Termas de Río Hondo: Spaniard Joan Barreda rode his Honda to a second straight stage win and fourth overall in the Dakar Rally on Thursday while standings leader Marc Coma comfortably protected his advantage with two days to go.
The riders raced across 523km (298km timed) over tough terrain between Cachi and Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina as KTM rider Coma coasted home in sixth place with the knowledge that his closest rival Paulo Goncalves (Honda) had been penalised 15mins on Wednesday for changing his engine.
Portugal`s Goncalves finished second on the day behind Barreda, who followed on from his stage win on Wednesday, but now trails Spain`s Coma by nearly 20mins with Australian Toby Price (KTM) third at over 31mins.
Barreda picks up his 14th stage win on the race and would have been higher up the rankings had he not lost more than four hours with mechanical problems on the stage to Chile`s Pacific Coast on Monday.
Coma`s Austrian KTM team are now just two days from the arrival in Buenos Aires and a 14th consecutive triumph in the gruelling event.