Dakar 2013 Stage 2 Moto Wrap Up
Barreda Draws Blood
Stage 2, a demanding loop around the extensive dunes of Pisco, Peru was exactly the stage for which Spaniard Joan Barreda has been training so hard. An 85km liaison followed by 242km of soft, fuel drinking sand. The strategy of most riders on stage 1 was to do anything to avoid having to lead the way on stage 2. A 10th place finish turned out to be the perfect amount of sandbagging for the Speedbrain Husqvarna rider as this allowed the track to be opened by stage 1 winner Chaleco Lopez. At the very first waypoint, the effect started to come into focus. Lopez on his KTM had fallen to third on the stage as Barreda pinned the throttle and never looked back.
Barreda commanded the win today
Uncharacteristically, Cyril Despres seemed content to hang back and allow others to set the pace. Always the strategic thinker, either Cyril is biding his time, allowing others to burn themselves out or perhaps without Marc Coma by which to judge how hard to push, the Andorran is taking some extra time to determine who his real competition will be for the remainder of the rally. A surprise at WP2 was American Kurt Caselli jumping into 3rd place, an excellent result for the rally rookie who was drafted in to the KTM squad at the 11th hour to replace the injured Marc Coma.
Things started to become unglued for many riders around the 75km mark. Navigational issues finding the waypoint saw some of the early front runners head off in the wrong direction losing precious time. After a quick error himself, Barreda was able to recover quickly and set his course properly. From that point on, the Spaniard dominated the remainder of the rally eventually taking his second stage win by more than three minutes.
“I got lost at the beginning of the stage. But I wasn’t the only one who needed some time to find his bearings. I quickly got back on track and everything went smoothly from then on. It was a great day at the office,” said Barreda at the finish.
Riders lost considerable time and fuel looking for WP3
Second place went to fellow Spaniard, Juan Pedrero. The KTM pilot, a usual water carrier for Marc Coma is unencumbered by the usual duties of having to hang back in a position best to support his KTM team mate and as such, has his chance to push for his own results. Push he did and the results bore themselves out as an excellent finish for Pedrero.
Pedrero pleased with second
Another superb water carrier finish came by way of Australian Matt Fish who is riding for the Speedbrain Husqvarna team supporting Joan Barreda. A third place finish for the first time Dakar competitor shows that Fish is taking to the rally scene quite readily. Fourth place on the stage went to another factory KTM rider, Ruben Faria. Faria, Cyril Despres’ water carrier caught up to his team mate early in the stage and the 2 rode together for the remainder. With Despres ultimately finishing twelfth on the stage, expect Faria to star stage three and then stop, intentionally losing time to allow Despres to catch up enabling the proper supporting placement.
On only his second ever rally stage in any race, KTM’s Kurt Caselli performed flawlessly on the day finishing in fifth, a placement that has to please the newcomer. Another happy rider was South African Darryl Curtis, the Factory B Team KTM rider somewhat surprised by his result. David Casteu brought his Yamaha to the finish in seventh. Jordi Viladoms appears to be getting on just fine with his new Husqvarna TE449RR, the Spaniard finishing the stage in eighth. Chilean Jeremias Israel also had a good day to finish ninth in his first Dakar appearance. The top ten was rounded out by Norwegian, Pal Anders Ullevalsetter.
Where stage 2 was surprising for some, it was baffling for others. Further down the list were top riders like Kuba Przygonski in 26th, Chaleco Lopez in 30th, and Alessandro Botturi in 31st, not the stage finishes for which these riders were hoping or planning. HRC’s Helder Rodrigues also had a disappointing stage, the Portuguese rider slowing to conserve fuel before eventually running out and having to wait for team mate Javier Pizzolito to catch up and transfer gas. “In the beginning there was a lot of dust, but the dunes I tried to recover many positions. At one point in the stage, was third and I forced myself to the end to ensure a good result. however, 4 km to the end, I ran out of fuel and had to wait for the Pizzolito help me. I was disappointed, but the Dakar is still long,” Said a disappointed Rodrigues.
Juan Carlos Salvatierra ran into some poor luck, the Bolivian burning out a stator and losing more than an hour and a half replacing it in the dunes.
“It was a step 100% sand, with some dunes difficult and very steep at the back. I had to be careful with gasoline. How many of us lost some precious time at kilometer 74 to validate the waypoint. then found the right direction and passed several riders. stopped to help Juan Carlos (Salvatierra), Honda rider in Bolivia and then continued. at km 30 was a good race among five drivers. We were passing each other,” said American Johnny Campbell.
The British contingent suffered a heavy blow as 2 riders were forced to exit the rally after dropping off a steep dune. Paul Jay and expat, Kevin Muggleton rode off the same dune together and unfortunately rode onto the withdrawals list. Determined rider Luis Belaustegui, having suffered carburetor problems on stage 1, changed it but then blew his 2 stroke KTM 150’s engine. Ever resourceful, the Argentinian used his ASO provided wrist band to fashion into a makeshift head gasket in order to make the trip to the bivouac to fight on another day.
Stage 3 puts the riders right back into the thick of it. The stage form Pisco to Nazca will be a 4km liaison into a 243km special but don’t let the relatively short distance be deceptive. A lot of sand and a lot of stones will make Stage 3 every bit as challenging as stage 2. Expect riders to push and pay close attention to navigation as to not make the same mistakes as they did today. Look for a win by Cyril Despres who will not be keen to go three stages in a row without having his name atop the leader board. The bikes leave the bivouac at 6:43 am on their way to Nazca.
Lyndon Poskitt on an eventful day
Stage 3 Map:
Stage 3 Profile:
Stage 2 Results:
1 BARREDA BORT (ESP) HUSQVARNA 002:42:31
2 PEDRERO GARCIA (ESP) KTM +0:03:16
3 FISH (AUS) HUSQVARNA +0:05:53
4 FARIA (PRT) KTM +0:06:26
5 CASELLI (USA) KTM +0:07:10
6 CURTIS (ZAF) KTM +0:07:49
7 CASTEU (FRA) YAMAHA +0:08:08
8 VILADOMS (ESP) HUSQVARNA +0:08:15
9 ISRAEL ESQUERRE (CHL) HONDA +0:08:19
10 ULLEVALSETER (NOR) KTM +0:09:42
1 BARREDA BORT (ESP) HUSQVARNA 003:24:11
2 FARIA (PRT) KTM 0:05:36
3 PEDRERO GARCIA (ESP) KTM +0:06:36
4 CASTEU (FRA) YAMAHA +0:06:58
5 DESPRES (FRA) KTM +0:08:50
6 FISH (AUS) HUSQVARNA +0:09:18
7 CURTIS (ZAF) KTM +0:09:19
8 ULLEVALSETER (NOR) KTM +0:09:27
9 VILADOMS (ESP) HUSQVARNA +0:09:35
10 ISRAEL ESQUERRE (CHL) HONDA +0:09:39