Honda’s Quinn Cody has astonished with a top 10 overall finish in what has been his first Dakar Rally. What’s more, Honda’s 10-times Women’s Trial World Champion, Laia Sanz, has taken a stunning victory in women’s category on her Dakar debut.
The final short and quick special stage of the Dakar 2011 finished at the Baradero racing track in front of many enthusiastic spectators. It was an emotional time for both of Honda’s star debutants completing their first Dakar.
To complete the Dakar Rally can be considered the culmination of a life dream but to complete it in such style, first time out, is nothing short of spectacular!
American Quinn Cody earns top rookie status on the 2011 Dakar with a truly awesome ride! Quinn is a regular winner on the Bajas and boasts an impressive roll of honour (three times winner of the Baja 1000).
But the Dakar is very different animal and one that must be tamed using different skills. Quinn really got into his stride as the rally developed and showed by the end that he is truly a world-class desert racer, finishing in 9th position in the overall classification.
Honda’s 10-time Women’s Trial World Champion, Laia Sanz also showed her class, finishing in 39th position overall and taking victory in the women’s category.
It had been a tough and eventful rally for the 25 year-old Spaniard but she displayed the true grit and determination that has earned her numerous world titles in the discipline of Trials. She now has a new title to add to her collection, ‘fastest women on the 2011 Dakar Rally’!
Team Honda Europe’s Mirjam Pol has also experienced many ups and downs over the last two weeks but ended in 69th position and as the second fastest woman of the Dakar, a title she is sure to be proud of. Laia Sanz’s team mate, Jordi Arcarons, came home in a solid 41st position, just two places behind Laia.
Alexey Naumov was also making his rally debut and completed the challenge to come home in an impressive 67th position. Vadim Pritulyak fought a private battle for two weeks and can be proud of his personal victory that saw him take 90th position in the overall standings. All in all, a fantastic Dakar Rally for those aboard Honda!
Quinn Cody (Team Honda Europe) says: "I’m trying to learn and do my best. It’s working well and I’m really happy with the way things have gone. This Dakar has been a great learning experience! What I have learned is that you need to be ready to race from day 1.
"The first week I needed to adjust to the bike. To do better I need to do more rallies, and do a lot of testing with the Dakar bike. For sure I would love to come back and definitely plan on being back next!"
Laia Sanz (Honda Team Aracons) says: "It was incredible. I just do not believe it. For me it is a dream come true, and even more with the team that I have, to Jordan (Arcarons), Angels (Rovira), Moi (Gangolells), Paco (Ivars), who have worked hard. It was very hard, especially the second week, with a lot of suffering, but it was worth it because there have been many more good times than bad."
2011 Dakar Rally | Honda Results
- 9th position for Quinn Cody – Total time 56:17:10 Variation 04:52:10
- 39th position for Laia Sanz – Total time 66:19:18 Variation 14:54:18
- 41st position for Jordi Arcarons – Total time 66:25:75 Variation 15:00:15
- 64th position for Mirjam Pol – Total time 77:33:03 Variation 26:08:03
- 75th position for Alexey Naumov – Total time 84:29:57 Variation 33:04:57
- 90th position for Vadim Pritulyak – Total time 106:08:29 Variation 54:43:29