Dakar 2013, 6th Stage – Arica – Calama
764 km stage (477 miles) including 454 km special test.
Botturi still up with the leaders in Dakar sixth stage
Dakar gets tough now with three tricky stages ahead of 13th January’s rest day at San Miguel de Tucuman. Today saw 454 km (284 miles) of special test split into two sections. Alessandro Botturi really pushed his Husqvarna TE449RR by Speedbrain hard finishing just behind the leaders in fifth place. Alessandro, however slips down to tenth position in the overall standings, due to a fifteen minute penalty imposed after he had his engine changed for precaution ahead of tomorrow’s marathon stage.
Paulo Goncalves pushed hard too but was unlucky. Paulo won the first part of the special a minute ahead of Lopez, but an electrical problem at the start of the second stage caused him to slow down considerably, and he finished some way behind. Jordi Viladoms, who set a tremendous pace in the initial special part amongst the top ten, likewise had difficulties with the TE449RR’s electrics.
Joan Barreda finished the special test in twenty-ninth position after being involved in an ugly crash in the second part of the stage which leaves him nursing a heavily bruised right wrist. Matt Fish is managing to finish the race and solve same technical problems on his bike in order to start again tomorrow.
Alessandro Botturi: ”Well, I’m very pleased. I got past the first three straight away this morning, and I was in control of the stage for most of the special. It really was a long one, very dusty and tiring. But I’m very happy. Yesterday we decided to change the engine ahead of tomorrow’s marathon test.”
Paulo Goncalves: “It was a shame about the electrical problems or I would have easily won the special. I won the first part a minute ahead of Lopez. A couple of kilometres into the second stage I started to experience electrical problems. I lost a lot of time changing the fuses, otherwise I wouldn’t have come in so far back, and I’d have probably won the stage.”
Joan Barreda: “I didn’t push for the whole of the stage, and I just wanted to find the right pace to set for the next few days. I stopped to see if Paulo needed any help, and then set off again. But in all the dust I made a mistake and fell badly. My hand and wrist are hurting a lot. I don’t know if I’ll be able to start tomorrow.”
Result Stage 6:
1. Lopez (CHL, KTM) 3h36m21s
2. Faria (ESP, KTM) +00:02:34
3. Despres (FRA, KTM) +00:03:48
4. Caselli (USA, KTM) +00:04:48
5. Alessandro Botturi (ITA, Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain) +00:05:35
29. Joan Barreda (ESP, Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain) +00:27:33
49. Paulo Goncalves (PRT, Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain) +01:06:42
Overall Standings after six stages:
1. Pain (FRA, Yamaha) 15h35m23s
2. Despres (FRA, KTM) +00:02:22
3. Casteu (FRA, Yamaha) +00:04:48
4. Lopez (CHL, KTM) +00:06:06
5. Faria (PRT, KTM) +00:08:35
10. Alessandro Botturi (ITA, Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain) +00:27:02
27. Paulo Goncalves (PRT, Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain) +01:29:14
48. Joan Barreda (ESP, Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain) +03:39:32