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Dakar 2009: Day 10-Honda Motorcycles Report

13
January
2009
  Posted at 09:09:39 AM
  File under  Dakar Race Honda
  Author: Honda Press Release
  Location: Normandy, France

Dakar 2009 logo
Honda logo
Jurgen van de Goorbergh: 18th in stage 9!

Although in this phase of the rally the stages are the toughest ones, they are also the most beautiful ones.  The landscape around Copiapio is breathtaking. The first bike left La Serena at 05.25 hours. The special started at 07.00 hours. As always just at the first light, starting in the dark is not allowed according to the regulations. The glare of the rising sun was dazzling the first riders on the track. Next to that there was a lot of fog, which caused another problem as condense came onto the goggles of the riders, and with a lot of dust in the air this is no fun. Dutchmen Henk Knuiman (11th overall) crashed after just 5 minutes after he started because it was so difficult to see properly.

Dakar 2009 Honda
Dakar       © Honda

During last night’s briefing the organization had already warned for something many bikers fear: rocks. The first part of the special included a lot of off-track riding, straight over hills with many, many rocks. The sand and dunes which were feared today, were good to ride.

Jurgen van den Goorbergh (18th in the special, 27th overall) seems to be getting faster by the day. Slowly he’s making his way up to the top 20. Jurgen: "This is what I came for. It was the most difficult and most beautiful stage at the same time. When I took off I felt right away I was on the pace. My speed was higher than the guys directly in front of me. Navigation was very important. And if I ever had the chance to learn it, it was today. So I did everything on my own. Ullevalsetter (the very experienced Norwegian)  past me about 4 times, but at the finish I was still in front of him. This result gives me confidence for the next two days. Hitting the burms, but with my own plan. And then results will follow."

Mick Extance (27th in the stage, 21st overall) "That sun this morning was crazy! It annoyed me in the beginning, but for the rest it was a nice stage. Christopher came up from behind, and I followed him for a while, but lost him later on. My engine wasn’t running 100%, I think the carburetor needs some adjusting."

Christopher Jarmuz (31st in the stage, 47th overall) was pushing hard today. The mechanics could tell by looking at his bike, which suffered more than usual. A flattened exhaust pipe, headlight broken, some loose spokes, those kind of things. The always relaxed Polish man makes a very fit impression, and was eager to finish before Jurgen van den Goorbergh. But Jurgen could not be caught by Christopher today. 

Mirjam Pol (81st in the stage, 47th overall) lost some time on rival Annie Seel for the first time this rally. The difference was 35 minutes in Seel’s advantage. Still she was enthusiastic about today. Pol: "Great day, but those rocks!’’ The first part was where I lost some time. After a waypoint I wasn't too sure about the route. We were riding together, Gerard Rond, Snijders, List, van den Broek and some other people as well. Gerard and I stopped, looked at each other and decided to go back. We were about 60 meters from the right track. The dunes went well today, I was quite late today so there were clear tracks through them. Still it was heavy for the bike, with a lot of loose surface and riverbeds."

Kees Koolen (68th in the stage, 69 overall) has enjoyed the 9th stage. He took quite a lot of painkillers for his wrist. As there are a lot of stones on the track he needed them. "But what a nice special! I rally enjoyed it. And I took several very nice images on the route, loosing ten minutes for that doesn't matter for me. Eventually the stage was quite ok. I didn't want to make any mistakes, and that worked out. The navigation was really tricky today, and the dunes rather steep. On severall occassions I though "hmm well" when I was riding downhill."

Dakar 2009 Honda
Dakar       © Honda

On tuesday the competitors ride from and to Copiapo. It is the longest and most difficult stage in the rally. More than 100 kilometers of dunes mark the end of today, more 'mountains of sand' than dunes anyway. The heat might play a big role as well - if the weather changes. Today it was very pleasant in Copiapo, with a little rain to comfort the riders and assistance in the hottest desert on earth.

Dakar 2009 Honda
Dakar       © Honda

Tuesday 13 january: Leg 10: Copiapo-Copiapo
Liaison 20 km | special 670 km | liaison 0 km


Roadbook alteration: the special shortened with 200 km. ASO says it has done so to give everybody a good chance to enjoy this beautifull day. Interesting reason, especially in Dakar. Would it otherwise be too heavy for the competitors?

Via: Honda Dakar



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