Dakar: Honda Europe Stage 8 Report

2011 Dakar Rally

As the Dakar Rally moves into its second half, Quinn Cody of Team Honda Europe is riding top ten times and has moved into 8th position overall after Stage 8 on Monday.

Flying through the Dakar stages, the American competing aboard the Honda CRF 450 Dakar X is enjoying every moment of what is his first Dakar Rally.

Quinn is no stranger to the sharp end of Dakar Rally Raid competition. Riding for the JCR Honda squad in the US, Quinn has won the Baja 500, the Vegas 2 Reno and most recently took the victory in the Baja 1000 last November.

The 6,000 mile Dakar is however a very different challenge but one that Quinn seems to be relishing on the Honda.

Honda's 10-time FIM Trial World Champion, Laia Sanz has also taken the lead in the women's category, and sits in 42nd position overall, nine places ahead of her nearest rival Annie Seel. Riding for Team Arcarons, Laia has proved that her trials skills are directly transferable to the discipline of rally raid and also seems to have grasped the spirit of the Dakar Rally.

One day before the rest day, Laia Sanz courageously stopped to help a fellow Dakar rider who had broken his collarbone in an accident. Laia activated the emergency beacon and stayed with the injured rider until the helicopter came for him.

This cost her some 20 minutes, but the stewards only took off three minutes when she reached the bivouac. The rest day, at the halfway point of the Dakar Rally, clearly benefited Laia, as since then she has pushed hard on the two following stages and leap-frogged Seel to move ahead of her KTM rival by over 1 hour, 10mins.

Laia Sanz's Honda Dakar teammate, Jordi Arcarons, is also having a successful rally, currently sitting in 44th place, just a few places behind Laia. Team Honda Europe riders Alexey Naumo, Mirjam Pol, Vadim Pritulyak and team mates to Quinn Cody have all had an eventful time of things but up until Monday were all still in the rally. However Vadim Pritulyak chose to withdraw at around midday.

Things are really hotting up as the rally begins to enter its final stages. Two further tough sand stages are to follow so really anything could happen in the coming days.

Quinn Cody (Team Honda Europe Dakar) says: "Gnarly stage today; 508k special 776k total pretty fun got completely lost in the desert thought I was going to run out of gas it was great!!"

Laia Sanz (Team Arcarons Dakar) says: "Naturally, the first thing you do in when there has been an accident is come to the aid of the injured party. They come before the race itself and the time you lose. Today In the navigation zone I did very well and made no mistakes, so I'm very happy, because it wasn't an easy day. I also felt very comfortable on the sand. All in all, it's been a perfect day."

2011 Dakar Rally Honda Results of Stage 8

10th position for Quinn Cody (Honda)
Total time 06:48:29 Variation 00:43:27
42nd position for Laia Sanz (Honda)
Total time 07:41:14 Variation 01:36:12
43rd position for Jordin Aracons (Honda)
Total time7:43:13 Variation 01:38:11
81st position for Alexey Naumov (Honda)
Total time 010:11:21 Variation 04:06:19
71st position for Mirjam Pol (Honda)
Total time 09:09:57 Variation 03:04:55
96th position for Vadim Pritulyak (Honda)
Total time 11:52:43 Variation 05:47:41

2011 Dakar Overall Honda Standings after Stage 8

8th position for Quinn Cody
Total time 34:50:28 Variation 02:31:36
41st position for Laia Sanz
Total time 41:46:11 Variation 09:27:19
44th position for Jordi Aracons
Total time 41:56:23 Variation 09:37:31
57th position for Alexey Naumov
Total time 44:26:29 Variation 12:07:37
73th position for Mirjam Pol
Total time 49:41:16 Variation 17:22:24
92th position for Vadim Pritulyak
Total time 00:00:00 Variation 00:00:00

2011 Dakar Preview: Day 8 Copiapo - Copiapo
If the mileage for the day's proceedings is taken in isolation, the Copiapo-Copiapo loop could pass for a quiet stroll in the desert. Nonetheless it may happen that for many the outcome of the rally could go a long way to being decided in the majestic dunes that dominate this stage.

In some places, the depth of the dips formed by the mountains of sand could condemn those who wander astray in them to an endless series of manoeuvrings. During this day full of traps, there is a lot to lose... but also much to be won for those who are experts at crossing dunes. The most elementary advice on deflating tires is probably the most valuable to follow. To add further spice to this stage, the bikers will set off in a grouped start, in rows of ten for the leading riders then in rows of 20. We will see Quinn in the first row!


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