Dakar : KTM Motorsport - Leg 13
“A first navigated part, as today was, then many trial sections for about 150 kilometres, and some more rivers to be crossed. The rest is more or less like the previous stage”. This was the abstract of the last night briefing hold by Etienne
Lavigne, the general director of the Dakar. “The rest?” an ignored competitors threw in, “Maybe E.L. means that the rest will be “easy” as today was?
For instance, the few competitors that was there, in Guinea, ten years ago, can confirm to the others: “Guinea never can be easy”.
Brasialian De Azevedo fell badly just after the start, but continued into the special test until the pain was to high. Then he was transferred by the medical helicopter to the bivouac: nothing serious. Marc Coma ad Cyril Despres immediately passed in front leading the group until CP2, when they had to surrender to the extra power impressed in the trial section by the former six times enduro world champion Giovanni Sala.
The Repsol KTM team-mate was a little disappointed for his bad luck of yesterday. So he decided to face one of the most technical special tests of this Dakar as a race in the race. And he won. “It is true: yesterday I was disappointed. But that's it. Nothing to be emotionally related to the today's stage. In fact, due to my starting position, I have had a bizarre opportunity: that one of catching my first victory in this Dakar avoiding any risk of lose my “salary” of “water carrier” for the Repsol KTM Team. As we say in Italy, it was the opportunity to grasp two pigeons with one bean”, meaning to collect two benefits with one only effort. Nothing to add: “I feel very happy!”
Then finally, after the victorious course of Sala, the today's stage was also an extended confirmation of the trend of the race. Cyril Despres finished ahead Marc Coma, but the Spaniard lost only a fat minute of his enormous advantage. It's funny how a unique time can have different consistencies. Ten days ago an half a hour could be considered as something almost insignificant. Now, at two days to go, the same amount of time looks like a definitive barrier between The Leader and his challengers.
The night of the T4. Yesterday no assistance was allowed to reach Labé. This is the meaning of a Marathon Stage. Only the competitors are authorized to work on the bikes, and this is one of the basic rules of the Dakar. Following the spirit of this mix of competition an adventure, in this case only a competitor can help a colleague, and by this way a modern Factory Team have to approach this opportunity strategically. Also for that reason KTM engaged two MAN Trucks in the competition. The crews of both the MAN trucks are allowed to help the riders. They are ready to do it, of course for all the KTM Factory riders. So the yesterday's marathon stage was mainly the marathon night of “The Six Men of the T-Fours”. They spent all the day driving, and also they spent all the night working. Finally Stefan, Franz & Co. completed the checks of all the Factory KTMs. When the last bikes was “approved”, the sun was rising, and the riders emerging from their tents. For the T-4Teams the dawn was also the perspective of a new entire day driving. In the meanwhile the two MAN are still a part of the Top Ten Overall of the Dakar.
This morning, at 10:00, at km 25 of the special test, a 10 years old boy was hit by the car of a competitor, and died during his transfer by the helicopter of the organization to Labč.
Press Release KTM Motorsport