Today was another long special test day and saw some of the first real Dakar style terrain, sand dunes. Early scores looked like Chilean Lopez would bring home the win, while front runner Coma appeared to drop significant time. As it turned out both Coma and Gonclaves had stopped with injured rider Pain. Yamaha’s Olivier Pains’ Dakar came to an end today as he crashed and reportedly broke his wrist. Pain had led the early part of the day. Consequently the other riders had some of their time deficits erased for stopping to help. This revised scoring sees Gonclaves with the win and Coma still hanging in the overall lead. Despres appears to have been on cruise control most of the day, never leading but finishing right towards the top when the day was over. The Americans had a mixed day with Street holding steady on the leader board and Cody falling way back to end the day out of the top twenty.
Sherco’s David Casteau appears to have lost around 2 hours today, apparently due to navigation problems. Word is that Quinn Cody hurt his thumb today, but obviously he made it in ok.
More updates to follow, including reports from KTM and BMW
|2||003||LOPEZ CONTARDO (CHL)||APRILIA||005:14:41||00:02:18||00:00:00|
|10||010||PEDRERO GARCIA (ESP)||KTM||005:29:59||00:17:36||00:00:00|
|16||012||RODRIGUES FILHO (BRA)||BMW||005:39:41||00:27:18||00:00:00|
|18||039||GUASCH FONT (ESP)||YAMAHA||005:43:39||00:31:16||00:00:00|
From Speedbrain BMW
Dakar 2011, Stage 5, Calama – Iquique
Road section 36 km, Special 423 km
The fifth and very demanding stage of the Dakar 2011 marks a milestone for young Team BMW Motorrad by speedbrain. Paulo Gonvalves wins aboard the speedbrain-developed BMW G 450 RR in convincing fashion and lands the first Dakar stage victory for BMW since ten years, making it a remarkable or even historic day for the Bavarian brand. Also because the Monster Energy X-Raid partner squad owns the car division with Peterhansel/Cottret in their BMW X3 CC.
Team principal Wolfgang Fischer: “It´s a great experience for our young team to celebrate such a success upon our first Dakar. I´d like to thank everyone involved, the team members, the supporters and all who believed in us. Today sets a true milestone.”
Paulo Goncalves entered Thursday´s stage in 11th spot following his navigation error on Wednesday. He rode a fine, controlled race and found himself right there when Frenchman Olivier Pain crashed and injured himself.
Goncalves resumed his ride once the medical crew had arrived. Nevertheless he and teammate Frans Verhoeven headed the field for quite some time, finally arriving first and third at the finish in Iquique.
The route offered a lot of variations, from steep descents to stone-filled passages and giant dunes near the ocean. As he had Iquique in sight, Goncalves played it safe when the correct way was unclear to him inbetween the dunes. The extra miles costed him the lead and, when Verhoeven crashed over one of the last dunes, the win for the team almost disappeared in the very last moment.
But the GPS monitoring rewarded Goncalves back with the time he lost while assisting Pain. Verhoeven missed second place by just one second, nearly making it a double victory for the team.
Quinn Cody Video from Today by Scotty Breauxman
and finally from KTM:
Coma however has a 10:14 advantage of his arch rival after Despres incurred a 10-minute penalty at the start of the day that took them down to the coast of the Pacific at the conclusion of the day’s ride.
Confusion reigned when the starting time was moved forward by 15 minutes however the information was not passed on at the team briefing. Despres did make it to the start in time but in the ensuing confusion he missed one of three flags that riders were obliged to pass as they commenced the day’s ride. Coma and Despres are still out in front in the overall standings and continue to be the rally’s dominant riders.
Difficult and eventful day
Despite problems great day of rally raid Despres says
Riders tackled 423 km that offered a rocky start and several off-track sections that required astute navigation in the salt flats before descending into the dunes of the Atacama. The day concluded with a heart stopping steep descent down to Iquique on the Pacific coast.
More challenges in Stage Six