Dakar : KTM Racing - Leg 5
Young American Jonah Street crowned an impressive couple of days with his first Dakar stage win 5'53 ahead of Frans Verhoeven and 7'34 in front of the Chilean Lopez.
Running into more tyre problems, the first KTM factory rider home was
Cyril Despres (Red Bull KTM) (eighth at 14'46) just ahead of Marc Coma (Repsol KTM) (ninth at 15'45) with Jordi Viladoms (Repsol KTM) just behind them at 26'30.
Despite losing time on the stage to the second placed man, Marc Coma maintains his overall 27'12 ahead of Street with David Fretigne third (at 39'09). Jordi Viladoms (Repsol KTM) is fifth (at 1h06'42) with Cyril Despres tenth (at 1'36'08).
Cyril Despres I came past Marc (Coma) early on when he was stopped for a puncture and from there to km 300 I opened the piste until it was my turn to get the spanners out. Of course once you have punctured you have to take it really easy as you don't have a second chance. I am getting quite good now at swapping tubes and managed to get going again in just 17 minutes. Although I can't say it was the best day's racing I have ever had I am nevertheless pleased to have been able to pull a little bit of time back on Marc. Plus the stage was how I like it - pretty tough and very varied. I think the amateur riders are going to really struggle.
Marc Coma I was riding very slowly in the stony ground but I still got a puncture just 60 kilometres after the start.
Jordi (Viladoms) started 10 minutes behind me this morning, and I knew he would be along soon, so I took my wheel out and starting repairing it while I waited. When he came along we quickly swapped wheels and off I went again. In all I lost no more than 12 minutes or so. Then just before the dunes at the end I lost the rear brake and that made tackling them a bit difficult and cost me a little more time.
Jordi Viladoms I stopped for Marc but fortunately Gerard Farres stopped for me! The only problem then was to overtake all the riders who had come past me while I was waiting for him. Overall it was a pretty tough special - both physically and mentally. It was pretty long and the navigation was not so easy at the end.
Alain Duclos Not a great day. I punctured at km 80. Then at km 200 the Sentinel alarm system fell off and got stuck between the fork tubes causing me to crash. Finally towards the end of the special the front mousse started to go soft and I felt every stone I rode over.