Monday, 7 January 2013

The Dakar Rally is GO! Motorcycles spring into action in Pisco

The Dakar Rally 2013 sprang into action in Peru this weekend with a flying start for the Dakar riders in stages one and two as they negotiated boiling temperatures, slippery dunes, dust and getting lost in Peru.

Dakar Rally First Stage, 263 km

KTM's Francisco 'Chaleco' Lopez cruised to his eighth career stage win in the  first stage of the Dakar Rally this weekend.

He finished the timed special in less than eight minutes, continuing his success by completing the course from Lima to Pisco in thirty-nine minutes!

Yamaha's Frans Verhoeven came second and Chilean pilot Pablo Qintanilla came a close third. Another Chilean rider, Patricio Cabrera came in fourth-fastest followed by multi Dakar winner Cyril Despres for Factory KTM in fifth.

Throwing up a tail of sand

Riders were faced with a two hundred and fifty kilometer liaison stage and a short thirteen kilometer special and it was a close run thing time-wise with the top thirty-two riders coming in within one minute of 'Chaleco’s' time. This shows that the Dakar rally is going to be as nail biting and exciting this year as usual!

Within the top thirty-two, there are some notable riders, for example, Alessandro Botturi, from Husqvarna's Speedbrain Rally Team, came in eleventh and his team-mate Paulo Goncalves who roared in thirteenth. Team HRC’s Helder Rodrigues came in twenty-ninth and American Kurt Caselli, who is filling in for Dakar veteran Marc Coma on the Factory KTM team came in a sterling thirty second.

The results of the Dakar Rally 2013 Prologue first stage (Lima - Pisco, total 263km) are as follows:

1. Chaleco Lopez, Chile (KTM) 00:39:15
2. Frans Verhoeven, Netherlands, (Yamaha) 00:39:20
3. Pablo Qintanilla, Chile (Honda) 00:39:40
4. Patricio Cabrera, Chile (Kawasaki) 00:40:10
5. Cyril Despres, France, (KTM) 00:40:20
6. David Casteu, France, (Yamaha) 00:40:30
7. Ruben Faria, Portugal, (KTM) 00:40:50
8. Javier Pizzolito, Argentina (Honda) 00:41:00
9. Pal-Anders Ullevalseter, Norway (KTM) 00:41:25
10. Joan Barreda, Spain (Husqvarna) 00:41:40


Dakar Rally Second Stage, 242 km

In the second stage the frontrunners in the race found the route very difficult to follow and  made several navigational mistakes which cost them a lot of speed and gave some of the rear riders a chance to make it to the front.  After his win in the first round,"Chaleco" Lopez and Cyril Despres tried to detour a dune, but found it very challenging to get back onto the right track and lost valuable time.  Cyril Despres' mishaps cost him over eight minutes. Goncalves, Botturi and Viladoms lost a lot of time looking for the correct route, with Viladoms recovering fast and ending up the fastest of the three once he was back on the right track.

Goncalves commented: 

“A really tricky stage. So many of us got lost and it was impossible to make up the time. The way point wasn't easy to find. Then the dust from the group was too heavy to really force things, so I tried to hold back a bit.

Jordi Viladoms: 

“I got caught up in the group that got lost, but after I really pushed the group and lost less time. I'm pretty pleased with my eighth place in the stage.”

One man's sorrow is another man's joy though, as was the case for the Catalan rider Joan Barreda, who never put a foot wrong to stay on course for a win completing the course in two hours forty-two minutes and thirty one seconds. He rode his Husqvarna TE449RR to victory in the second stage with his helper Matt Fish cruising to glory in third.

Stage two seems to have been 'Catalan rider day' with Joan Pedrero, another Catalan who's more used to riding in the shadow of his leader Marc Coma, coming in a storming second.

Ruben Faria lies second in the overall ranking, 5'36" down on Barreda.

Joan Barreda, interviewed at the end of the race said:

 “A really tough stage, but I'm really pleased with the way I raced. By the time we were a hundred km into the race, I was in command and I set my own pace to the finish line. I wanted to get away fast and that's what I did. The bike is perfect and the team are doing a great job.”

Matt Fish: 

”There was such a lot of dust and navigation but I'm happy with the result. I‟m under orders from the team, and it's important to be a help to my team-mates. I'm really glad to have got my first podium place in a stage of the Dakar. ”

The results of the Dakar Rally 2013 Second stage (Pisco to Pisco – total 327 km) are as follows:

1 Joan Barreda Bort (Spain) Husqvarna - 2hr 42min 31sec
2 Juan Pedrero Garcia (Spain) KTM) +3min16sec
3 Matt Fish (Australia) Husqvarna) +5min53
4 Ruben Faria (Portugal) KTM +6min26
5 Kurt Caselli (United States0 KTM +7min10
6 Darryl Curtis (South Africa) KTM +7min49
7 David Casteu (France) Yamaha +8min08
8 Jordi Viladoms (Spain) Husqvarna +8min15
9 Jeremias Israel Esquerre (Chile) Honda +8min19
10 Pal Anders Ullevalseter (Norway) KTM +9min42

So the overall results after stages one and two:
1 Joan Barreda Bort (Spain) Husqvarna - 3hr 24min 11sec
2 Ruben Faria (Portugal) KTM +5min36sec
3 Juan Pedrero Garcia (Spain) KTM +6min36
4 David Casteu (France) Yamaha) +6min58
5 Cyril Despres (France) KTM +8min50
6 Matt Fish (Australia) Husqvarna +9min18
7 Darryl Curtis (South Africa) KTM +9min19
8 Pal Anders Ullevalseter (Norway) KTM +9min27
9 Jordi Viladoms (Spain) Husqvarna +9min35
10 Jeremias Israel Esquerre (Chile) Honda +9min39

 The Dakar Rally third stage

The third stage is on at Pisco Nazca, a 343 km run (214 miles) of which 243 km is special test. Results adventures and mishaps tomorrow....where's Paddington Bear when you need to ask him directions?


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