Originally Posted by neduro
Excellent commentary, all. Most important, best wishes for Felipe and Sam!
Having ridden the routes they were on in California, and those in Dakar (and Morocco) for reference, I can say that our US riding is generally considerably more risky and technical. As well, the roadbooks here don't have dangers marked- they are as good or better in terms of directional layout, but they make no attempt to call out dangers.
That's a big difference for the frontrunners in Dakar- what I witnessed there was commitment beyond visibility, and total trust in the danger markings of the roadbook.
I'm a bit stunned they would be doing testing in December- no time for recovery, and not much for fixing anything substantive on the bike.
Everybody's doing it... Verhoeven in Morocco, Farres in Morocco, Speedbrain is testing now in Spain, etc... Seems to me the testing should be nothing more than warm up and becoming comfortable with the bike but in Sam's case, a loose nav getting tangled up in the wheel can happen no matter how leisurely the pace. I puts Honda in a real bind.