2015 Dakar Rally Stage 12 ResultsWith one stage remaining in the 2015 Dakar Rally in South America, KTM and Honda are tied with six wins each. The 37th edition so far has been a battle for off-road supremacy between the KTM 450 Rally and the Honda CRF 450 Rally. But due to a certain pilot, the Austrian brand has a slight advantage.
The rider? Red Bull KTM’s Marc Coma, a four-time Dakar Rally winner who has patience and skill. And though he didn’t take the overall lead until stage 8 when his biggest rival, Team HRC Honda’s Joan Barreda Bort, had some electronic issues, Coma would continue to extend his lead little by little each day.This was evident following Friday’s stage 12, which took riders 636 miles from Termas Rio Honda to Rosario in Argentina, with 185 of those miles timed. Coma sacrificed some time to preserve his tires for Saturday’s final stage. Regardless, Coma finished the penultimate stage in sixth. As he chases his fifth Dakar title, Coma was able to extend his lead to 17:49 minutes over second-placed Paolo Gonclaves on the Team HRC Honda.“There was a lot to lose so it was important not to make any mistakes or crash. It is not easy to find the balance to ride like that but I am happy we are here. Today the tires were wearing a lot so I took care about that at the beginning of the special,” Coma says.“I felt a bit fresher on the last part and made a good pace to the end. There are still some kilometers left, but the end is getting closer now. The conditions are always very tough all the time. The young riders are pushing a lot, so I have to use my energy. We spend all year preparing to arrive here in a good shape, so it’s time to spend that energy.”As for Goncalves, he finished stage 12 in third, and though only one stage remains, he knows the 2015 Dakar Rally is far from over.“The Dakar is not finished. There’s still one day of racing left. I’m in 2nd place, but there’s no guarantee that I’ll remain there. Anything can happen, either positively or negatively,” Gonclaves says.“But, effectively, I’m happy for myself and the entire Honda HRC team for the work we have done. Joan Barreda had a strong lead before the stage at the salt lake in Uyuni. He lost his place due to a problem caused by water in the engine. But we’ll finish the Dakar on the podium, and that’s a very good thing.”Third in the general standings, 25:18 minutes behind Coma, is the man who won stage 12 – KTM-supported Toby Price. The Australian had only ridden the Morocco Rally before 2015 Dakar, and says he was finally learning the navigation techniques needed to complete the “world’s toughest race.”Price was able to continually lengthen his lead in stage 12, eventually finishing 1:55 minutes ahead of Barreda.“At this stage everything is just feeling good. We’re enjoying it, so it’s been a good experience. There have been a lot of highs and lows and good learning curves as well as a few mistakes, but we’re trying to fix them as best as we can and get to the finishing line,” Price says.“Hopefully, that will happen tomorrow. I always knew it was going to be difficult, but you don’t know until you actually come here and have a go. Then you find out how hard it really is.”As for Barreda, he led the rally from stage two through stage seven, but his technical issues in stage eight put him way behind in the general rankings. With one stage remaining, Barreda is 17th, over five hours behind his rival Coma.The final stage on Saturday will take riders 244 miles from Rosario to Buenos Aires, and includes a short, 108-mile timed special. Upon completion of 2015 Dakar Rally, riders will have covered 5,775 miles in 13 days, with nearly 3,000 of those timed specials. And we will find out tomorrow who will claim to top spot in this grueling race.2015 Dakar Rally Stage 12 Results, Motorcycles:
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!