2015 Dakar Rally Stage 8 Motorcycle ResultsAs Red Bull KTM’s Marc Coma chases his fifth Dakar Rally title at the 37th edition of the “world’s toughest race,” two things were in his favor Monday during stage 8.
First, the leader through stage seven, Team HRC Honda’s Joan Barreda Bort, had some issues with his CRF 450 Rally. Barreda, who impressed after riding the final 75 miles of stage seven with a broken handlebar, was towed most of Monday by fellow Honda rider Jeremias Israel Esquerre. Barreda would finish 65th, pushing him back to 10th overall – 1 hour 24:14 minutes behind Coma.The second thing in Coma’s favor was weather; stage eight that took riders from Uyuni, Bolivia, back to Iquique, Chile, was originally planned to have the longest special of the 2015 Dakar Rally at 485 miles. But due to poor weather conditions that created extremely low visibility – especially on the salt lake portion – the stage was cut to 235 miles.This assisted Coma; he finished ninth in stage eight, but getting loss was extremely possible if officials didn’t shorten the stage.With eight of 13 stages complete, Coma has secured his first lead of the 2015 general standings. The KTM 450 Rally pilot now has a 9:11 minute lead over Team HRC Honda’s Paulo Gonclaves, who finished the state in 15th.“It was a very extreme day. It was too difficult on the salt lake, there was the altitude, the cold, everything mixed in. It’s just like that. It’s just another day. The important thing is the last day and where we are. It was not an easy day for us, so we will see,” Coma says.Taking the overall win Monday was KTM-supported Pablo Quintanilla of Chile. This was his first special-stage win, and he climbed to third in the overall standings, 11:11 minutes behind Coma.“It was very, very complicated. Yesterday we had to tackle as stage where there was a lot of water and plenty of mud. This morning, because it had rained all night, the tracks were full of water and the salt pan was full of water too. There was a bit of confusion at the beginning about the issue of rider safety, but the starter’s orders were eventually given,” Quintanilla says.“The bike suffered on the stage and the electrical circuit did too. It was very tough: the altitude, the entire day on the bike, but I’m happy to be back in Chile. We’ll have a look with the mechanics to make sure we can start tomorrow in good condition. I’m happy with my race. I’m trying to maintain the pace and follow the leaders, but Coma and Barreda are really very quick.”Quintanilla received much pressure from the riders who joined him on the stage-eight podium – Yamaha’s Juan Pedrero Garcia finished 11 seconds behind, and KTM’s Stefan Svitko 12 seconds behind.Taking fifth was the quickest woman so far in 2015 Dakar Rally – Honda’s Laia Sanz Pla-Giribert, who chases a first stage victory for a female rider at Dakar.Speaking after the stage, Pla-Giribert said “Today was a really hard day. At the beginning some riders didn’t want to start because it was dangerous and cold, but in the end for me it was a good stage. I was third until the dunes but then Toby and Quintanilla passed me very fast. Anyway, I’m very happy with this fifth position.”Tuesday’s stage 9 takes riders 335 miles from Iquique to Calama, Chile, and features a 280-mile special.2015 Dakar Rally Stage 8 Motorcycle Results:
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!