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Dakar 2009: Day 13-Honda Motorcycles Report

  Posted at 07:06:51 AM
  File under  Dakar Race Honda
  Author: Honda Press Release
  Location: Normandy, France

Dakar 2009 logo
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Mixed emotions or all well that ends well?

For a moment there were some mixed feelings after the decision of A.S.O. to penalize the competitors who missed the last waypoint in Leg 10 two days ago. This had negative consequences for Mirjam Pol and Mick Extance. Pol lost the lead in the ladies classification, Extance his place in the top 20. But Jurgen van den Goorbergh moved up to 18th place and Jarmuz to 23rd place overall. Thanks to this 4 hour penalty Mirjam Pol suddenly found herself 36 minutes behind Annie Seel. During the special of today she already rode 18 minutes of this 36 minutes at checkpoint 2. However, due to technical problems Annie Seel is out of the rally. This means Mirjam Pol only has to make it to the finish in Buenos Aires to claim her victory.

Dakar 2009 Jurgen van den Goorbergh
Jurgen van den Goorbergh       © Honda

Jurgen van den Goorbergh (18th in the special, 19th overall) rode another faultless stage. Van den Goorbergh "By now the guys in the front are starting to know me. They can tell I’m doing something right with my navigation, and have accepted me for that. Today was quit hard on the bike. With the 450 in that loose sand, it was a matter of keeping things together. I had to walk next to the bike a couple of times, to give the last push and make it to the dune tops. I try to make my own tracks, I don’t ride others. That’s how I passed three other guys today. Follow the ‘cap’ (course) and make no mistakes. Fretigne (3rd overall) came up from behind; he was working on his bike at the second fuel stop, which had an oil leakage. (Fretigne lost his 2nd place overall to Cyril Despres because he had to work on his bike for 30 minutes)  He replaces his engine every few days. There should be a limit to that, because I don’t think that’s the way to do it. I’m quite happy with my result so far, it didn’t look that way after the first days."

Mick Extance (32nd in the race, 33rd overall) was off course very disappointed in the decision of A.S.O. to give him 4 hours penalty. Most of the involved riders have signed a petition; it was the idea of Chaleco Lopez. An hour penalty is o.k., but 4 hours is out of proportion. "This is a farce. I’m fed up, there’s too much effort and money involved. They don’t even listen to my story, while so many rules were bend to keep people in the race. But hey, it was a great special, one of the toughest so far, and here I am again."

Dakar 2009 Christopher Jarmuz
Christopher Jarmuz       © Honda

Christopher Jarmuz also profited of the decision of ASO just like Jurgen van den Goorbergh did. He is now 22nd overall, with a 29th time in the special. "I was the hardest special so far for me. I crashed several times. One time when going off a dune I flew over the bars after hitting a rock, with the bike coming after me. Luckily without further problems. Today I gained another two positions in the ranking. These last 2 days I keep doing what I always do, at my own pace. We’ll see what happens, I’ve been doing so the whole rally and I’m not changing a thing."

Dakar 2009 Mirjam Pol
Mirjam Pol       © Honda

Mirjam Pol (52nd in the special, 56th overall) is the fastest woman in the rally again after today. Pol: "It was a technically hard stage. I think some competitors are going out today, because it was very difficult today. I saw not the least riders struggling to get through. People like Gerard Rond and Marcel Snijders. When they are already having so much difficulties… I did things today which I wonder if I’m able to do them again this rally. Over dunes and stones, I thought weren’t possible. Annie Seel rode over the top of a dune, and the next thing I saw was a yellow helmet and a hand waving. Seel had crashed and couldn’t lift up her bike because her shoulder was in pain.  Well, so was mine, and no way I was going to lift up that bike." For Mirjam Pol it’s now a matter of keeping things together and make it to Buenos Aires.

Kees Koolen (67th in the special, 73rd overall) ,"Here we are again. What a beautiful days we‘re experiencing. I had to work the whole day, boy o boy o boy. I had a lot of pain in my groin when shifting gear. The miracle cream of Vadim Pritulyak helped a lot to take away the pain of my lower leg.  I crashed quite a few times today. Normally you can tell by the color of the sand if it’s hard or soft, but today it kept changing. The same color was soft and hard at the same time. I was together with Henno van Bergeijk in a sandstorm. "

"Today’s a survival " he said. And he put it so right when he said that. I keep on going steady, anything can happen and I just want to get to Buenos Aires.’’ Today was the last hard special. From now on it’s just a matter of staying out of trouble. Everybody still in the rally, has the finish within reach. Keep cool and make no mistake, that’s the motto. In Cordoba, where the Argentinean round of the the WRC is organized (which means fast gravel tracks) a big party is expected. Already more than a week a huge crowd is camping along the tracks looking for the most beautiful spots….

Dakar 2009 Honda Bivouac
Honda Bivouac       © Honda

Via: Honda Dakar

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