Originally Posted by Sparrowhawk
That doesn't really get one to the top step at Dakar though, presuming that's the intent. Check out first place overall Cyril Despres' stage record for 2013. Only one stage win (#9), two second place (#10 & 13), and three thirds (#3, 6, & 11). Included in the mix are an 11th, a 12th, two 14th, a 17th, and a 34th place stage positions.
Winning a stage is an incredible accomplishment but, as CD demonstrated, it is the accumulated day after day after day after day timing (not position) that wins the rally.
I really hope we get to watch Robby again in future Dakars. The wide mix of personalities and divergent strategies resulting from buggies vs. 4Xs in many ways make the cars more interesting than motos. While I care more about the motos all the machines (except for Luis') are virtually identical and everybody is going about winning the rally in the same manner.
Just my humble opinion... But if you are racing against Peterhansel, Nassar and Sainz like Robby does every year...If your goal is to win... You've got to run pretty much balls out every stage. The margins are just so critical. And having a great Navigator can also make the difference. But Peterhansel pushes the pace so hard and is a rally craftsman.
The moto Rally is totally different with and without Coma for Despres and the rest of the field. Despres is a much more desperate rider against Coma's constant attacking.
Now that Robby has the car reliability down, he can focus on strategies for next year.