Originally Posted by Flood
1. The most important thing is that Zanol will get better. Fingers crossed, good thoughts and F5 slow claps heading his way.
2. Buying Coma or Despres is a no go, and I don't think HRC even really tried. They have career long commitments and deep personal connections with their handlers and mechanics. They won't leave big O at the end of their career to fix a new program that might take 3-4 years to produce a Dakar winner. They have a better chance of winning another title in '13 and/or '14 and then retire.
3. HRC has a strategic problem now. If you look at the Rally Maroc stage listings, Sam and Felipe were the fast guys who could build up pressure and render quick assistance when necessary. Pizzolito and JC were way back most of the time, bringing up the rear.
Helder is a semi-alien, but without great backup, he's back to where he was on his Yamaha.
I love this post - my thoughts exactly
A little birdie told me something: Seems Sam`s Fairing roadbook arrangment came loose andthe cables ended up getting snagged in the front wheel? Suspension causing sam to crash.
........If this is true, its a shocking oversight on the part of someone who working on that bike, but its not a fatal flaw for the Honda bike.
For the naysayers, I'd like to further suggest that the two crash incidents were not related at all. Top riders sometimes crash in training too. Sam crashed 15 minutes into the ride. Felipe crashed quite a bit later (The incident reminded me of Luca Manca's crash more than anything else. Im just really happy Felipe seems to be responding already. Strongs, Felipe!!). These things happen, don't forget Fretigne who crashed training for Dakar in 2010. Its why you see the KTM guys testing in October and early Nov latest, right? Its also why you hear Cyril talking about doing more gym work so that he does not get injured in the videos.
I also dont think that riders brought in to fill a position are necessairly jinxed to fail either. The only thing that might be in question is the possible lack of physical preparation by these riders. Even so, they are still pretty fit having participated in other events etc.
I love Helder, but it would be silly for Honda not to consider some replacements. Whether they actually fill them will depend on the strategy adopted. The question I think they will be asking is if they want to risk a strong performance on second choice riders or just some water carriers who will at least have good chance of finishing.