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Sábado, 17 de Enero de 2015 10:28

Dakar battle reaches boiling point in Termas de Rio Hondo

por  Jaime Sornosa
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There’s no talk about the home straight in the Dakar bivouac at Termas de Rio Hondo tonight as the leaderboards stay squeezed and the finish line remains over 1,000km away after 11 days of racing.

There was another 200km of timed racing on the menu for the trucks today and once again the spotlight was on Kamaz Master team-mates Eduard “Eddie” Nikolaev and Ayrat Mardeev. Overall race leader Ayrat once again conceded time to Eddie, two minutes on this latest stage, and now the gap between the Russians is little more than 11m. The two Kamaz Master truckers appear intent on pushing each other to the limit until the very last kilometre as the buddies battle towards Buenos Aires.

Marc Coma took the opportunity to minimise his own risk on the stage as other bikers in the field incurred time penalties for engine changes. The four-time champion’s calculated performance saw him take fourth place on the stage to consolidate his overall lead, now standing at 21m 12s from second placed Paulo Gonçalves.

Rather fittingly it was Joan “Bang Bang” Barreda that delivered the stage’s quickest time as the Dakar came to Argentina’s home of MotoGP. Joan was delighted with his speedy ride to where his friend and fellow Spaniard Marc Márquez was victorious at the last Argentinian MotoGP. Despite 45m being added to Joan's time for a second engine change he once again proved he has real pace at this race.

Tonight the bikes and quads will be getting a full service from the mechanic crews as they return from their fourth marathon day of this Dakar.

Nasser Al-Attiyah clocked the fastest time on the stage for the seventh occasion at this Dakar and stretched his advantage over Giniel de Villiers in second place by 39s. The Qatar Rally Team driver’s overall lead now stands at 29m 01s with his South African rival promising to push him all the way to the finish. Also maintaining a strong rhythm in the car race today was 11-time Dakar winner Stéphane Peterhansel. The Frenchman finished the stage with the seventh fastest time, his seventh top 10 result of the 11 stages so far.

Tomorrow brings the penultimate stage of this edition of the Dakar when the leaders will look to consolidate their positions while their rivals go on the attack. With 300km of timed special stage as well as over 700km of liaison route to be travelled before reaching Rosario, there’s still a sense in the bivouac that anything can happen at this Dakar.

Results of SS11 (Cars):
1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) Qatar Rally Team 1h 53m 10s
2. Orlando Terranova (ARG) Mini +00:00:27
3. Giniel de Villiers (RSA) Toyota All Speed +00:00:39
7. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) Team Peugeot-Total +00:02:16
19. Marek Dabrowski (POL) Toyota +00:05:15
24. Cyril Despres (FRA) Team Peugeot-Total +00:07:09

Results of SS11 (Bikes):
1. Ivan Jakes (SVK) KTM 3h 28m 08s
2. Ruben Faria (PRT) KTM +00:00:08
3. Toby Price (AUS) KTM +00:00:42
4. Marc Coma (ESP) KTM +00:01:05
6. Hélder Rodrigues (PRT) Honda +00:03:50

21. Kuba Przygonski (POL) KTM +00:14:13
40. Joan Barreda (ESP) Honda +00:43:25 (45m penalty)

Results of SS11 (Trucks):
1. Hans Stacey (NLD) Iveco 2h 08m 11s 

2. Gerard de Rooy (NLD) Iveco +00:01:10

3. Eduard Nikolaev (RUS) Kamaz +00:01:59
9. Ayrat Mardeev (RUS) Kamaz +00:04:06
15. Andrey Karginov (RUS) Kamaz +00:09:04
16. Dmitry Sotnikov (RUS) Kamaz +00:09:18

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