Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dakar 2012 - Stage 9

Stage 9 and most of the teams are changing or have changed their engines.  New rules for the Dakar imposes a 15 minute penalty on teams for an engine change.  The top names can afford this though as their well ahead of the rest, given that they all change engines.  Rodrigues will however not be changing his Yamaha engine as regularly as the other bikes, which could give him a very good advantage if he doesn't have to take those 15 minute penalties.

This stage covers 566km.  Also, it has that amazing drop on the beach from the sand dunes just outside Iquique.  So, starting off in Antofagasta Coma was trying to set the pace, but Despres was blasting along.  He took 4 minutes from Coma in just 2 and half hours.

Bort again is doing exceptionally well.  I'm keen to see how his career will improve over the next few years. Big promise.

So, espres beats Coma by 00:03:54 for the stage and leads overall by 00:02:28.  Bort is in at 3rd and then Rodrigues with Goncalves in 5th.  Overall, it's Rodrigues in 3rd, then Goncalves, with Viladoms in 5th.

Just worth a mention here.  Watching the cars race, I saw Peterhansel, the current race leader in the cars section, crossing a river where a bike was trying to cross.  The rider was standing next to his bike, pushing it across.  He wasn't blocking he road as he was off to the edge of the crossing, but the Frenchman want past him and hit him causing the rider to drop his bike in the water and clearly injuring him in the process.  Peterhansel didn't even stop to apologise.  What's going on here?  This is not the Dakar spirit.  I'd like to see the officials jump in here.

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