2011 Dakar: Honda Europe Stage 3 Report

Dakar Rally Results

Team Honda Europe never lost faith in its front runner Quinn Cody, but blood pressures did rise when it appeared that no signal was received from his Iritrack equipment after CP1 at 2011 Dakar Rally in Argentina.

The fast assistance car found its way to the end of the special Dakar stage near the bivouac for the day. Waiting time became anxious.

Finally when it became clear that even the first motorcycle would be hours later than the organizers had expected, hope grew that Quinn aboard his Honda would live up to his tough reputation and fortunately that’s what he did, coming home 13th position overall.

The Dakar has really started Tuesday. It has been a long day in kilometers, including difficult special. The first riders arrived around 4 o’clock in the bivouac this afternoon, proof of its toughness!

Preparations are being made to allow Quinn Cody even greater range, because his riding style takes a toll on fuel consumption. He is using up to 30% more than other Dakar riders in the team, what is required to run up front and hang with the best in the world on what we must remember is his first Dakar Rally!

Several options are being considered, ranging from adapting borrowed reservoirs to flying in new ones from The Netherlands and/or from the USA.

Ultimately by the rest day but sooner if possible, Quinn should have another gallon or so at his disposal, giving him just the extra safety margin for him to not sacrifice speed for economy.

Alexey Naumov missed a waypoint Tuesday in the first section, which should cost him a time penalty. Mirjam Pol had one of her real Dakar days. She’s still struggling to find her rhythm. Vadim Pritulyak already said it the first day in the luxurious bivouac "in the Dakar nothing is for free". Twenty-five kilometers before the finish he crashed hard and discovered the truth of this statement.

Vadim Pritulyak (Team Honda Europe Dakar) says: "In the neutralized section the cars were fast, and they arrived too early at the start of the second section. The organization let them continue, which meant they were earlier between the bikes than scheduled.

"In a narrow part with a lot of fesh fesh (powder dust), I touched the front brake just lightly, but crashed right away. It just shows you have to be careful all the time…. The doctors checked me, but I’m fine. My wrist is sore, but it’s like that. The fight has started."

Alexey Naumov (Team Honda Europe Dakar) says: "I went back to look for it, but wasn’t able to find it. I like the Dakar better every day. Today in the sandy sections I felt comfortable, but I do need to adapt to the fast sections on gravel. To ride fast and to navigate at the same time I need more experience. But I’m happy to be here, another day finished.”

Mirjam Pol (Team Honda Europe Dakar) says: "The time we get from the organization to do the road sections is very tight. When I arrived at the start of the first section, there was hardly any time left to prepare myself. In the first section we had to pass a lot of riverbeds, sandy with rocks and tricky. My front wheel hit a rock and there I went.

"An hour later still in this difficult section I found out I missed a waypoint. So I had to return back to pick it up, which cost me another 25 minutes. In the neutralized section we really had to race to get there in time. I had 3 minutes left before the start of the second part.

"Ten kilometers into the special I crashed trying to get out of the way for a car, and from that moment the quads and cars went passed me which was terrible. I understand a lot of people missed the waypoint, so maybe things are not as bad as they look now.”

Honda Europe Dakar Stage 3 Results
Road section, 231 km – Special, 521 km

14th position for Quinn Cody (Honda)
Total time 04:34:08 Variation 00:15:13
57th position for Alexey Naumov (Honda)
Total time 05:21:12 Variation 01:02:17
87th position for Vadim Pritulyak (Honda)
Total time 06:01:56 Variation 01:43:01
94th position for Mirjam Pol (Honda)
Total time 06:19:13 Variation 02:00:18

Team Honda Europe Dakar overall after Stage 3

13th position for Quinn Cody (Honda)
Total time 10:07:31 Variation 00:28:33
60th position for Alexey Naumov (Honda)
Total time 12:00:08 Variation 02:21:10
83th position for Vadim Pritulyak (Honda)
Total time 12:42:54 Variation 03:03:56
90th position for Mirjam Pol (Honda)
Total time 13:05:14 Variation 03:26:16

Preview: Dakar Day 4 – Caman Road

The Dakar leaves Argentina provisionally to cross the Andes mountain range via the Paso de Jama pass. To reach this point, the climb will start during the night. Once they have crossed the border, the crews will ascend to an altitude of 4,800ms, i.e. the same height as Mont-Blanc, without crampons or ice-picks.

In sporting terms, the arrival in Chile also heralds the entrance to the Atacama Desert and the first off-track racing of the rally. The start of the relatively short special stage will take place at 3,300m. At this point, the vehicles will have to handle stony terrain as the dunes approach.