The Dakar Rally 2016 got underway with an easy start Sunday for stage 1. Easy is never a word used to describe what is coined as “the world’s toughest race,” but a cancellation of the opening Dakar stage due to storms had riders take a leisure trip from the start point of Rosario to Villa Carlos Paz in Argentina.Monday’s action was much different; Dakar Rally 2016 Stage 2 did have a trimmed timed special – from 280 to 220 miles – due to deteriorated conditions, but a mere lack of 60 miles didn’t change the challenge much. Riders had to deal with undulating terrain at speed throughout the stage that took riders nearly 500 miles overall to Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina.
And when it all came to end Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Toby Price struck first. The Australian finished Dakar Rally 2016 Stage 2 by 20 seconds ahead of Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Ruben Faria of Portugal. Earning the final podium position at Stage 2 was Price’s teammate Stefan Svitko of Slovakia; these three riders now hold the top-three positions in the overall standings (Saturday’s Prologue and Stage 2).Following the stage win, Price said: “It was a long day in the saddle but for sure it’s started well for us. Today was really easy navigation and we had a few tracks we could see, plus the route was pretty well marked.”But Price knows there is still a long way to go: “You’ve got to have a perfect race go your way for the two weeks. Realistically it’s day one, so we’ve got a long way to go. We’ve just got to make sure we keep cool, calm and collected. It’s good to get one stage win out of the way, but we’re looking forward to being smooth and consistent the rest of the week and see how we go.”Faria, who shared the fastest time during Saturday’s Dakar Rally prologue with Team HRC Honda’s Joan Barreda (finished seventh in stage 2), had to push hard for his finish. He is now only two seconds behind Price in the overall standings: “Today I started second behind (Joan) Barreda. I pushed a little bit and I caught him. After that I rode at a good speed. I’ve got a good feeling with the bike and the bike was really good. We’re at the beginning of the race, but I’m feeling good.”Fourth went to Sherco’s Alain Duclos, who was followed by Price’s Red Bull KTM factory teammate Matthias Walkner of Austria; all together the top-five riders were seperated by only two minutes.Price, who was third in 2015 in his debut Dakar and Walkner, who is coming off an excellent season, have both been mentioned as possible favorites for this edition.As for America’s Ricky Barbec on the Team HRC Honda CRF450 Rally, he finished 21st overall in his first-ever Dakar Rally stage.Brabec said “Today was the first real day, you could say, as we raced through the dirt. It was a good, really fast day. I got hung up for maybe four or five minutes and then Paulo got by me and he got stuck in the mud also. I helped Paulo (Ceci) get out of the mud. Other than that there were no issues. It was a really hot day.”
Dakar Rally 2016 Stage 3 Terrain
Stage 3 on Tuesday takes riders from Termas de Río Hondo to San Salvadore de Jujuy. Out of a total distance of 412 miles, they will ride under the clock for 195 miles. The timed special will include tight mountain tracks that require maximum concentration and organizers warn that if there is more rain the ground will be heavy.
KTM RC 390 and Gordon McCall of Quail Motorcycle Gathering
byMotos and Friends by Ultimate Motorcycle
Hello and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly Podcast—Motos and Friends.
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 features Senior Editor Nic de Sena’s impressions of the new KTM RC 390. The entry-level KTM has always been an impressive motorcycle that has sold extremely well, however the factory has now taken the bike to another level, with top-spec features that are typically found on flagship machines. Clearly KTM has realized that even smaller engined machines should have high spec suspension, brakes and electronics packages. Nic tells us how well the new RC 390 is equipped, and what he thought of riding the smaller displacement rocket.
In the second segment I chat with automotive and motorcycle industry icon, Gordon McCall. Gordon is the Director of Motorsports at the Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel Valley, California.
This weekend of Saturday May 14th sees the annual Quail Motorcycle Gathering re-start after its Covid-forced hiatus, and having attended every one of the previous Motorcycle Gatherings, personally I’m very happy that the event is back on the schedule. Gordon chats about the event and a little of what’s happening this year. It’s a great event and if you feel like a trip to the gorgeous Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley, you’ll get to meet Gordon, Roland Sands, and of course a large number of stunning motorcycles too.
From all of us at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!