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Old 10-18-2012, 12:38 AM   #766
troy safari carpente
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wrk2surfyep.. they are hauling ass .. nice little launcher the photogs found!




+1 This

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Originally Posted by Aussie66 View Post
For many the sand dunes may seem harder, it is actually easier to push the limits than on the rocky paths, off piste you can miss a turn where as here on the rocky paths its impossible.
and this

You could get a sense of it looking at the tracker speeds and stage sector times/average speeds during yesterdays SS3 (day one and two also for that matter)... but the photo's and footage from yesterdays stage just confirm it visually.

One thing the 450 category has done has put the "racing" back into rally.

The level of "attack" of the top ten to 15 riders is (at a visual estimate) probably about 10% more than even the single cylinder 650cc days of five years back! You can see from the body english, the throttle application, the suspension working... these guys are up over the 85 - 90% level far more often than was the case only a few years back (they're riding like it was an Oz Safari on the line Aussie66 will get the gist of that one! ).

Contributing factors...?

Ummm... more riders on more (variation) of competitive material, with teams behind them, make for more competition.

Lighter better handling bikes allow the skilled riders to "push" in the choppier and more technical terrain... not just rely on top speed when the trails open up.

Smaller engines (less power/top speed) mean the riders are exploiting the top end of the performance window harder, longer and more often, in an attempt to gain whatever advantage they can.

I believe the combination of these things has made for more competitive and defionately more spectacular racing, than when it was the large "desert ships" of yestyear... but it HAS turned the emphasis from a long gruelling multi-day gauntlet of physical/mental endurance and mechanical reliability, to more of a "seven days in a row" baja/sprint type of tempo.

Not saying that these guys are not fit or tough, and that it is easy by any means... but to "win" in 2012 probably takes a different approach from the rider and team than it did to "win" in 2002 and for sure a complete different game than in 1992... from the pure riding speed/"attack" aspect.

Not saying this is good or a bad thing... it's evolution and even if the "take the Dakar back to Africa/it was awesome to see the 220 kg monsters thumping across the Sahara" type pundits, feel that "formula 450" has altered the sport of rallye raid (and it has)... one thing you can't deny, these guys are putting on a great show with a depth of talent that we've NOT seen for ten years.

For the first time (I gotta say) other than for pure enthusiast/F5 freaks out there... here in front of us is a product (featuring action and a diversity of competition) that in combination with the fantastic vistas, drama and visual impact that rally events within the sport of cross country rallying have ALWAYS possed, that a sanctioning body/organisation COULD LEGITIMATELY package and market as a TV commodity to a wider audience (not just F5 f5reaks ) a' la' WRC or MotoGP...

Sure there are a multitude of obstacles; politics within the sport, between snctioning bodies, organisers clash of dates etc. (just as LUDO and JMo Jenny have mentioned both here (LUDO) and in the bivouc thread recently) Those factors have always been the case... and probably always will be an obstacle to getting any real "series/world championship" more than just industry/enthusiast recognition... But I have got to say (and this coming from a bloke who has bled rally raid/cross country rallying from the ears for the last 24 years), now, today (finally) the action, proffessionalism and competitiveness of the top 20 riders and their teams matches the image and magesty of the sport, that would create interest amongst the "man in the street" viewer/spectator - NOT just the diehard rally/motorsport fan...

... and it's those people (over and above the dusty dirty core market) that the people pouring the dollars in, want to attract. ASO have found the equation in South America, and with "FIM formula 450"* now firing on it's one cylinder format, maybe this will take off (again) like it did back in the 80's...???

*A side bar to this, is that it is a bit of a shame that the FIA/Auto category has lost a few of it's big factory hitters the last few seasons - NISSAN, Mitsubishi and most recent VW - withdrawing from the fourwheeled side of the sport - because undoubtedly it is the big factory auto teams which bring a lot of the sponsor dollars/media coverage to the table... but with Mini/BMW, the Toyota/Overdrive team still maintaining the upper level of competition... perhaps others will come (or old combatants return?)

Anyway... gas on for Stage 4 of the Oilibiya Ralle Maroc!

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Old 10-18-2012, 12:39 AM   #767
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Morning all...

I am split between this one: Does KTM tell Cyril to hold back and focus on the big one (especially now that they are down to 50% on riders), or is it possible they want to nip the HRC bud before it grows and deny them bragging rights? The flip side is let HRC take Morocco, and serve their ass to them come January where it really counts. (All this is mere speculation on the thinking at Mattighoffen)

Oh, and a disclaimer: I am on KTM's side. I know that many here consider Honda the underdog as they have been away for so long (depends on how long you've been following Rallies), but since '96 I was rooting for Kini on the purple machine, KTM weren't even considered the underdog back then... more of a garden shed operation all the big boys (euro teams included) would laugh at. I am stoked they have come this far as a serious contender when so many others of their calibre have failed... A success story if I ever saw one

I guess in the bigger scheme of things I still consider them (and to an extent Husqvarna) a David to the HRC Goliath probably because I also follow MotoGP closely, where HRC have persistently made me sick with all the politics and behind-the-curtain bending twisting and scheming. Right, rant over, bring on stage 4

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Old 10-18-2012, 12:55 AM   #768
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Morning all...

I am split between this one: Does KTM tell Cyril to hold back and focus on the big one (especially now that they are down to 50% on riders), or is it possible they want to nip the HRC bud before it grows and deny them bragging rights? The flip side is let HRC take Morocco, and serve their ass to them come January where it really counts. (All this is mere speculation on the thinking at Mattighoffen)


If I can put forward a "foot in both camps" viewpoint...

I think that "corporate Cyril" would probably lean towards the first option... consolidate, look at the big picture... after all Dakar is where (at a conservative estimate) probably 70% of his years budget, sponsor support and in effect - livelihood - is secured.

On the other hand, I think "rallye passionate Despres" (who we have once more seen glimpses of this week) deep down would like to serve them a good ol' fashioned "Alien ass whipping" and show them still "..ou ess de boss!"

On top of all that, factor in the fact that Cyril is now a father... he has made a comfortable life for his family and self by being the best at his proffession for many years now. He has little to prove and not much to gain.

I expect we will see his (usual) level of commitment and skill - not push the envelope too far - and see... if that is enought to take the prize. If the competition are able (or prepared the risk) to beat that... I think both Cyril and KTM will applaud the victors their dues, magnanimous in defeat... and then come out in January with a resolve that will make for a legendary DAKAR.
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:00 AM   #769
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Talking The F5 fighters are warming up in their corners...

Most of the riders have made the liason stage from Zagora down to Tagounite where the SS4 start is located...

We are about 15 minutes away from blast off now... the start of the first rider away ( #5 Speedy Goncalves) at 08:15 local Maroccan time.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zenjen
"It's like deja vu all over again."

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"...the Barstid never gives you anything for your Sig line, it's always too long........."
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:02 AM   #770
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I wonder if it has to do with pulling a lead in the Marc vs Cyril support/brand spokesperson-for-the-company war as well...

A win in Morocco for Cyril could let him command a larger cheque / influence on the Austrians? Brand Cyril, by winning here (and placing above HRC in El Dakaro) could also have a pretty strong case when negotiations for contracts come up in late 2014. Could he, would he jump to red?

Riders at DSS now...
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:05 AM   #771
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'morning gentlemen.

T-10 minutes.

I also think there's a good possibility that KTM and Cyril will look at the bigger picture that is the Dakar. Apart from our not so little corner here, there's not much public interest in this Rallye. And we all remember what Cyril did in last year's Safari when a win was out of the question.

OTOH pro sports men like Cyril are hugely ambitious and simply don't like to lose - that's why he is a champ.
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:08 AM   #772
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I
On top of all that, factor in the fact that Cyril is now a father... .

I didn't now that. Yes, it's a factor.

Was it Enzo Ferrari who said that racing drivers lose a second per lap just by getting married?
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:13 AM   #773
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Any info on how CdP lost so much time yesterday? Did he get lost, or just lose time finding the way, while everyone else followed and gained?
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:16 AM   #774
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A win in Morocco for Cyril could let him command a larger cheque / influence on the Austrians? Brand Cyril, by winning here (and placing above HRC in El Dakaro) could also have a pretty strong case when negotiations for contracts come up in late 2014. Could he, would he jump to red?
I guess you can always argue that "money talks"...

But it would really surprise me if Cyril went any place else other than KTM.

Both he and Coma are the ultimate product of the KTM "creché" that stems back to the late 90's...

You said it in one of your earlier posts... It began back with Kinigadner, then came in the second wave of Arcarons, Magnaldi, Cox etc. in the late 90's. Then Sainct and Despres were recruited with Gauloise money, Arcarons brought the young spaniards Roma, then Coma to the Repsol fold... and the LC8 program made heroe's of Meoni and Sala...

Amidst all this, Cyril Despres and Marc Coma were learning their craft, from the best, with the best and the strongest team/bikes behind them. This investment from mattighofen is what has seen the KTM shares in Dakar become what thay are over the last decade... Marc and Cyril (and the portfolio of sponsors support they have behind them today) are as much due to the success of the program, as the programs success is due to the contribution of it's collaborators.

And bar all else - in Coma and despres world - I think they are all too aware of that... they have both been KTM company men for the bulk of their careers... I think it takes more than just a big checkbook and HRC stickers to change that, at this (late) point in their racing lives.

But then again... nothing is foreverI guess?
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:17 AM   #775
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Thumb By the way...

Oh... yeah... ummm... they've started...
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Quote:
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"...the Barstid never gives you anything for your Sig line, it's always too long........."
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:22 AM   #776
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I guess you can always argue that "money talks"...

But then again... nothing is foreverI guess?
I agree, all good points, the only thing troubling me is what their plan B after Marc & Cyril is... but that's for another thread...

I see Barreda is showing on the live tracking today, should be fun!
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:30 AM   #777
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Any info on how CdP lost so much time yesterday? Did he get lost, or just lose time finding the way, while everyone else followed and gained?

From the time sheets and the trackers... it appears it was a case of Cyril (out front) looking for the needle in the haystack... and having left the smoke signal (dust/wheel tracks perhaps) the pursuers having the opportunity to head straight for the haystack, in a more direct manner.

This seemed to happen on two occassions (finding both CP1 and CP2) and coupled with the fact that Helder Rodrigues stopped at the Coma accident - effectively putting four or five more (fast riders) ahead, that may have made his task of making a bee line on these tricky navigational sectors, enabling him to effectively catch time on Despres who is the pathfinder in that respect.

Couple that with the compassionate time refund Helder recieved (about 8 minutes?) for assist/stopping at the Coma crash, that helps account for the 11 minute turnaround at the leader board over Despres.

I have not heard/seen any interview from Helder or despres as to this, but the way things unfolded yesterday it is most plausable. It's a part of the poker game that riding/navigating upfront in a rally presents... today despres can play his hand... If it is not too dusty (they are running in sand for much of the day) if he can make a run early (he starts in pos 11) and pick up three or four spots... the reverse of yesterdays situation could play to his favour.

The interesting thing for today (much navigation) is the broad mix of the top four teams evenly spread over the top ten start positions... could be a lot of tactics/passing going on if they "bunch" in the more tricky "off piste" navigation sectors.
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"...the Barstid never gives you anything for your Sig line, it's always too long........."
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:35 AM   #778
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That did nicely, thanks!
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:36 AM   #779
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Goncalves looks to have stopped early in the special/...?

tracking at 08:32 shows him still at the start
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:38 AM   #780
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Speedy G. has turned back to DSS?!
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