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Dakar 2009: Day 3-The Serious Stuff Is About To Begin

  Posted at 09:19:56 AM
  File under  Dakar Race Honda
  Author: Honda Press Release
  Location: Normandy, France

Dakar 2009 logo
Honda logo
Three days are behind us, and the competitors had the chance to get into their rhythm. Slowly everybody's riding in the position where they should be riding. Until now the stages were fast and technically not so difficult. The big 690's were the ones to profit most of the fast stretches, the lighter 450's haven't been in the picture that much, although Frenchmen Fretigne is doing very well with a second place overall on a Yamaha 450. Also today, 350 km. out of the 550 km long special could be ridden with the throttle full open.

Dakar 2009 Honda

Kees Koolen (99th in the special, 72nd overall): "It's frustrating; the bikes you don't see in the technical stuff are flying by just as easy moments later. It was a nice day, although I rode badly. Mainly thanks to my wrist, which is quite painful at the moment. Tonight we'll have a look together with Wolter (the team's physiotherapist) to see if I should be wearing a brace tomorrow. I missed a speeding zone, I was doing 79 instead of 50. It's going to cost me."

Mirjam Pol (62nd in the special, 48th overall) lost some time on her rival Anne Seel. She had difficulties finding her pace: "After yesterday's crash things weren't running smoothly in the beginning of the stage. I missed my breaking points a couple of times. After CP2 things went better. It was the most varied stage so far, it reminded me of Morocco. A sandy track of about 100 kilometers with a lot of rocks was a real pleasure to drive."

Dakar 2009 Honda

Jurgen van den Goorbergh (65th  in the special, 58th overall) was punished with a fine of 50 euro's for making a wheelie for all the fans along the road. He was doing 57 instead of 50. These fines are cashed from the competitors the next day. Which can run up to a big amount easily, as Dutchmen Evert Kroon also learned today when he received a huge fine. The speeding violations also mean time penalties. Dutchman Frans Verhoeven made a free fall from 2nd place to 18th overall when the time was added to his total..... But that's also Dakar!

Jurgen: "When my front wheel was in the air, I already heard the signal on the gps. 'Yep, there it is' I said to myself. Oh well, it's 50 euro's well spend, the crowd loved it. Today was o.k., the technical stuff was a bit like the Knock Out Beach Race, but then only straight ahead."

Dakar 2009 Honda Truck

Mick Extance (33rd in the special, 32nd overall) "This was the worst special ever! I didn't like these fast stretches at all. At some point I almost went flying when I missed a bump at 130 km. an hour. Luckily I got away with it."

Christopher Jarmuz (60th in the special, 44th overall) had a trouble less day. "I lost a lot of time thanks to the hard wind. The big bikes were flying by all the time. Tomorrow should suit our 450's better. The bike was good today, is was a long day without worries.

Vadim Pritulyak had a scary moment around kilometer 100. A biker was coming towards him from the opposite direction! He had to get out of the way and crashed hard. Rider o.k., the bike slightly damaged. But this tough guy from Kazachstan is a hard nut to crack. He finished the Shamrock rally with several broken ribs in 2007.

Dakar 2009 Honda

Apart from Ebert Dollevoet who's out of the race, things are going according to plan for the team. The teamspirit is fine, cooperation is good. The goal was (and remains) to get through the first week with as little damage as possible, and so far this is working out fine. With all riders (except Pritulyak) within the first 100 in the general ranking, teammanager Henk Hellegers is satisfied. Off course the rally is only three days under way, and things could be totally different just like that, but that's a worry for tomorrow.

Day 5: Jacobacci - Neuquen Liaison 4 km I Special 459 km I liaison 25 km
Day 5 the competitors get to see a lot of sand, and the first long off-track sections. Caution is required. Time for the favorites to show themselves.

Via: Honda Dakar

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