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Old 08-02-2012, 09:24 PM   #99
too old
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Joined: Nov 2011
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The critcal difference here (for me) as compared to the other Sherco/Aprilia type efforts we've seen before, is that when HRC say they have a "three year plan", their corporate history indicates that they mean; "We plan to compete at the (budget appropriated and funds/planning set out to maintain the technical, financial, media and race support needed) DAKAR for the next three years".


The nominated HRC riding line up themselves are good on paper; Helder is (on form over the last 18 months) arguably the "best of the rest" after the two aliens... a logical choice for Honda to pick up. Wagon wheel Sam is undoubtedly a big prospect for the future... but he still has yet to COMPLETE a few rallies (yes I know technology let him down in the '12 DAKAR... but you still need seat time/completeion in Dakar before a rider can compete at the front)... even Coma/Despres had a couple of Dakars (and other rallies) under their belt before they joined the "elite" few up front. As far as the other two nominated team riders go, good solid performers, who can make inroads on top 15 maybe top ten... but nothing I've seen in results to date that indicate they would be podium threats.

[B]When will the throne be abdicated...?[/



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Hi Troy, just a bit more from a realist.
You may or may not have noticed that I am a big supporter of Sam, so maybe we will find him a new tag soon, although I appreciate you recognise his position - and that isn't upside down!
He doesn't actually come off that much more, or less than anyone else, but an all round occupational hazard in the sport, especially if you are pushing it - even the aliens arn't immune from that.

He is without doubt one of the brighter prospects, hence why Honda/HCR have risked, no, invested in him.
KTM may have done, as he was riding MC and Baja for their local rep in Dubai, but of course they couldn't with their existing set up, so their loss (for now).

All motorsports and indeed sports, require an element of luck and that is hopefully turning round for Sam, he entered this year's desert challenge with an unhealed broken foot, but when possibley leading in the first stage jarred it and broke it again - he rode the last 50 k without being able to change gear and still finished 3rd!

He missed Qatar because of it and then went below the radar in sardegna. The Italians scuppered him - gave him a number and a start in the 70's and wouldn't reseed him. He was on the rally bike as opposed to the majority on the enduro. As you know the track was tight and dusty and overtaking was extremely difficult, if not suicidal at times, so being stuck behind 50 or so slow riders was never going to be easy. He struggled with this for the week but finished and still managed an overall 14 th in the wrc class

The Dakar is totally different, I accept that, but you won't find a more dedicated or physically prepared rider, he has put in days of long riding on his own and with HRC and has more to come - let's see what happens on the bigger stage of Egypt, but a head and not a heart thought is going to show very soon why he is wearing the colours of HRC and at 23 he has the time and the skill to become an alien himself one day

too old screwed with this post 08-02-2012 at 09:45 PM Reason: Fat fingers and spell dummy
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