DAKAR 2012: STAGE TWO A GOOD DAY AT THE OFFICE FOR KTM’S COMA AND DESPRES
San Rafael, Argentina, January 2, 2012: KTM’s two triple Dakar Rally winners Marc Coma and Cyril Despres got down to serious business in Stage Two of the 33rd edition of the world’s most challenging rally with Coma notching his first stage victory for 2012 ahead of factory teammate Despres to take the lead in the overall standings.
It was a day that tested both concentration and endurance, starting with a long and fast liaison over hard terrain as riders turned their machines towards the Sierra Nevadas. It then plunged them into the notoriously tricky dunes at El Nihuil and their challenging soft grey volcanic sand at the end of the day to complete the grueling 295 km of timed special. At the end of the day, KTM’s two top riders were separated by just one minute 18 seconds. Coma’s hard ride to take the stage also vaulted him ahead of Stage One winner Chaleco Lopez of Chile and he now has a 2 minute 30 advantage in the overall standings going into Stage Three.
Coma manages to overtake Lopez
Cyril Despres makes his mark in Stage Two
Solid day for the KTM “Water Carriers”
Quinn Cody via Breaxman Live
“Today just wasn’t my day, I need to consider my self lucky that I’m still in the race. On the liaison this morning my tire blew off the bead, who ever mounted it broke the bead and kept mounting it. When it blew it also put a hole in the rear tank and jacked up the brake line,I was BUMMED and thought my rally was over, I didn’t have a support truck with in two hours of me and no cell service. I pulled the wheel off and stood by the road (lucky I was still on the service route) and ended up flagging down the big KTM service truck and they gave me a tire and moose and even mounted it for me, those guys saved my ass! I almost missed the start of the special but managed to get there.
The special started out wide open at high elevation for the first 140k I almost never took it off the stop. Then it dropped into some rocky sandwashes and into the desert, I was riding good then the bike started cutting out, I messed with it for a while then just rode with it cutting out finally it got so bad I stopped and took a pice of fuel line and bypassed the fuel pump and it corrected the problem but still lost a bunch of time.”
From Speedbrain Husky:
First podium for Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain
Joan Barreda showed his and his bike´s true potential at today´s second stage of the Dakar 2012. The Spaniard powered his Husqvarna 449 RR by Speedbrain to third place at what´s been the first real test in this year´s race.
Unfortunately the young Spaniard received a time penalty of five minutes because he lost his time card during strong winds on Sunday. Barreda bounced back and has improved to fifth place overall. Teammate Paulo Goncalves meanwhile suffered from a similar misfortune. The Portuguese, who placed 13th today, also picked up a penalty due to speeding. The remaining three riders, Zé Hélio, Ike Klaumann and Jose Pellicer, are doing fine a little further down the ranks.
Joan Barreda: “The first 170 km were very fast, often full throttle. Then came a river bed with huge stones. I didn´t start any takeovers, as it was pretty risky to crash. I gained ground to the riders in front of me, managed to pass them in the sand and make up time. The final kilometres were physical and reminded me of a sandy Motocross track. Navigation was tricky also. I´m happy to start tomorrow´s stage in third.”
Paulo Goncalves: “I was a little too cautious yesterday, which resulted in a not-so-great starting position today. Whenever I closed in on riders, it was not risk-free to pass due to the course. But I´m delighted having finished the first two days without a crash and plan to attack these coming days. I received a penalty yesterday bacause of speeding, now I have to fight and play catch-up. Nothing is lost, the real difficult stages are waiting.”
Tomorrow brings the field towards the Andes and up to 3,000 metres altitude. It´s a challenging stage to San Juan, with river crossings and a 270 kilometres long special test.
Laia Sanz: Today very happy with the result (the stage 53rd and 54th of the general), leaving from post 80. There were lot of dust and again was very dangerous. We have seen the pilot Bruno da Costa lying on the ground after hitting a horse (horse or moved on the ground and the bike was ablaze). It has been a day very hard, harder than everyone expected, with very hot in the area of the dunes. This has caused gasoline to boil in the tank and some bikes have had many problems. Marc and I are very happy because it’s been a good day for us despite the hardness…
Chris got off to a good start for Day 2 – the bikes started at 5am and a few hours later headed to the special stage.Chris came to WayPoint 1 in around 34th place, but was missing from WP2 … a nervous wait in the early hours of the NZ morning saw him appear at WP3 in about 30th.
He then finished the Special Stage in 30th place (provisional). Sitting now in 31st which is fantastic. Missing a WayPoint can cost up to about 2 hours so we will have to wait and see what the official word is at the end of the day. However you can see here that there appears to be no penalty, so that’s good news and make up time. The final kilometres were physical and reminded me of a sandy Motocross track. Navigation was tricky also. I´m happy to start tomorrow´s stage in third.”
Ned Suesse: Thanks for all the kind messages, not a lot of time to respond! Fun day today, will put in a call to rally Raidio tonight.