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Dakar2012: Day 13

15
January
2012
  Posted at 08:00:00 AM
  File under  Dakar Race
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France

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Day 13 of the Dakar Open link in a new window. 13 may be an unlucky number for some cultures, but for the French, 13 is a lucky number, and the proof is in the pudding. Frenchman Cyril Despres Open link in a new window won this important and penultimate stage of the rally, and his unlucky opponent, Marc Coma Open link in a new window, lost so much time, that he will need a miracle to win the race. What's worse for Coma is that he might have to change engine, incurring a 45 minute penalty.

One more day, not a ride in the park, but still easy compared to the last 2 weeks worth of racing, and then it's over. This year was a bumper year, with an incredible track laid out for the motorcycles to cross. A lot of deep sand dunes made it spectacular to watch.

Cyril Despres: "Obviously when you start the last real special one and a half minutes down, but with the possibility to pull back just enough time to win, there is a lot of pressure. That pressure is the first thing you have to manage. Then you actually have to ride the bike fast enough to regain those precious seconds. Up until CP1 everything was more or less under control. Every corner I cut was a little time gained – and I was cutting lots of corners! Then at the refuelling I didn’t know what to think. Did Marc have a problem or was there some tactic I hadn’t thought of? With that playing on my mind I made a few mistakes and lost a little time. Fortunately I managed to pull myself together and then at the finish line I realised he had a mechanical problem. Now it is looking good for tomorrow. I am not superstitious, but until I have crossed that final finish line I am not declaring myself the winner."

Marc Coma: "I started very fast, as fast as I could, because I knew it would be difficult to stay in the lead. 25 km into the stage I had a mechanical problem that forced me to slow down and I feared I would not be able to continue. So I am happy to be here, in second position, which is quite good. I fought throughout the entire rally and gave it everything at all times. That is the way it is. I am disappointed because I was not able to fight until the end."

Here are the photos of yesterday. courtesy KTM Open link in a new window and Maragni M. Open link in a new window. Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them after they have all fully loaded

Click for bigger version of Dakar2012 13 Alessandro Botturi
Open image in a new window  Alessandro Botturi       © Maragni M. KTM Images

Click for bigger version of Dakar2012 13 Christopher Birc5
Open image in a new window  Christopher Birch       © Maragni M. KTM Images

Click for bigger version of Dakar2012 13 Cyril Despres
Open image in a new window  Cyril Despres      © Maragni M. KTM Images

Click for bigger version of Dakar2012 13 Jacek Czachor
Open image in a new window  Jacek Czachor       © Maragni M. KTM Images

Click for bigger version of Dakar2012 13 Johnny Aubert
Open image in a new window  Johnny Aubert        © Maragni M. KTM Images

Click for bigger version of Dakar2012 13 Jordi Viladoms
Open image in a new window  Jordi Viladoms       © Maragni M. KTM Images

Click for bigger version of Dakar2012 13 Marc Coma 1
Open image in a new window  Marc Coma       © Maragni M. KTM Images

Click for bigger version of Dakar2012 13 Marc Coma
Open image in a new window  Marc Coma       © Maragni M. KTM Images

Click for bigger version of Dakar2012 13 Marek Dabrowski
Open image in a new window  Marek Dabrowski       © Maragni M. KTM Images

Click for bigger version of Dakar2012 13 Ruben Faria
Open image in a new window  Ruben Faria       © Maragni M. KTM Images


Via: KTM & Maragni M.



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