9:06 am – The provisional results have just come up and the day goes to KTM’s Portuguese Waterboy Faria. He was followed in by fellow contryman Rodrigues. I think I brought them luck, as I realized I have been drinking from my Portugal coffee mug all morning. Street and Cody come in together again today. Will post more details from KTM and BMW as soon as they come in.
It is interesting to read some of the comments and strategy from the Dakar.com site. Faria started behind, so basically once he caught the leaders he could just tail along and let them concentrate on navigation. That is what brought him the stage win today, he never had to be the physical leader on the course.
From Quinn Cody’s FB on today – “450km special all silt and dunes,13th again today, my lucky # I guess… Good ride had to stop for Zhelio after his crash, stayed with him for a few min………I’m all good except for a jacked up thumb”.
7:17 am – It is early in the stage, so there is not too much news for today yet. At mid point for the day it is Rodriguez, Despres, Coma, Viladoms. Cody is 12th and Street appears to have dropped off the tracking after check 4. Gonclaves, yesterdays winner has dropped back out of the top ten. Chilean Contardo is back in 10th. BMW rider Ze Helio is out with and injured shoulder. No word on Street.
The big news is how much damage yesterdays stage did to the privateers, the race lost about 25 bikes. Only 130 bikes left the line this morning. Among the casualties it appears that we have lost Ignacio Chivite and his 370 Bultaco. #150 Luis Belasustegui on his KTM 150xc did not start. Fellow American Mike Stanfield is not on the start list either.
One thing that did catch my eye last night was former champion #42 Jordi Arcarons finishing the day about 64th. Looking closer it appears he must be chasing #42, female rider Laia Sanz. She is looking pretty strong. I asked Joe Bonnello to see if he could get a little more info on the pair.
Here are some Joe Bonnello pics from yesterday. I love the one of filling the two stroke at the gas station. How do you get all the oil mixed in those big tanks, and does that mean you have to carry the oil with you?
Team BMW Motorrad by speedbrain had a black day on Friday as the Dakar route took the field from Iquique to Arica. Following yesterday´s brilliant stage with two riders on the podium, things went terribly sour for Paulo Gonvalves and Ze Helio.
The likeable Brazilian crashed 50 kilometers into the stage, breaking his collarbone. The Dakar 2011 is over for him. Thursday winner Goncalves meanwhile suffered from mechanical gremlins. The Portuguese had to deal with electrical problems basically all day. The machine kept stopping until it completely denied service 40 kilometers from the finish line. Later this evening it was still unclear when he would be able to reach the bivouac.
Teammates Frans Verhoeven and Pedro Bianchi Prata had stopped and lent support with tools. But they couldn´t really help solve the technical misery. Hopes for Goncalves to finish the rally high up in the ranks have now disappeared.
The top result for the team was delivered by Frans Verhoeven. The experienced Dutchman rode calm and collected to end the day in tenth place. Verhoeven improved to eighth in the standings.