Dakar: Honda Europe Stage 4 Report

2011 Dakar Rally

As usual it was a very early start Wednesday morning for Team Honda Europe at Stage 4 of the 2011 Dakar Rally in Argentina.

A long road section with a length of 554 kilometers was scheduled, taking the Paso de Jama pass into Chile.

The highest point of this pass is just over 4,800m, which meant it was freezing cold in the first hours of the Dakar day. The very high altitude also has a significant effect on Honda engine performance. Around midday the sun was comfortably warm again, giving the Dakar Honda motorcyclists a chance to warm up.

Quinn Cody was the first rider of the Honda Dakar team to start the special. He scored 13th fastest time and is also 13th overall.

Alexey Naumov was calm and relaxed as usual. Like all days so far there were no problems, he rode safely and within the limit. He was 53rd in the Dakar special, 56th overall which is a solid showing for the first week of the Dakar.

Mirjam Pol expected to have done better today (90th in the special), as she finally had a good Dakar day without any incidents.

That was until she reached arrival aboard the Honda and was informed that she had been given a 3 hour time penalty, the reason for which is still unknown. Vadim Pritulyak struggled in the road section with the high altitude, ending in 134th position in the Dakar special and 91st overall.

Quinn Cody (Team Honda Europe, Dakar) says: "It was freezing cold this morning. I arrived at 11.00 o ‘clock at the start, which gave me more than an hour to warm up in the sun and get prepared. A relatively short special, but it was fun.

"I liked the off-road section, where you really needed to navigate. I had a hard time reading the GPS because of the sun. Dutchman Frans Verhoeven was kind enough to explain me how to adjust the contrast of the GPS. My daily routine is getting better. Finding the materials in the truck, prepare your gear, and your roadbook.”

Alexey Naumov (Team Honda Europe, Dakar) says: "The liaison was cold, but the views very nice. A lot of rocks and fesh-fesh today, and especially fesh-fesh I don’t like at all. I had a problem with the GPS mount, which was moving around, but other than that the day was fine.”

Mirjam Pol (Team Honda Europe, Dakar) says: "I was stuck behind teammate Vadim for about 80 kilometers before I was able to pass him. The off-piste section through the mountains was tricky with fesh-fesh and rocks.

"The last part was nice following beautiful gravel tracks and finally a downhill track which was great! I didn’t crash today, made no mistakes, so it was a reasonably good day for me. Now we need better results.”

Vadim Pritulyak (Team Honda Europe, Dakar) says: "I almost lost my mind, I couldn’t breathe properly. I was just in time for the start, I could continue right away. My wrist is painful, it’s like riding with one hand. I was afraid to go fast today, after what happened in the morning, but I’m here and that’s what counts.”

2011 Dakar Rally, Stage 4
The summit of the rally
Road section, 554 km – Special, 207 km

Honda Europe Results of Stage 4
13th position for Quinn Cody
Total time 02:15:13 Variation 00:11:13
53th position for Alexey Naumov
Total time 02:36:23 Variation 00:32:23
134th position for Vadim Pritulyak
Total time 03:57:03 Variation 01:53:03
90th position for Mirjam Pol
Total time 03:02:41 Variation 00:58:41

2011 Dakar, Team Honda Europe overall
13th position for Quinn Cody
Total time 12:22:44 Variation 00:39:32
56th position for Alexey Naumov
Total time 14:26:31 Variation 02:43:19
90th position for Vadim Pritulyak
Total time 16:29:57 Variation 04:46:45
117th position for Mirjam Pol
Total time 18:57:55 Variation 07:14:43

Preview: Day 5 – Calama – Iquique
A very fast stage which starts with a variety of terrain, crossing a wide open off-track terrain and finally the spectacular 2.3 kilometer long descent through the dunes at an average gradient of 32 percent.