Stage Four Ė Nazca to Arequipa Ė 717 Km
Bad like strikes again for Team Delta Kunststoffe Husqvarna UK, but Simon puts in a strong ride to salvage the stage.
Stage four was the first of the 2013 Dakarís long stages with competitors racking up 700km of riding on the last stage in Peru. The technical and dusty stage claimed even more victims but once again Simon rode strongly.
Sadly Simonís efforts were merely a salvage mission as the Australian had to ride hard to make up for losing almost two hours due to an unfortunate mechanical error that saw the bike cease to run after just 16km of the special stage.
Taking time to diagnose the potential problems and trying to contact the team for advice on the situation, Simon dropped an hour behind the last motorcycle on stage and was behind the lead cars when he diagnosed the issue of a fuel tap not being turned on.
Despite this setback Simon pushed on hard, passing more than 50 bikes to pull himself up to an impressive 126th place on the stage. On the most physical and technical special stage of the rally yet, Simon and his Husqvarna TE 449 SPR excelled and showed some of the potential of the bike.
Don Hatton has also continued on to help Simon as part of assistance crew. Donís collision with a truck on stage three saw his bike damaged extremely badly and the incident started a downward spiral that saw Don forced to retire in the early hours of the morning.
Ė ďIt was a shame that we had the mistake today, itís an unfortunate thing and sometimes these things happen. Despite the setback though, I had a great day. I loved the riding today, it was technical, physical and I rode really well.
I felt so at home on the bike, everything was working perfectly. Once I caught up to the last bike, riders started coming thick and fast. The more difficult nature of the day suited me and I was riding fast without trying. It was definitely the most fun stage of the race so far. I managed to pass six riders on one of the difficult climbs and there was a really steep, fast downhill that was superb.
Then we had a big liaison section, it was 430 km of slow going. Weíre limited to 100km/h and the road was coastal and slow. It grated a lot and we didnít get into until late today. Tomorrow should be a fun special stage though, itís bikes only and in previous years they have been the most fun stages.Ē
On stage five the rally will cross over to Chile, but not without the competitors racing their final stage in Peru, a shorter 136km stage, before heading toward the town of Arica.
126th - 06:04:56
90th - 13:34:52
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