2015 Dakar Rally Stage 1 Motorcycle ResultsLast season, Sam Sunderland struggled during the opening stages of the Dakar Rally. But not this year; the Red Bull KTM 450 Rally pilot opened up 2015 Dakar Rally with a win.
This was his second-career Dakar stage win, and he dominated Sunday’s route that took riders from Buenos Aires to Villa Carlos Paz in Argentina. In total, 521 miles were traveled, including a 412-mile liaison and 108-mile special.Sunderland finished the timed special in 18 hours 57 minutes, and the next 22 riders finished within a six-minute margin – very impressive for the Dakar Rally.Sunderland, who resides in Dubai, finished a mere 0.05 of a second ahead of Portugal’s Paolo Conclaves (Honda) ad 1:12 minutes ahead of teammate and four-time Dakar winner Marc Coma.“It’s difficult to judge your strategy based on the first day because you still don’t know who’s pulled out all the stops. It’s also important not to go all in, you’ve got to leave something for the other stages,” says Sunderland, who signed with the KTM Factory Team in early 2014.“However, I think I had a good special and that’s always a reason to be happy. The bike didn’t miss a beat, it was very fast and I probably posted a good time. I’m a contender… for the first day. I hope I’m also a contender at the end, but we’ve only covered 175 kilometers and there’s still a long road before us,” he said after the stage. Sunderland is correct – 175 km in the bank and 4577 km of tough timed specials to the finish line.The official Dakar report says Sunderland now has good reason to reassess his goals, although the 25-year-old knows that the race is long and the competition will be fierce. Gonçalves, for instance, wants to make amends in South America. The Portuguese 2013 rally world champion broke down in tears when his Honda burst into flames during the fifth stage of the 2014 Dakar.Paulo Gonclaves says ”The 2015 Dakar is really under way now. If I’d know I was running second, just a few seconds behind Sam Sunderland, I would’ve pushed a bit harder to try and win the special. No big deal, I’m very happy. We’ve got a long stage coming tomorrow and we’ll be racing up front.“For me, what’s important is to stay on my bike and avoiding the problems that plagued me in previous year. I hope I won’t run into trouble and to finish the race in a decent position. I really want to help Honda win the Dakar. They’ve worked their socks off to put this amazing bike together, and I hope I can give something back to them by doing my bit for a Dakar victory.”As for Coma, he’s the favorite to win this year considering his main rival – five team Dakar winner Cyril Despres – has switched to four wheels for 2015 (Despres and his Peugeot teammate Picard, finished 33rd, 10:39 minutes behind stage winner Al-Attiyah and Baumel).“I felt good. It was quite an easy, fast stage, a very fast one. Avoiding mistakes was obviously very important. The start’s always risky business because you want to push hard and open up gaps. The stage was awesome. Rain over the last few days made certain spots muddy or wet, but nothing too difficult,” Coma says.Coma was followed 0.29 of a second back by Joan Barreda on the Honda CRF 450 Rally.Barreda Bort says ”We got off to a fast start today. At some points we were riding at 180 km/h! There was some risk, with holes on the course filled with water from recent rains. It was difficult to judge. I eased up a bit towards the end because I’d got near Marc [Coma] and riding conservatively was enough with a view towards tomorrow’s stage. It’ll be a long day, and the latter half will have a stronger Dakar flavor, putting navigational skills to the test. Today can be described as a warm-up. Tomorrow will be a different story, one of the longest stages. But I’m all psyched up and looking forward to real action.”Rounding out the top 10 were Sherco’s Alain Duclos, Honda’s Jeremías Israel, KTM’s David Casteu, KTM’s Matthias Walkner, Yamaha’s Olivier Pain, and KTM’s Jordi Viladoms.Olivier Pain – a former teammate of Cyril Despres summed up stage one in 2015 Dakar Rally: “You had to be wary. There were ruts all over the world, with shadows in the undergrowth which made it a tricky stage, what with the high speeds reached today. My aim for today was to get used to the road book again. I hope I’m in the top 10 ahead of tomorrow’s big stage. I got a feel for the bike at high speeds… but I can still kick it up a notch, I think I’ve still got some margin left. This is just the beginning and there are still 12 stages left. That’s the way the Dakar is, nothing is set in stone.”Sunday’s action was intense, but many more challenges lay ahead. Monday’s stage two takes riders from Villa Carlos Paz to San Juan. Total distance will be 322 miles, with a timed special of 66 miles.2015 Dakar Rally Stage 1 Results – Buenos Aires to Villa Carlos Paz – 412-mile liaison, 108-mile special (521 miles):
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly Podcast—Motos and Friends.
My name is Arthur Coldwells.
This week’s Podcast is brought to you by Yamaha motorcycles. Discover how the YZF-R7 provides the perfect balance of rider comfort and true supersport performance by checking it out at YamahaMotorsports.com, or see it for yourself at your local dealer.
This week’s episode features Senior Editor Nic de Sena’s impressions of the beautiful new Harley-Davidson Low Rider ST that is loosely based around the original FXRT Sport Glide from the 1980s. Hailing from The Golden State, these cult-status performance machines became known as West Coast style, with sportier suspension, increased horsepower, and niceties including creature comforts such as a tidy fairing and sporty luggage.
In past episodes you might have heard us mention my best friend, Daniel Schoenewald, and in the second segment I chat with him about some of the really special machines in his 170 or so—and growing—motorcycle collection. He’s always said to me that he doesn’t consider himself the owner, merely the curator of the motorcycles for the next generation.
Yet Daniel is not just a collector, but I can attest a really skilled rider. His bikes are not trailer queens, they’re ridden, and they’re ridden pretty hard. Actually, we have had many, many memorable rides on pretty much all of the machines in the collection at one time or another.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!