall.
The Baja Aragón is one of the flagship races of the discipline in which points count towards the FIM Bajas World Cup.