2012 Dakar: Stage 9 Results, Motorcycles
2012 Dakar Rally Results
Following a miserable Stage Eight in the 2012 Dakar Rally, the Frenchman Cyril Despres set the pace Tuesday right from the outset of Stage Nine, which took the motorcycle competitors 351 miles from Antofagasta to the shores of the Pacific Ocean in Iquique, with two special stages that equaled 345 miles.
The Red Bull KTM 450 Rally rider, who got trapped in a mud hole Monday during Stage Eight, returned to the top of the overall standings after winning his third stage of 2012 Dakar Tuesday.
Despres set a very quick pace in Stage Nine, eventually finishing 3:54 ahead of his rival and teammate, MRW Red Bull AMV KTM 450 Rally rider Marc Coma. Taking third was Husqvarna’s Barreda Bort, who finished 8:28 behind Despres.
In the overall standings, Coma now trails Despres by 2:28.
Dakar says: “Hindered by having to open the road, the Catalan (Coma) nevertheless went out on full attack on both of the day’s timed sections, but mainly to limit the damage in the general standings.
“Indeed, at the end of this very long special stage, all the Spaniard could do was hand back the command of the race to his sole rival, who he now trails by 2:28. The duel is far from over, though, especially since both riders changed their engines yesterday evening and are therefore equal in strategic terms.”
As the battle continues up front between the men who have three Dakar wins apiece, Despres and Coma, the nearest compeitor is almost an hour (59:19) behind – Yamaha’s Helder Rodrigues. The next closest overall is Husqvarna’s Paulo Gonclaves, who is 1:25:57 behind.
France’s David Casteu was in the mix for a podium overall position, but the Yamaha rider’s 2012 Dakar efforts ended with a blown engine during Stage Nine.
Stage 10 on Wednesday will take the motorcycle competitors 431 miles along the Pacific Coast from Iquique to Arica, with 234 miles timed.
Cyril Despres (Red Bull KTM 450 Rally) says: “It’s feeling good. After a difficult day yesterday when you start to doubt, I had to get back to winning ways. It wasn’t easy to psyche myself up for it, but I’m very happy with my day’s work. We came into this looking at a battle for seconds or minutes. It’s very competitive. Like any top level sportsman, if you don’t like confrontation or squeezing the last ounces of strength out of yourself, then you’re not ready for a fight. But, as for me, I’m up for it.”
Marc Coma (MRW Red Bull AMV KTM 450 Rally) says: “We knew that this would be a difficult race. It was long and there was plenty of navigation to deal with. We’re coming to the crunch part of the rally. Cyril is a major rival and we do battle over every single kilometre. But I think it’s interesting, it’s sport. Yesterday, the KTM technicians decided it was time to change our engines because we’d reached the half-way point. It’s a very good idea.”
Helder Rodrigues (Yamaha) says: “It’s a mythical stage of the rally, very long and with lots of navigation. I rode at a good pace, to try and stay in contact with Marc and Cyril. I think that if I continue like that it will be a good rally. Marc and Cyril are fighting for the general standings lead and are very quick. Can they still make mistakes? Anything is possible.”
2012 Dakar Rally: Stage Nine Results, Motorcycles (overall below):
2012 Dakar Rally: Overall Results Following Stage Nine: