Dakar : Leg 11 - Before the start
For this second day in Mali, the competitors head to the capital. The dunes and soft sand are now really behind, but the terrain will require driving skills. Narrow tracks through thick vegetation where all will need to be extra careful.
Gaps shouldn't be too big on the finish line unless one manages an exploit. After the special, the bikers and drivers will have a long liaison to cover. Two main goals: enjoy the landscape and be careful in the villages.
The bikers will be racing again after a neutralised day in memory of Andy Caldecott. Without doubt, the members of the KTM – Repsol team will want to dedicate a special success to their lost friend. But this stage heading to Bamako will certainly also be Alain Duclos' main objective. He indeed is riding at home and currently 8th overall. In the car race, Luc Alphand will need mountains of imagination to try and find a way to reduce the gap with overall leader and team mate Peterhansel. The third Mitsubishi driver Nani Roma will need to be just as fast and smart to try and follow the pace of compatriot Carlos Sainz.
Yesterday night 22h30 : Mitsubishi closes
The team including the day's winner and loser has finished preparing the cars. Jean-Marc Bonnay, assistant director of the team checks out the work that has been done. « For Stéphane and Nani, it was just a routine check but there was a lot more work for Luc's car. He had to rebuild the body and change quite a few damaged parts. »
Yesterday night 22h45 : Massage for Magnaldi
After spending the day stopped and waiting for his assistance, Thierry Magnaldi heads to the medical centre. « I'm going to ask for a massage because other than the time loss I had suffered a big shock. My back is in pain and the team's physio is not here yet tonight.»
Yesterday night 23h00 : Medical roundup :
Florence Pommeri, member of the rally's medical staff admits : « It was rather cool until the end of the after-noon when a Belgian rider was brought to us with a vertebrae trauma. Other than that we saw a lot of competitors troubled by the sun and quite a few stomach bugs. »
Yesterday night 23h10 : U-turn
Yoshio Ikemashi is welcomed by a Japanese TV crew at his arrival on the bivouac. « I broke the clutch despite the fact that had covered a big part of the special, but I u-turned to head back to Kiffa. The day was long. Ikemashi still has the ambition to win the T2 Diesel Production class. »
Yesterday night 23h15 : The desert Mini Moke
Christian Laporte and Olivier Lambert have just arrived and they seriously lack of sleep. « Yesterday we didn't sleep. We made it t Kiffa at 10:00 AM and then took off at 1:00 PM. That's why we're so late. But we are still taking the little one to Dakar. »
Early this morning 1h00 : A gear box, quickly !
In the Nissan Dessoude team, mechanics are working on the vehicle of Lang Xu and Fabian Lurquin. The gear box doesn't look good and time has come to change it. Dominique Peres, chief mechanic knows that it'll take quite some time. Generally speaking, we have had two nights with no sleep working on the cars. The rally is very demanding this year because our two leading cars have left the event in Morocco and Atar. »
Early this morning 3h00 : The absents
Two bikes out of the 99 at the start haven't yet made it to Kayes: Laurent Porelli and Dirk Jan Franken. One car is missing out of the 91: Ricardo Vela – Mario Puerta Two truck out of the 42 are also expected: Roland Hoebeke; Joseph Petit All the competitors have been spotted and should be at the bivouac at around 5:00 AM.
Press Release Amaury Sport Organisation