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Dakar 2009: Day 9-Honda Motorcycles Report

  Posted at 06:09:00 AM
  File under  Dakar Race Honda
  Author: Honda Press Release
  Location: Normandy, France

Dakar 2009 logo
Honda logo
A day to forget and move on

In contrary with the Dakar tradition, the special after the rest day was an easy one. But a dangerous one. In the past the specials after the rest day were often very hard, also because this was convenient in Africa for the organization (big airport nearby). This Dakar the organization decided not to make it too hard for the competitors after the restday. Although there was much more to lose than to gain. The special completely followed narrow mountain tracks. The underground was very hard, with a thin layer of dust.

It was the first time this Dakar Jurgen van den Goorbergh was the fastest Dutchman (24th in the special, 32nd overall) : "A tricky special. Sliding, sliding, sliding. You really had to stay focused. Hairpins all the time, which weren’t always mentioned in the roadbook. There was no room for errors, as it was all rocks directly beside the track. If bikers go out today, there’s a good chance some of them have serious injuries. Sometimes I approached a hairpin, thinking I had more time left to put the brakes on. But when I started to break, things got a very exciting when nothing happened. ‘Are you going to break or what?’ I was swearing at the bike while sliding into the corner."

Less than a minute behind Jurgen Mick Extance came in. (28th in the special, 23rd overall) He went off hard, just before the first fuel stop. "You could see the fuel stop in the distance, it looked like the track was going straight. But suddenly one of those nasty hairpins appeared. I tried to use the burm of the corner to correct but went over and crashed hard. It was the most dangerous special so far, but we made it".

Christopher Jarmuz (36th in the special, 33rd overall) had another consistent day, like so often this Dakar. ,"It was dangerous with all these corners. I missed on completely, but managed to keep the bike up. There was no space to speed up, but for the rest is was o.k."

A special like today is normally not Mirjam Pol’s favorite. (63rd in the special, 48th overall). Still she did well. Pol: "Today reminded me of the second stage in Portugal. (Dakar 2007) Normally I don’t like this kind of terrain, but my riding was good. In Portugal I finished like 172nd or something, so I’m starting to learn it. And above all: I didn’t crash today. The many rocks and the hard braking made it tough on the arms. Everybody was complaining about that. I lost 8 minutes on Annie Seel who’s more at home in these conditions. After 300 km that’s not so bad."

Kees Koolen (102nd in the stage, 75th overall) was struggling with his left hand today. (which he broke in November) "I could hardly hold the handlebar. All these rocks we were bouncing over my hand couldn’t cope with. So I took it easy once more. But if I keep going like this I will make it to Buenos Aires slowly but sure."

Vadim Pritulyak made it to the bivouac in daylight for the first time in days. (17.00 hours) "I love these tracks; it looks a lot like where I train back in Kazakhstan. I was so tired, I just wanted to sleep. I will do that now for a couple of hours, and have a good rest tonight. After that I will be ready to go."

Tomorrow the first of three very hard specials, which are going to be decisive. A combination of dunes and tracks with sand and rocks is what the competitors can expect. The dunes are in the end of the special, so being cautious not to lose too much energy is crucial.

Monday january: 12th :  La Serena – Copiapo  Liaison 88km I special 449 km I Liaison 0 km

PS. No photos were supplied.

Via: Honda Dakar

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