The first real test at the Dakar 2011 came during the second part of stage one. Team BMW Motorrad by speedbrain is satisfied with the outcome, placing three BMW inside the top ten.
Team principal Wolfgang Fischer had advised his riders before the start not to take too many risks. All speedbrain pilots began the day with higher numbers and had to deal with dust from the competitors in front.
Throughout the stage, which offered a nice combination of fast and technical sections, the speedbrain quartette played it safe and made it to the finish line safely.
Paulo Goncalves was the quickest of the four, as he passed quite a few opponents to finish Sunday´s 192 kilometer long special test in fifth place. The Portuguese now has a much better starting position when he enters tomorrow´s stage.
Goncalves: “Everything went well and according to the plan. I managed to pass two riders and had a nice flow.”
Teammate Ze Helio felt home on the Argentinian soil. Cheered on by many fans, the likeable Brazilian looked good on the BMW G 450 RR. Although he hadn´t ridden the bike since last August, Ze Helio comfortably finished the stage in eighth place.
Frans Verhoeven took advantage of his experience. The Dutchman knows exactly how much risk lies in the first race day. He´s ranked in tenth position, also fully within his goals for the opening.
Pedro Bianchi Prata, who entered the stage with start number 32, suffered a lot from dust.
The times are very close among the favorites. The race is on and tomorrow´s stage from Cordoba to San Miguel de Tucuman leads through bushy and wooded territory. The riders are in front of 740 km altogether, 300 of them being special stage.