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Dakar 2009: Day 4-Honda Motorcycles Report

  Posted at 09:50:57 AM
  File under  Dakar Race Honda
  Author: Honda Press Release
  Location: Normandy, France

Dakar 2009 logo
Honda logo
First real Dakarstage

The fourth day finally brought what you can expect from the Dakar. A technical, challenging special which had everything to offer. Navigation was tricky from time to time. Faultless navigation got you further than riding at a high pace. Even the top riders regularly made  mistakes; already there have been many changes in the top ten. Spaniard Marc Coma kept his coolness, and won the stage. He remains in the lead comfortably.

Dakar 2009 Honda

All Dakarsport/Team Honda Europe riders made it to the bivouac. Mick Extance was 31st in the stage, and sneaked into the top 30. He’s now 26th overall.

Mirjam Pol
(57th in the special, 43rd in the stage) enjoyed today, except for the last 30 kilometer. "It was the first day I rode good technically. It was a bit of everything. After 150 kilometers Jurgen passed me, closely followed by Christopher Jarmuz and Seel. I tried to follow them for 10 kilometers, but totally lost my rhythm. I decided to let them go. It took another 10 kilometers to get it back. The last 30 km were off-track. A kind of camelgrass but than worse. After that we followed a dry riverbed. On the sides were thousands of people cheering us on, how great! When I arrived at the finished, somebody asked how it was. I asked what the others thought. ‘Others? Which others?’ was the reply. Turned out I caught all my teammates again haha".

Dakar 2009 Honda

Jurgen van den Goorbergh
(69th in the special, 54th overall) too had a good day, although his ranking of today doesn’t show this. "My mission today was to get a good result, so that I can start a bit more up to the front the next day. This worked out fine until cp1, where I had already caught 15 riders. I tried a different set of tyres today, which gave a lot more grip. I was quite pleased with that. With two difficult sections, I couldn’t find the right passage, and I lost a lot of time. In the end I went 20 minutes backward instead of moving forward. A pitty, because I tried to push today and lost a lot of energy, without getting a result."

Kees Koolen
(107th in the special, 74th overall) went through a lot today. Or maybe better: saw a lot happening today. Like when at cp1 where three bikes arrived. An official walked to them, while at the same time a fourth rider rode straight into them and hit them all to the ground. At the fuel stop a bike fell over, with the fuel cap off. A girl of the organization got covered in fuel, and when somebody nearby started his bike it was panic all over. Kees Koolen: "I’ve seen many bikes standing along the route. Either with technical problems, or after a crash. I think a lot of competitors went out today. I crashed once myself too. A Belgium guy decided to make a u-turn without looking. I decided to let the bike fall to avoid a big crash. Luckily the Belgium guy had more damage than me. Navigation went well, also my hand was o.k.. I really enjoyed it, I even stopped a few times to make a few picture."

Dakar 2009 Honda

Vadim Pritulyak
(114th in the special, 107th overall) "I felt really strong today. I love these extreme conditions. And extreme it was, because I was right between all the trucks. What a dust, crazy! Today it was a day of celebration for the Orthodox Church, I asked God for help. That I made it was a small wonder. At the finish I said to people that I just came from hell. What really breaks my heart is to see all these bikers in trouble. I stopped to help a KTM rider. His bike was lying in the middle of the track, while the first cars where coming. I waved to slow them down, luckily they responded. I dragged his bike to the side of the track, where also the bike was laying. I activated his emergency beacon, stayed with him for another while and then I went on. These are the worst things to experience in the Dakar."

Christopher Jarmuz
(59th in the special, 42nd overall) got lost both in the beginning and in the end of the special. "I rode some extra 15 kilometers. It was a tough special, and we have another one coming tomorrow of 500 kilometers. I feel strong, so bring it on."

At the moment of writing this message, it’s not clear how many bikes still have to come to the bivouac. Or how many are out after today. Tomorrow another tough stage with a length of 506 km. The first dunes are coming, and again a lot of off-track kilometers. The day starts with a liaison of 178 km, and ends with a liaison of 84 km. At this moment, Buenos Aires is still very far away…..

Via: Honda Dakar

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