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Old 12-01-2016, 13:05   #31
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Re: Crazy Dakar

Some more from stage 8:


Very strange day today on the Dakar with the motorcycle and car stage being limited to the CP2 (due to exaggerated heat) while 11 riders had already made all the stage.

That is the second time that happened: Some stages back the 2th sector was cancelled after several riders having done it. I understand the safety concerns that are on the base of the decision what I don't understand is why they don't do like on the WRC rallies, attributing to all that did not made that sector the same time of the last one that had managed to do it.

This time the one that lost with this situation was Toby Price that made a fantastic special while Paulo Gonçalves had a weird problem, just at the beginning, with a branch opening a hole on his water radiator, making necessary frequent stops to do some repairs and put more water on the radiator.

Anyway Toby price increased his advance over Paulo Gonçalves substantially and as this is a Marathon stage Paulo Gonçalves has to find some other Honda rider that will give him is water radiator in exchange for a busted one and hope that the engine is not too damage by the excessive heat.

To increase confusion, even if Paulo Gonçalves has arrived at CP2 he is not on any classification??? even if on the Dakar site they say he is lucky because due to the situation the loss of time could have been far bigger:

"However, the halt at CP2 has proved to be providential for Gonçalves, who should be credited with a grouped time like all the riders stopped at this stage of the race. The Portuguese rider has therefore received a life-line and is not totally excluded from the battle for overall victory… as long as he can find a way, with his remaining team-mates, to make sure that his Honda is operational again."

On the cars the same confusion with the race being shortened (stopped at CP2) due to excessive heat. Again the mini showed that on TT ground, out of rally type stages, they can go as fast as the Peugeot.

Big battle today with Loeb losing more time on the dunes (stuck on the sand) and with Sainz being "El Matador" of old days, winning the stage over a new podium finisher, Erik Van Loon on a Mini followed by Hirvonen on another Mini.

For the first time a Toyota approaching the first, with De Villiers at only 38s from the 1st. On a day were the mini were fast the day was not that good for Al-Attiyah that only manged 5th at 2m4s but Peterhansel was far worse, losing 9m12s .

Sainz is now the Dakar leader with Peterhansel at 7m3s and Al-Attiyah at 14m38s. The race is not over and today's special showed that it is easy to lose 9m time, even among the first, on a special like this and tomorrow will not be easier.
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Old 13-01-2016, 06:51   #32
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Re: Crazy Dakar

Yesterday, after all, good sense prevailed and they opted for a similar solution that I was reporting above regarding WRC: They considered the worse time of all that had made the last sector to all that had not finished it when they stooped the race.

With that Paulo Gonçalves lost more time to Toby Price, but that's just fair. It is now in 3th overall at 34m from Price and at 29m from Svitko. It remains to be seen if he was able to repair is motorcycle without mechanics or spare parts, with the help of the other Honda riders.

That is doubtful and probably the engine is damaged after having suffered over heating. He will be lucky if he can bring the motorcycle to the end of the stage and to the Honda mechanics to be repaired without losing too much time.

Today we have Dakar again, with dunes, sand and out of the road riding.

On the motorcycles, at the middle of the stage Svitko is attacking and winning 5m to Toby price. Just an amazing performance from a pilot that has not an official bike.

On the cars things are very confusing with several pilots rolling their cars, among then last stage winner Erik Van Loon and Al- Attiyah. Both keep going. Several of the top pilots lost their bearings, some are stuck on the sand.

For the first time a Toyota (De Villiers) is among the first three (at this moment). Sainz seems to be leading, Peterhansel is not far.

Peterhansel suffered a protest from the Mini for having refueling yesterday out of the refueling zones. The protest was rejected by the organization but is pending from FIA.

Yesterday stage Videos:




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Old 13-01-2016, 10:03   #33
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Re: Crazy Dakar

On motorcycles Svitko won his first stage on the Dakar and what a win beating Price by 5m55s. The 2th was the Argentinian Benavides, playing home that only lost 3m.

Paulo Gonçalves was able to bring his damaged motorcycle to the mechanics without losing too much time, in fact he was third losing 4m45s to Svitko but winning a minute to Toby Price.

Quintanilha comes in 5th and 6th was the 5 times world enduro champion Meo.

The standings remain the same but with Svitko and Gonçalves approaching Toby price. He is now at 23m from the 2th.

Regarding cars, it was a tough stage with lots of problems to drivers. 1st was Peterhansel (Peugeot), 2nd Depres (Peugeot) and 3rd Sainz and for 4th De Villiers and his Toyota.

Peterhansel made a great stage beating Depres by 8m 55s and Sainz by 20m!!!!

Now it remains to be seen the result from FIA regarding the Mini team protest. It was dismissed by the organization but they went to FIA and probably the are right regarding the illegality of refueling for cars on that zone. Peugeot guys say it was on the road book but that was for bikes and quads only. It was said on the beefing that the cars could not refuel. That would be interesting since the rumor is that Sainz as done the same.

That is sad because obviously that was nothing to do with the pilots but with someone that took that decision even if they share the blame because they should have paid attention to what was said on the beefing. Anyway the cars would have an advantage doing that because they could do the first sector lighter, carrying much less fuel.
Dakar leader Peterhansel under investigation

The first Mini was Hirvonen at almost 47m and Al-Attiyah lost 51m. For the first time a buggy, other than Peugeot, was able to make the top 5, a Century with the South African Corbett at the wheel.


One more great movie from yesterday, this one with mostly trucks:
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Old 13-01-2016, 12:29   #34
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Re: Crazy Dakar

Today four more bike riders deserve a comment (that means I am impressed), an American a Roumanian a Portuguese and a Dutch one.

The American one is an American Enduro Champion, Ian Blythe that is making his 1st Dakar. He has been riding faster and faster and today managed a great result on one of the more difficult stages, making 10th while the American Baja Champion Brabec was 8th. The stage much more the type of desert racing Brabec does than Enduro type of ground.

It seems we will have here another potential great Dakar rider since he is only 24 year's old with many Dakars ahead (making the Dakar was always his dream).

And the two first on the Marathon class, that is raced with bikes everybody can buy and cannot be modified, kind of a standard bike and they are having a big battle for the win. The Romanian Gyennes is 1st overall and made on the last three stages 20th, 20th and 19th. The Portuguese Mário Patrão is 2nd and made on the last three stages 25th, 22th, 20th.

Today Patrão was all stage ahead but something happened at the end of the race that made him lose time. Anyway they are 19th and 20th overall and the distance between them is less than 4m. So, one of the more interesting fights on the Dakar. These two are Damn fast pilots and have many guys with better motorcycles below, including some with official racing machines.

The Dutch one is the first of the Malle class, the class that reveals the true spirit of Dakar. The rules of this class are simple, a Marathon bike but no mechanic neither supporting team or assistance. He has to finish the day's race and liaison, arriving sometimes at night and prepare the motorcycle for the next day. He has a box with pieces that arrive late on one of the trucks.

The guy that is 1st is Jurgen van den Goorbergh, an ex GP motorcycle racer that is on his 8th Dakar, the 1st with a bike (17th), the 2nd, 3rd,4th,5th with a buggy (finished two) the 6th navigating a truck, the 7th on bike already on this class (31th). Regarding last year's Dakar he said:

Riding the Dakar in the malle-moto class has certainly been the toughest thing I've ever done. You cannot imagine how hard it is, being all by yourself as an extra on the challenge the Dakar is already by itself. I've been through hell and back. I know I've said at the finish that I would never ever get myself in such agony anymore, but somehow the suffering is an addiction as well and I know I can do better than I did last year. I didn't win the class and I didn't finish in the top 25. I now know what it takes to compete in malle-moto and despite the agony it's also the best adventure you can think of.

Some images of his last Dakar. Don't miss the last part:

"Every night I work at mid-night, one o'clock, I get out at 4 o'clock, I don't get any rest, I don't see anybody in the Bivouac...it's very emotional, everyday I think "what am I doing?"...to be at the end it is great. I am very tired but very happy."

He is riding a KTM 450 Rally and he is not only leading as today (on the hard stuff) he has made his best result ever: 23th (out of 100). Chapeau

He is now 30th overall, only 4 places down Ian Blythe, at 7 hours from the leader. Do you think 7 hours is a lot? Well the last, on 100th position, is the British Cork Christopher at 37 hours, 6 of them for penalties. If we took those away he still lost on the track about 31 hours to the first and is certainly a lot better than the many that have already abandoned the race.
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Old 14-01-2016, 03:54   #35
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Re: Crazy Dakar

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Originally Posted by Polux View Post
That is sad because obviously that was nothing to do with the pilots but with someone that took that decision even if they share the blame because they should have paid attention to what was said on the beefing. ]
Nothing said in a briefing in an FIA sanctioned event can constitute a regulation, and yes I am an CAMS (the Australian ASN of the FIA) steward so I do have some idea what I am talking about. The standing regulations of the ISC the supplementary regulations for the event and any bulletins issued during the event constitute the rules to be followed, and commentary at briefings is not included.

Svitko's ride was great but I suspect Price is in pace management mode now.
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Old 14-01-2016, 09:51   #36
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Re: Crazy Dakar

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Nothing said in a briefing in an FIA sanctioned event can constitute a regulation, and yes I am an CAMS (the Australian ASN of the FIA) steward so I do have some idea what I am talking about. The standing regulations of the ISC the supplementary regulations for the event and any bulletins issued during the event constitute the rules to be followed, and commentary at briefings is not included.
Yes of course, except if what said in the beefing is what is said on the race rules as I suspect it is. Anyway I don't see how a major team like X-raid would appeal to FIA if not feeling really cheated. He can have here the possibility of a French organization to be protecting a French brand and a French Pilot regarding a Deutch brand. Peugeot would lose the Dakar if a suitable penalization was applied to Peterhansel.

This is what X raid team said:

"We, X-raid Motorsport, lodged a protest against competitor Peugeot Sport Car number 302 regarding refuelling within a neutralization zone on stage 8 of the 2016 Dakar. The Stewards have made a decision regarding the protest, which we do not agree with. This is why we have decided to appeal this decision as per our rights in the sporting regulations and the FIA International Sporting Code, and will take our case to the ASN, the FFSA, National Court of Appeals."

I believe it is expressly forbidden (by the race rules) to refuel on a neutralization zone. On that case it was a refueling zone but only for bikes and quads.
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Old 14-01-2016, 10:42   #37
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Re: Crazy Dakar

Regarding Price probably you are right, he made an unnecessary fast stage some days back and probably Kinigadner (KTM) explained to him what he should do. As Fangio used to say, the smartest winner is the one that wins with the smallest difference to the opposition, preventing that way any failure.

To control and to prevent accidents or mechanical failures is the better attitude for Price even now more since Paulo Gonçalves had to give up after a big fall with injuries before WP3.

Even so it is not that what Price is doing since he was the first to arrive at the finish of the stage but it seems he has missed way point8 and wp9? at least it is not being given his time there while all the others have their times. IF that is the case he may well lose the Dakar for not doing what he should have been doing: control the adversaries instead of opening the track.

Meo was the fastest, Toby Price was the 2th and Svitcko only 4th losing 12 minutes to Meo. Meo also does not have the time on one the WP9 (that mean he missed it too?)

Blythe, the other American I was talking about yesterday is making a great stage and is 6th (WP9) ahead of the American champion Brabec (9th).

Mário Patrão the Portuguese that needed to win 4m to the Romanian Gyennes to pass to the leadership of the Marathon category is making a great stage and is 10th (WP8) winning to the leader 10m and is now probably the leader.

The Dutch Jurgen van den Goorbergh, the first on the Malle class is doing well in 26th (WP8) .

Big confusion on the motorcycle race with the missing times on waypoints!!!!

On cars Al- Attiyah is the first at the middle, also with missed times in waypoints, followed by Loeb and Peterhansel. The first one without missing times on waypoints is the 4th, De Villierson the Toyota.

This will mean that we have new leaders on the Dakar, on motorcycles and cars? What a mess !!!!
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Old 14-01-2016, 11:03   #38
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Re: Crazy Dakar

Last days movies with lots of cars and trucks over the side...and Sainz missing for very little.

Sainz that was made a big Dakar had to given up with a broken gearbox. Weird thing, what broke was the gearbox case.

We can see also Laila fall. Not a big one but the motorcycle had radiator problems after that and she lost an hour stopping for water.

A great day for De Roy and his Iveco. (Trucks) that risk to win for 2nd consecutive time the Dakar.








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Old 14-01-2016, 12:39   #39
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Re: Crazy Dakar

Humm, the doubts are increasing, Toby Price that was given as 2nd on the stage was taken away from the stage classification and it is nowhere to be seen. But Meo that missed a time stage also is given as 1st?

That was a while ago, now Toby Price is 1st and Meo 4th. It seems they are attributing the classification not at the finish but at WP7? They changed it again, no it is at the finish and Toby Price is not there again....What a mess!!!!!

On the cars it seems Al- Atiyah is the 1st, now with all waypoint times, Loeb is 2th, Peterhansel 3th at 8m. De Villiers is only 8th. I don't understand how some hours back De Villiers had all the times on WP and some others had not and now everybody as intermediate passage times.
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Old 14-01-2016, 14:06   #40
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Re: Crazy Dakar

Quote:
Regarding Price probably you are right, he made an unnecessary fast stage some days back and probably Kinigadner (KTM) explained to him what he should do. As Fangio used to say, the smartest winner is the one that wins with the smallest difference to the opposition, preventing that way any failure.
Price is no novice, yes only his second Dakar but has more desert miles than most.

Polux, not sure if you are a competitor or not, so please I apologise if you are and I offend. As a competitor (co-pilot) with a national championship trophy in the cabinet (only one and many years ago!!) I do know that from time to time we would seek to psychologically "break" the opposition where we thought we could, e.g, if we were at or near the front and a stage that was coming up suited us, we would put in what is known in Australia as a "blinder", i.e. we would drive right on the edge - and indeed really push the boundary, the plan being to have the opposition arrive at the end of the stag having lost a great lump of time and making the decision that they could no longer chase us and instead concentrate on their own position. Most times it worked, sometimes we crashed! In the motorcycle world Mick Doohan was known for a similar tactic of breaking his opposition, particularly his team mate Alex Criville.

The results I am looking at have Price now at 35 minutes clear. Seems like he has made his statement.

Quote:
Now it remains to be seen the result from FIA regarding the Mini team protest. It was dismissed by the organization but they went to FIA and probably the are right regarding the illegality of refueling for cars on that zone. Peugeot guys say it was on the road book but that was for bikes and quads only. It was said on the beefing that the cars could not refuel. That would be interesting since the rumor is that Sainz as done the same.
It wasn't dismissed by the organisers but rather by the Stewards of the event, they are appointed by the FIA and are the representatives of the FIA at the event and are not part of the organising team. Again statements at a briefing are of no regulatory value.

I would not bet on Mini winning its appeal.

Quote:
Yes of course, except if what said in the beefing is what is said on the race rules as I suspect it is. Anyway I don't see how a major team like X-raid would appeal to FIA if not feeling really cheated.
Seriously, its a commercial decision, the minis have been comprehensively handed their posterior this year. They are hurting big time, and looking for every opportunity to make something of nothing. the first mini is an hour behind the leading Peugeot.

I see nothing in article 31P6 of the supplementary regulations that prohibits what is alleged to have occurred.
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Old 15-01-2016, 06:37   #41
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Re: Crazy Dakar

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Price is no novice, yes only his second Dakar but has more desert miles than most.

Polux, not sure if you are a competitor or not, so please I apologise if you are and I offend. As a competitor (co-pilot) with a national championship trophy in the cabinet (only one and many years ago!!) I do know that from time to time we would seek to psychologically "break" the opposition where we thought we could, e.g, if we were at or near the front and a stage that was coming up suited us, we would put in what is known in Australia as a "blinder", i.e. we would drive right on the edge - and indeed really push the boundary, the plan being to have the opposition arrive at the end of the stag having lost a great lump of time and making the decision that they could no longer chase us and instead concentrate on their own position. Most times it worked, sometimes we crashed! In the motorcycle world Mick Doohan was known for a similar tactic of breaking his opposition, particularly his team mate Alex Criville.

The results I am looking at have Price now at 35 minutes clear. Seems like he has made his statement.
....
Not needed to apologies but yes, I have done this type of races (Bajas) for more than 10 years as a pilot, done several that counted for the world cup on a time where there was not a differentiation (for the championship) between international Bajas and international Rallies. I raced with many Dakar pilots between them Peterhansel (when Peterhansel raced motorcycles) with Jutta Kleinschmidt when she raced motorcycles too, before winning the Dakar in cars. I only started racing at 35 so Peterhansel was out of my league but I was a bit faster than Jutta and that was good enough for my pride

Also I have followed all the Dakars from the beginning, 39 years ago and I know personally many that have raced with me that have made it.

Regarding TT (all terrain) racing it is much different from a rally or track racing being the main difference that on a track you know all cm of the track (very well) on a rally you have made several reconnaissances and the pilot not only know the track as has a co-pilot that have taken detailed notes and is given him detailed information about everything.

On TT you simply don't know what is ahead, you have a road book with information that as you can imagine is very difficult or impossible to read at speed on a motorcycle over difficult ground and trying to read at speed it is sometimes the reason of some falls (I have experience of that).

On TT if you ride fast, and all these guys ride fast, even when they are not near the limit, falls are sometimes unavoidable. I bet that there are not a single motorcycle pilot on the Dakar that had not taken several falls. Most falls are not at high speed and don't damage the motorcycle or the pilot if one is not unlucky.

When I raced I took an interest on that and found out that on the Bajas I made the average top riders that rode at 100% to win the race took about 2 or 3 falls on the race (500km) while I that rode for fun at 80/90% managed to do some races without falling and on most fall 1 time, mostly at slow speed, over sand, or clay even if I took also some frightening falls at high speed. The Dakar is less of a sprint race so falls would not be so frequent but you can bet that they all fall from time to time.

Sometimes falling racing on TT is unavoidable and the risks increases when you push. Having an advantage that allows you to ride at 80% and win the race taking much less chances of a fall and to damage the motorcycle (or yourself) and keep on pushing it is just not smart neither a good racing tactic. It increases the chances to lose the race due to motorcycle break induced by hard use or a fall, or due to injuries that can be sustained on that fall.

No doubt Toby Price is a hell of a rider and this year only three pilots managed to drive consistently at his pace but he is showing that he still has a lot to learn about the best tactic to win the Dakar.

I remember some of the best pilots that won the Dakar several times having as best tactic, when they had a substantial advantage like Price, just waiting for the pilot that was in 2nd and then following him on the track, losing one or two minutes in each stage but assuring full control and a much lesser possibility of a fall. If you ride motorcycles on TT you know that it is a lot easier to follow a guy that is opening ground than to do that ahead.
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Old 15-01-2016, 07:07   #42
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Re: Crazy Dakar

I will give Toby your details and he might employ you as a tactician next year.
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Old 15-01-2016, 07:41   #43
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Re: Crazy Dakar

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I will give Toby your details and he might employ you as a tactician next year.
He doesn't need me. He has on his KTM team some great Dakar riders that certainly will be telling him the same thing.
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Old 15-01-2016, 09:41   #44
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Re: Crazy Dakar

Yes this Dakar had the possibilities to be a Crazy and great Dakar but it seems that adventure are out of today's racing world even in what regards Rally raiding. This tendency is becoming bigger and bigger through the years but this was probably the worse one in what regards that with most stages becoming shortened because it was too hot, because maybe there was too much water, because there was a thunderstorm and some hail has coming down.

On all of this stages several riders and drivers managed to finish the full race and the race was shortened anyway to a previous Control Point.

I remember Dakars where only two cars and an some motorcycles were able to finish the stage and they would not shorten the race after the first have arrived, giving a penalty to everybody else. I remember the days where they went with the helicopter to pick those that were lost on the desert after a night or two there. In those days the Dakar was a race and an adventure.

I have been looking at the stages classifications on the way points and what happened yesterday is not the exception but the rule: With all this confusion about where the race has finished (being shortened in most stages) the ones that finish 1st at the end go to 3th or 4th, the ones that missed waypoints after the point were they arbitrarily decided that the finish was, are not penalized, when previously they did not even show on the classification.

I am not talking about any pilot in particular but the fact that when the stage finishes nobody being able to tell who had won it, because they decided that after all it had not finished there but some 150km before, it is not good for the sport neither for the Dakar. That and the crazy alteration of the stage results without any explication.

I understand that is due to the big dimension this race has got but they cannot allow that to put in risk the sportiness of this race. What happens is that today any pilot can inscribe itself for the Dakar and the distance in speed among the ones on the middle of the classification to the ones at the end is just huge, not talking about the many that had given up.

We don't see any of the top riders or medium riders having difficulty in finishing the stage, with heat or without heat but we see lots of amateurs, some of whom come from other sports, experiencing all sort of difficulties to finish on those conditions and the race is not made at the measure of the best but at the measure of the worst.

The large number of participants with very different performances leaves the organization to stop the race when they start to be in difficulties instead of giving penalizations to all that don't finish the stage.

The objective here seems not to be a race as hard as possible to determine the best TT rider but a race that allows the biggest number to arrive to the finish and that off course has a financial interest for the organization because it will bring more to the Dakar since for most the objective is just to finish.

Finished the rant Regarding yesterday's results, MEO the French 5 times Enduro Champion was given the 1st place on stage and overall Toby Price is leading having increased his difference to 2nd, that is now Svitko at 35m. 3th is Meo at 43m.

A word about the Paulo Gonçalves giving up after a fall, it was not that small one you will see on the video and apparently it did no destroy the bike but he was just able to drive to the first ambulance and to stop there. They did not let him continue since he could not remember nothing about the fall, he just had a big headache and was feeling a bit dizzy. He was brought to the hospital were they found he had a concussion.

On the Marathon class (standard bikes) the 1st is Gyenes with Mário at 3m. If the results of the stage yesterday were taken at the finish Mário Patrão would be leading for 7m!!!! I can imagine the deception and rage that will go on the head of someone that had attacked like a mad for 400km to get a 10m advantage, taking a lot of risks, to be told at the end that after all it was for nothing because they had decided that the results that count are not the ones there but the ones 200km back

On the true Dakar class, the one where not any assistance is allowed, the leader is Van Den Goorbergh that is 32th overall at almost 8 hours from the first and the second Lucchese Manuel at almost 12 hours.

I really would like to see Dakar back to his origins, raced like a Vendee Globe, like this guys do, but for all, without any assistance, with all having the same chances of win: Out with fancy cars and motorcycles that have to be rebuilt several times during the rally. Out with fast assistance brought to the bivouac by racing cars or by other motorcycles with all having their exchange pieces at about the same time brought by the slow loaded trucks and with all having to work themselves on their bikes and cars.

That was the spirit of the initial Dakar that seems to be lost forever.

Regarding cars yesterdays special had also alterations, with Peterhansel becoming 4th and Hirvonen 3th. Peterhansel lost 8m to Al-Attiyah.

On the classification Peterhansel is first Al-Attiyah is already at 51m. and 3rd is the Toyota from De Villiers at 77m

On today's stage the faster near the finish is the Portuguese Helder Rodrigues followed by Argentinian and Chilean Quintanilha and Benevides. Price is 4th followed by Svitko (5th). Meo, the one that would be expected to attack hard today to be able to steal the 2th place (overal) to Svitko is only 8th and if it continues like that is going to lose is 3th place to Quintanilha.

In fact it seems that he has been attacking. On the 1st WP he was only 26th meaning that he had some kind of problem (maybe a fall). Since then he is recovered till 8th but Quintanilha is not making it easy and is also making a great stage and on the last 100kms Meo was only able to recover 5s being at about 4m26s from him. Great fight for 3th!!!

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Old 15-01-2016, 12:52   #45
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Re: Crazy Dakar

Dunno why you are ranting about the shortening of sages and the impact on the results etc. Its all clear in the Supp Regs for the event - like the refuelling.
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