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Old 08-28-2012, 01:47 AM   #76
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Oz Safari 2012 - TSC's "usual suspects" and form guide/speculation...



Quote:
Originally Posted by scobes
With safari only a couple months away hows the team line ups looking?

Ghr
Jake Smith
Todd Smith

Yamaha
Rod Faggotter
Shane Diener

Ktm Motorex
Matt Fish

Cpw Ktm
Quinn Cody

Husaberg
Damien Grabham
David Scharwz
Any Internationals this year? Sam/Manual riding egypt..

Anyone with updates



Okay, with an "official" start list as yet to be sighted, lets go with Scobes' list (and some general scuttlebutt) as the basis for a pre-flight bench race session eh...?

With the current king of Oz rally/desert racing - Ben Grabham - sitting out this years Safari, as a result of his continuing recovery from his CONDO 750 crash back in April. Ben's abscence from the starting line up - at first glance - would seem to rob the field of one of it's hottest prospects; with three Safari moto wins (2007, 2008, 2010) and a third in 2009, Grabbo' has been the dominant rider in the Safari "modern era" (post 2007) and coupled with his amazing list of other Aussie offroad, enduro, desert racing, short circuit/super-moto titles and ISDE medals... the gut is a phenomenon. I'm sure that many here, join me in whishing Ben all the success in his recovery and preparations for the Merzouga Rally (Marocco) in November and his attempt on DAKAR in January 2013. I've not heard whether Grabbo will be attending the Safari (in a team, support role for the othe CPW/KTM/motorex riders) or not... it won't be quite the same without him pushing the envelope up front this year.

But does Grabbo's abscence mean that the pace will drop or the competition at the front any less intensive in this years Safari. I don't think so... possibly quite the reverse is possible. With the "King" away from the throneroom, there is a good chance that a number of the other "heirs apparent" will step up the intensity, and create a battle of their own, in an attempt to storm the castle and take the crown for themselves?

Here's my take on who will "come out swinging" in this years rumble...

1. Todd Smith GHR Honda: Defending Safari moto champion (including three consecutive podiums since 2009), with a host of other cross country/rallye wins and placings under his belt in the last four/five seasons... I rank Todd as favourite going in to the 2012 event. He has his equally accomplished brother on the same team with him, immaculately prepared and run team of Glenn Hoffman's GHR Honda outfit behind them. I'd rate Todd as the best 1: (out of) 3 riders as my favourite pick's to take the win, and a solid podium prospect.



2. Jake Smith GHR Honda: Winner (in front of brother Todd) in 2009, second behind brother (and GHR team mate) Todd in 2011, and a second place back in 2007 on his rally debut. He went out midway in 2010 while challenging for the lead of the event and in fact has always been amongst the top three/four leaders of the rally since he started safari competition. Also a stack of other offroad/mx titles to his credit, Jake has been with the GHR team now, since 2009. I would rank him as my second tip and 1: (of) 4 top riders who are capable of challenging first place.

3. Matt Fish CPW/Motorex/KTM: With the abscence of Grabbo', I'd expect Matt to step up and take the mantle of KTM's lead rider in the Safari this year, quite well. Over the last three/four seasons Matt has shown he has the skills and pace to consistently run in the top five pack and placed third overall in 2010 behind his CPW team mates Grabbo and Todd S. So far this year Matt has had a great season, with an impressive result in the FIM Rally Championship event in UAE/AbuDhabi and a few good wins/results in other major desert events at home in Oz. I think that Matt's current form and Don's team at CPW behind him (with who he has a long standing relation) that he is my third tip as a possible winner for this year as 1: (of the) 5 riders most likely to take the top step.



4. Rod Fagotter Yamaha: Rod is the perennial front runner - cum - bridesmade as far as the Safari (post 2007) is concerned. Always a solid top five performer, with the riding pace to regularly lead stages, but only once in all this time have the cards fallen into place for him and he picked up a second place in 2008 (sandwiched between the GHR mounted Grabham brothers). His 2012 DAKAR appearence (guest with the Husaberg Australia Rallye Team) was no doubt a great source of experience for the western Qeenslander "Rocket Rod", and back on his familiar Yamaha WRF 450 mount for the Safari this year (teamed with SA 24 Hour legend Shane Diener), I think that this year is Rod's chance to finally put his stamp on things. For that reason i would pick him as equal 2: (of) 5 riders that I see with a legit shot at first spot.



Late scratching - due to knee surgery 5. Damien Grabham Husaberg: Elder sibling to "Grabbo"... "Damo" has also a very long and enviable record of offroad, enduro, moto/rally achievements on his merit list. In Safari terms he has been on the podium twice (3rd in 2008 with GHR and 3rd in 2011 with Husaberg). The association with the Husaberg Australia team effort, goes back a few seasons now, and together they have taken the Husa's to the point where they are a leading force at any Australian rally event they turn up at... rivalling the CPW/KTM and GHR teams in professionalism. For the 2012 Safari Damien will be debuting the team's all new model FE 501 in rally specification. A bike with a proven enduro competition heritage from it's (KTM) cousin, the 501 could well prove to be a very light and competitive platform to take the race to Honda, KTM and Yamaha. The only "if" in my mind is the relatively short prep, R&D timeframe for this bike, to get it "Safari ready". Having only been released to the public just a few weeks ago, I am sure that Garry's (SafariBerg) team will be using all of their engineering experience from past Safari and DAKAR campaigns to make the new bike as competitive and reliable. But something in the back of mind still keeps whispering "five dollar untested componet"... So if only for that reason, Damien slips from what otherwise would have been a solid 1: (of) 4 prime candidates... to a 2: (of) 5 shot at the tiltle... in my estimation one of only five riders in the field who (would have been) battle for the top spot.

6. Shane Diener Yamaha: Shane's pedigree as one of the most successful (in the modern era) - if not the most successful - riders at the annual S.A. 24 Hour Reliabilty Trial, you'd think would earmark him as a walk up favourite for an event like the Australasian Safari. he is used to long arduous hours competing over rugged terrain, machine preparation is of absolute importance and the ability to maintain concentration and focus - managing the drama's that crop up along the way... is in many respects the prefect training ground for an event like the Safari. But still - after a handfull of valiant attempts - Diener has never cracked the Safari nut. Always a top ten stage time setter, on the occassions that he has competed in the Safari (since 2008?) Shane has been a solid top five contender. Abig wipe out (kangaroo) in 2008 saw him miss 2009... but solid performances in 2010 and 2011 went off the rails due to either bad luck or minor mechanical maladies. For 2012 he is teamed with Rod Fagotter at Yamaha and with that team and Shane's desire to finally get the safari "monkey" off his back, I would rank him as a 3: (of) 6 riders with solid podium aspirations going into the event.



7. Quinn Cody CPW/KTM: Well Quinn got a whole post/biography to himself, where I explained my thought processes as to how he will fair on his Oz debut. On paper, he is probably the best overseas chance to give the "Aussie tree" a shake... But, just as has proven to be the case in the past with other world class riders like; Rahier/Hau ('85), Neveu ('89), Kinnigadner/Orioli ('96), Sainct ('97), Cox/Lundmark (2002), Brucy/DeGavardo (2003), Fretigne (2004) and more recently Ze Helio (2010) and Despres (2011), a big list of world titles don't mean much to the Aussie guns when you are riding on their turf. And it's doubly difficult on debut; the terrain, the riding intesity/pace... it's NOT like any other FIM Rallye event... It is more like seven one day (sprint) races on end, not one seven day race to the finish. I have no doubt if any of the above riders had ever of come back a second time to compete in the Safari that they would have challenged and could have won... but none ever did*. So regardless of Quinn's Baja, hare n Hound, Dakar racing resumé, I still say that to front up first time out and take on the top Aussie's is a big ask. For that reason I give Quinn the odds of 4: (of) 7 riders with a solid chance of the podium. He is 1: (in) 10 for a top five placing, but in my estimation only 20:1 outside shot to take a win. If he came back in 2013 (based on how his results pan out in 2012), I reckon the pencil would be a hell of a lot sharper from the outset.

8. Dave Schwarz Husaberg: ? Is Dave riding...? If so I would assume it would be on the Husa' squad? And if so I would assume it will be the same old ever-reliable-as-clock-work journeyman effort on Schwarzy's behalf to consistently post times in the top 10 to 20 spots every day and end up with a top ten spot overall. They guy's done so many Safari's, Dakars etc. with nary a DNF to his name... he can almost do it in his sleep (and has proven he is not adverse to going without it, in order to do so. ). For that reason I would put Dave down as a 5: (in) 8 chance to pull of another top ten finish.



9. Manuel Luchesse Husaberg: ? The rumour has it that "Manual" will be back for the Safari? Husaberg mounted? Probably the next of the best euro imports for the 2012 race, Manuel made an impreesive (if not battered) debut at Safari last year and made a lot of friends in the process. With a year under his belt, and with several big international races added to his resumé in the last 12 months (including DAKAR, UAE desert Challenge and Baja Hungary - just to name a few) I think "Manny" will come back to Oz this year ready to give his all from day one, and with the experience of last year behind him and the Husaberg Oz crew, I think he will be a solid top ten candidate from the gun. 6: (of) 9 riders with the form to be at the head (top 10) leader board.



And that is that as far as the scuttlebutt I've heard and how I see things... anyone got something to add on other participants or opinions/info on the riders I have named and their prospects/chances?

Chizz
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:29 AM   #77
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Seems like a fair critic of this years field. I'm biased but reckon QC should be at shorter odds, and I don't think Damo Grabbo will be riding due to recurring injuries so David will probably step up on the new berg.

But whatever happens it should be a great Safari.....

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Old 08-28-2012, 02:55 AM   #78
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Very good assessment Troy.

I think anyone off the above is capable of winning if the stars align for them, but based upon consistency yes Todd is the favourite.

Anyone that can turn up to Dakar against the strength of the current world class riders and finish 9th must be considered extremely adaptable and therefore a definitely podium candidate for Safari. I've always admired QC and cannot wait see him in action.

As always should be a riveting week as it unfolds.

Cannot wait. How many more days now..........................
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:16 AM   #79
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International moto podium placings - Austral(as)ian Safari

Quote: tsc
...but none ever did*.

Gaston Rahier (Belgium) BMW R80GS 2nd place 1985 Wynns Safari - Syd/Darwin
Raymond Loiseaux (France) BMW 100RS 2nd place 1993 Australian Safari - Syd/Darwin
Robert Grönlund (Sweden) Suzuki DR 650 3rd place 1996 Australian Safari - Adelaide/Townsville
Tara O'Callaghan (England) KTM 660 Rallye 3rd place 1999 NT Safari - Alice Springs/Darwin
Casey McCoy (USA) Honda XR400 2nd place 2000 NT Safari - Alice Springs/Darwin
Andrew Coaker (UK ) KTM 660 Rallye 3rd place 2001 - Alice Springs/Darwin
Alfie Cox (sth Africa) KTM 660 Rallye 3rd place 2002 NSW Safari - Bathurst/Bathurst

* Richard Sainct actually did compete in the Safari twice... the first time was in the 6,500 km 1991 Sydney to Darwin Computerland Safari; as a debutant (his first rally EVER at the age of 19) and ran inside the top ten before crashing with a sheered front axle bolt as he crossed a cattle grid on a transport section in the Gregory River National Park, Northern Territory... He was forced to retire.

He returned in 1997 for the (14 day) 10,000 km Cairns - Ayers Rock - Gold Coast Australian Safari. he was by now a full time factory member of the famous KTM/Gauloise Rallye Team; his eye firmly set on contending for the win. However the hasty prepartion of his bike (it had been freighted directly from the Atlas Rallye in Marocco... still with dust on it and a dirty airfilter)... the engine failed on leg three. Unfortunately he never returned for a third attempt at Safari...

The three time Dakar winner lost his life competing at the Pharoahs Rallye, Egypt in September of 2004.



RIP a great champion.

As a footnote: Casey McCoy (USA) did also return to the Safari after his debut 2nd place in 2000 - a total of six occassions (2001, 02, 03, 04 & 07)... but was never able to duplicate his fortune and gain another podium.
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troy safari carpente screwed with this post 08-28-2012 at 03:23 AM
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:28 AM   #80
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Since you brought it up Troy, Im hoping for a local (dutch) contender to do well in the Australasian, Alex van Ginkel.
Alex has contended in many Dutch enduros over the last years as well as quite a few European enduros(running in the top 20), a fast rider prone unfortunately to the occaissional mistake( he broke his back only 5 weeks ago ) and crash but one that seems to have 'cleaned up' his act in the last 2 years. He is very fit and as an avid long distance mountainbiker knows how to pace himself to make sure he can last the distance.
In recent years he has been top 3 in quite a few amateur rallyes here in Europe, learning how to navigate in preperation for his final goal, the 2013 Dakar.
Manuel finished the Hungarian Baja last weekend in 5th spot on a Husaberg 570 while Alex came in 6th on his first outing with the new KTM 450 RR Dakar bike, so in my reasoning, if Manuel can claim 9th in the Safari this year, Im rooting for Alex to be 10th :) Alex has joined up with Don @ CPW as well, so I hope he'll have a nice and fresh KTM lined up for Alex to take the challenge to Manuel



Biggest challenge I think that is facing Alex will be has language skills, he hardly speak a word of English (i think) which can be tough deciphering the roadbook and trying to ride without cloggs...



So I guess he's easily spotted in the bivac, run up to him and say Hi!
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:50 AM   #81
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Since you brought it up Troy, Im hoping for a local (dutch) contender to do well in the Australasian, Alex van Ginkel.



Biggest challenge I think that is facing Alex will be has language skills, he hardly speak a word of English (i think) which can be tough deciphering the roadbook and trying to ride without cloggs...



So I guess he's easily spotted in the bivac, run up to him and say Hi!
As far as the language thing goes Dutchie; all he need's to know are five basic phrases;

"tah mate" (thankyou) works for both genders

"Fark awrf" (no thank you) works preferably only on male species

"a coldie 'n two pies...tah" (food and beverage please) any pub

"whereza shitta?" (directions to the bathroom/toilet please) any where

and

"gizzus a kiss sweetheart..." (for the autograph hunters) preferably only on the female species... not that there's anything wrong with that. (you guys are from Holland after all )

As far as the road book is concerned, plenty of time to put some of you're own translations/abreviations in of a night... and the pictogram/tulips tell 90% of the story anyway. Just mark 'em up in your familiar colour pens scheme... kilometer readings and distance intervalls are the same system as rallies everywhere.

With regards the cloggs... advise Alex to keep an eye out for white ants/termites... and don't run into their mounds on the track*... or he will acquaint himself with a sixth and final Australian phrase;

"hard as fuggin' concrete..."



*Especially if running in dust, or amongst long grass, close to the track...
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:09 AM   #82
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:lol
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:17 AM   #83
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:lol


Now... I wonder where I left that Safari competitors guide/translation book for Noo Yoikers at...?

Ah...!!! HERE it is...

"New York speak" .................................... "Aussie translation"

"Forgeddabowditt" (forget about it) = "Oh please... by all means... back your 4WD over my toolbox and service groundsheet" (useful of an evening in the bivouac if cramped for space).

"Whadda you lookin at...?" = "No mate... I have no idea where the fcuk we are either...?!" (commonly used when geographically compromised out on course).

"Say what...?!!" = "Early morning (following day) moto start/departure schedule times, posted on bulletin board of an evening"

"D'you gotta be kiddin' me...?!!" = "Daily result spreadsheets posted on bulletin board of an eveing".

"What I would'nt give for a canoli and some fresh ground java right now..." = "The sustainence of these Australian ration packs is not quite what we're used to on Park Avenue..."

"Hey wiseguy... look... I'm trying to drive here... huh?!"* = "get outta the way dopey...!" (or in otherwords; get back onto the right - or should I say left - side of the road)

*Better make yourself up a bright coloured (dayglo orange or yellow) - decal for the upper rear edge (facing you) of the windshield, for that one Stagehand (just a friendly suggestion by way of experience).


"Sweet" = "No worries" = She's grouse = No wuckin' furries!




all in all, have a great time in Oz and enjoy the rally!
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:23 AM   #84
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holy crap you really DO have a translation book

Talked to Paul R on the phone again last night, and all sounds like its going according to plan. Looking forward to the hardest ride of my life so far

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Old 08-28-2012, 08:27 AM   #85
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Haha, a non english speaking Dutchie, you're funny, Antal!

BTW, Manuel is confirmed on racing on a Husaberg
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:39 AM   #86
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Here's a short on Quinn Cody from Transmoto.

http://www.transmoto.com.au/publish/...the-Oz-Safari?
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:57 AM   #87
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Message from Paul today:


Hi Jason,

Graham went for a ride today on #38... & was very happy with the small changes to the suspension. That was the last test till we hit Perth. See you there!
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:24 AM   #88
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Message from Paul today:


Hi Jason,

Graham went for a ride today on #38... & was very happy with the small changes to the suspension. That was the last test till we hit Perth. See you there!
You should post some pics of the beast here. Curious to see it.
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:38 AM   #89
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You should post some pics of the beast here. Curious to see it.
Its a 1983 R65 with R100 pistons on it, which effectively raises the displacement t0 850cc (because of the short stroke of the R65) and its dual plugged.



Its got a YSS rear shock with 300-325mm travel, and a swingarm lengthened by 100mm.



30L DR650 tank, Mikuni Flat slides carbs and custom exhaust:




Higher Airbox extention.

Powerdynamo ignition.






and a WP4860 front end, 300mm travel.
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Old 09-01-2012, 12:36 PM   #90
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Nice job that BMW :)
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