The Bivouac (general rallye raid news)

Discussion in 'Racing' started by PackMule, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5oolery

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    Last two post's... spot on... 100% how it is and should be.

    too old... your opinion is possibly based on the perspective you've been exposed to via your close affiliation to one young gun who (in the past perhaps) always had a tendency to (want) go fast all the time...

    And (possibly) the viewpoint of a (factory) team who would surely welcome a re-seeding formula that enables (more often) the ability to keep their riders (even those that have DNF'd a stage and rejoin under maximum time penalty) at or near the front... where they obviously provide both a commercial (TV airtime) and tactical advantage.

    The argument put forward that pro riders "are held up" or "unsafe to be passing slower riders" in dust etc. has nothing to do with safety... In fact, it's quite the contrary...It's a misnoma; giving elite riders a "go as fast as you like guy's... if the bike shit's itself, we will give you a get out of jail free, go back to the front, collect 200 dollars Monopoly card" :norton

    If anything this achieves quite the opposite; It allows (encourages) riders to "push the envelope" even more (especially if all there is left to aim for is stage wins etc.), and in this respect, as the speeds increase the margins decrease and the helicopter statistics will go up from there. Safety huh? :brow Yeah... "safety" disguised behind a commercial agenda maybe.

    Just as Bluebull and Ned have stated quite accurately AND correctly, dust is a part of rallying/desert racing... passing safely in dust is a two part responsibility, STILL with a very big part of the contract onus lying with the competitor MAKING the pass (albeit those being rounded up play a big part in this two way street... especially when talking about being caught by vehicles... which we are not really debating that aspect here).

    Two inescapable facts;

    1. If you can't see, back off the throttle... unless you've got x-ray vision or guided by a higher power... it's only a matter of time/percentages before you bite the dirt.

    2. If you've busted, broken, delayed, waylaid or dismayed your way to the back of the field (either by way of mechanical failure, navigational inadequacy or a crash) YOU ARE NO LONGER AMONGST THE FASTEST ON THE RANKING ORDER and as such those that HAVE done so, have fullfilled the criteria of being up the front and DESERVE that position/placing... regardless of whether the other bloke has a factory's initials stenciled on his jersey, a soft drink company paying his bills OR can pull 40 foot plateau jumps on his MX bike.

    A cross country rally should be a test of navigational skill, physical endurance, mechanical reliability AND speed... not just a series of point to point time trials where the (percieved) fastest are continually seeded to the front.

    So, (as is my way) not just to point out the pitfalls of the status quo, but to offer a viable alternative... HERE is how I would suggest to resolve the problem.

    Any seeded "priority" (read pro/elite rider) who has been seeded into the top 25 (as I believe the number is?) or however many "priority" riders there may be. If a priority rider DNF's a leg, yet desires to continue (as we saw a number in both Marocco AND Oz Safari do in the last two months) then the maximum time penalty applicable should be applied (to the overall general classification score) and their start position for the NEXT days competition BEHIND all other priority riders and/or non-elite ridrs in the top 25 placing for that stage (or however many positions determined).

    ie. A "priority rider" seeded back into the following leg would (should) not be given an advantage over other competitors who have fought their way to the top twenty/thirty positions (and are legitimately still bona fide in their right to be up there).

    From that point on, their daily re-start position is purely based on their daily results... If fastest on the day... start first - that is fair and equitable (even though in the general classification they will be a long way down, because of the max time penalty).

    That's how I see it. :1drink
  2. too old

    too old Keen supporter

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    Ha , ha, you guys have it spot on, but what else would I expect?

    Safety for all is paramount and as you rightly say it's a two way thing - nothing more brutally demonstrated late this summer!

    It's great to see the other perspectives and I can assure you that even for the young gun in question the dangers are more than appreciated.
    The advice and guidance from his own team leaders is "time, no rush and no pressure", but at 23 with a potential career ahead as a professional sportsman (any sport) coupled with the relaising draem of riding for a living, the temptation to prove oneself may sometime a very difficult thing to manage.

    It is being managed without a doubt and I suspect the positioning on the last two stages in Morocco demonstrates that - A year ago we would have one stage win and one DNF :D

    I expect we will see a new level of maturity in the Dakar and with the one strike and your out rule" none of the reseeding issues.

    As for reseeding and with such a rider mix in rally, the system without doubt needs to be considered as the sport develops at it has done over recent years. Although perhaps my perspective has been clouded and in reality it doesn't prove to be an issue too often?

    By the nature of rally it is unlikely that the elite will ever be, or ever want to be, separated from non elite into a professional circuit and that remains the pure and true spirit of the sport, but of course you never know - although the money required and the commerial benefit from it would render it highly unlikely?

    The responsibilities do lie with all the riders and even in F1 this year we have seen inexperience and enthusiasm create mayhem and risk!

    Some changes are perhaps needed for the "new money" and motives and maybe a bit more than unwritten expectations on varying circumstances within the rally now that you are seeing the sport develop the way it is; but as you elude there is a massive level of personal responsibility involved and and most certainly a different riding culture from that of the holeshot mx world, one that has to be quickly learnt by any and all newcommers for the sake of all involved.

    Cheers guys :1drink:1drink:1drink

    Just as a footnote, I played competative rugby for a lot of my life, I learn't also at an early age that the more aggressive you were the more it could hurt :D

    Generally I stick to golf now, at least with my shite (relatively) skills and the handicap system I can play with the best and nobody is going to get seriously injured when I do - well that may not stictly be true, but that's another story :rofl:rofl
  3. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    I think you mentioned it Troy....

    IMHO putting a racer back in after they dnf a stage is purely unsafe :deal

    Example: while every other racer is racing a multi stage rally which involves a ton of strategy you now enter some person who's sole goal is to win stages. This guy now rides a different pace than the rest of the pack, rides balls out just to win the stage while everyone else is pacing and riding a multi day strategy.

    How is this safe?

    Reseeding him is plain and simple a slap in the face to those who are behind him once he is reseeded. One of those amateurs might have been trying to race competitively....but they aren't elite so the dnf fellow gets put in front of them as a reward for dnf'ing the previous days stage?

    The results of the rally get whacked out of proportion with people not racing the rally as a whole but rather racing stages as short sprints in an effort to get a stage win.

    This whole concept of letting someone race after they dnf a stage is lame, big time lame and takes a lot away from what makes rally raid racing so unique :deal

    Take for example the rally that just ended in Maroc....Helder shoulda been out of the rally, plain and simple :nod
    His bike dies early in the day, so he essentially gets a rest day while the rest of the pack are getting a physical and mental workout. The next day he gets reseeded and is fresh and has one goal in mind, win the stage. People even cheer him on, WTF. He has no race strategy anymore, is refreshed while others aren't, has nothing to lose (heck he already lost) and attacks the stage with a vengeance. No way is that safe having him out there, he doesn't even deserve to be out there and certainly shouldn't be congratulated for winning a stage like that.....LAME :nod
  4. Carlos M

    Carlos M www.motoxplorers.com

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    Rodrigues didn't win the stage 5 after breaking on stage 4. Barreda did.
  5. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    Oops, but he won stage 6? If memory serves...he had a rest day where others didn't.

    Statistically and inevitably someday a stage will be won (first second and third) by people who all dnf'd earlier in the race. How lame will that be ? The media typically only reports on the top three each day. The guys competing fight hard for this media exposure to further their careers and please their sponsors....having guys who already lost the race "steal" the limelight is...well....lame :nod

    For amateur rallies I totally get it, but for competitive races with the best guys in the world competing....I strongly disagree with it :nod


    PS...I am a huge Helder fan ( :pynd ) was just using him as an example
  6. too old

    too old Keen supporter

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    It was done in the DC last year (Troy knew I was going to bring this up :D) - ok totally unexpected, but in his first rally Sam won stage 2, DNF stage 3 (sat 4 hours or so in the sun at over 40 C with little water, so maybe not that refreshed after it!) then went out day 4 and from the back and won the stage again as an amateur/rally rookie - now that was of course a total one off and is unlikely to ever happen again and his reward for it is now self evident, but your point is very well made and totally valid.:thumb

    For guys still competing for the honours it must be crap to be heading for a stage win only to be pipped by a DNF from the previous day and one whom actually get's the accolade of the stage win - it can't really be right.:nah
  7. mxmum

    mxmum Been here awhile

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    Even from Sam's Mums point of view, I agree wholeheatedly with this. I was really worried for Sam's safety at the Sardinia rally and 100% feel he should have been re-seeded at the BEGINNING. I think at the beginning of a rally the elite should be re-seeded if they are due to be starting far back from a safety point of view both for themselves and other participants but I think once the rally is under way no re-seeding should be allowed. All riders out there have fought long and hard to get their placing and it should not be taken away from them under any circumstances due to either rider error or mechanical failure. I think a rule review is in order lol!! :rofl:rofl
  8. neduro

    neduro Addict Super Moderator

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    From another perspective, I don't have a problem with people reentering the race after DNF'ing a stage in smaller events, after all, it's a hard pill to swallow to pay the money to be there and then not ride the whole event.

    Deadly, your point is well taken with regard to creating a "loose cannon"... but my observation was that the front guys aren't holding so much in reserve in any case. Perhaps they are trying to be nicer to their motor when they are in it for the win, but they aren't lollygagging about playing it safe.

    IMO, Dakar is as it should be. Other events, even FIM rounds, should allow reentry to keep entries up. At best, the FIM class should not allow reentry after a DNF.

    :dunno
  9. mxmum

    mxmum Been here awhile

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    I agree they should be allowed re-entry but not to be re-seeded near the front before other well earned placings as that is just plain unfair play in my eyes :evil
  10. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    It's fun to debate and discuss :D

    After some thought....maybe non elite should be allowed to re enter after a dnf stage. This would help aspiring racers get into the sport due to the cost of rally but I still firmly believe the elite should not be allowed back in a race once they dnf.

    Just an opinion from some guy on the web who is a fan of the sport, take it for what it is :D
  11. Brodovitch

    Brodovitch Team ⌘R

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    I think it's all about the riders' pace, and reseeding, although it may seem to have been done unfairly several times up to now, is still a necessary evil due to safety reasons.

    Surely it depends on how knowledgable those doing the reseeding are (how well they know the pace of the riders they reseed) - and how objectively and fairly they place the reseeded rider

    For me the most danger lies when riders of vastly different levels of skill are thrown on the course together. One is fast, the other not so much, add in dust and things get dangerous fast.

    Example: say Chaleco has a mechanical and finishes almost last (like Jonah and his electrical gremlins in '11). this is a guy that is Dakar podium material / potential. Do you reseed him in 130th the next day? That is just asking for trouble. He will be pushing through too many riders that are much slower than him, which is a liability to both parties. It is impossible to control how reckless drivers of his calibre will be to make up positions, and how many chances they will be willing to take. It is what they do for a living and what puts food on their table (with all due respect to the privateers)

    I still think reseeding riders last at the end of their respective "speed group" (easily determined looking at times / average speeds) is still the safest option for rallies.
  12. too old

    too old Keen supporter

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    It's funny how things develop.

    There will be exceptions as we have seen, but in essence those guys who are not elite and have taken out a second mortgage amongst other things should perhaps (Dakar aside) be allowed to continue, that is if they can and want to after a dnf - they are equally tough, as a lot of them often experience those on 4 wheels up their ASS for parts of the rally :lol3

    Elite riders with well funded teams are probably a very different issue - possibly Helder could have won a stage after his dnf, but held err back? :rofl:rofl

    Safety and risk will always be issues and need to be managed carefully, any elite rider put back into the pond is going to be quick, but it shouldn't be at risk to him or others, or should he be able to take stage glory when he is allready effectively out of the race - or should he?:1drink

    Even take Sam in last years Dakar (which we agree should keep the one strike rule) - we all know the costs of getting there and an electrical issue which started on the liaison on day 2 forced him out - very very cruel and expensive, not to mention the physcological hit :cry - and that was only for his cheer leaders:lol3

    But that's the spirit of the Dakar - it wouldn't be the toughest motorsport race on the planet otherwise :clap:clap
  13. Brodovitch

    Brodovitch Team ⌘R

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    In theory yes. Try explaining that to any elite rider though and he will look at you as if you are speaking Chinese :lol3

    they just don't do "slow and considerate", more so now that they are on 450s
  14. too old

    too old Keen supporter

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    Dead right, it's funny at times when all the advice is "steady and safe it's a marathon" - it is, but the top guys are moving like Hussein Bolt running a bloody marathon! :lol3
  15. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    These concerns about safety are half the reason I don't like the idea of re entering a race once you dnf. The other half reason is it just isn't fair to people who get bumped back as a result.

    Say 20 elite start...typically a few dnf...placing them at the back of the 20 pack means it becomes more difficult for up and comers to get into "the mix" to gain experience as they keep losing their opportunity to advance in the et days starting order. Instead of starting 19th like they deserve they get bumped to 21st (example) and lose a minute on the guy in 18th....i see how this can screw the top of the non elite out of the chance of moving into the elite category.

    It also just seems wrong and not in the spirit of the sport. Ned mentioned the top guys ride full throttle but surely they must conserve motors or let themselves slip on a stages standings to better position themselves for the next day...sometimes. A previously dnf'd rider has none of those concerns. In theory the dnf guy could be running a fresh motor as he no longer has concerns of penalties...just one goal...to stage win for the publicity...

    Just more rambelling thoughts :D
  16. vander

    vander full-time dreamer

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    Not sure if it was posted allready...


    New GasGas EC450-Raid for Dakar 2013.

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    @ your dealer for 16.500€ +VAT

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  17. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5oolery

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    Just to follow on from both MXmum and Ned's latest comments...

    Re: "Seeding"... I think it is important to differentiate between "seeding" and "re-seeding".

    "Seeding" is the process by which an organiser ranks/sets the starting order for an event. In this respect there can be situations (which as I take it... Sam was subject to in Sardinia ths summer) where a rider (unknown or undiscovered, in a particular part of the world) is assigned a start number/position, that is considerably further down the start list than their pace/skill would normally dictate. Now for Dakar (and some other FIM events) there is a Riders History (or "resumé") that competitors fill out for media/PR purposes (and which - presumeably - get's an eyeball from the Clerk of Course/Race Director) and is of assistance to assigning the start order/numbers. Now this is no exact science... in the abscence of any ATP or Gold ranking system in Rallye Raid sport - aside from say the top 20 "names" (who most organisers recognise), depending on where in the world the event is held, which FMN's jurisdiction it comes under and which land the rider in question comes from and how "reknowned" they might be, plays a BIG part it wheter you recieve a single digit number, a sub 30 number or a triple digit on your rallye plate.

    All of this "not so exact science" means (exactly as ned was alluding to in a previous post of his) that riders of the caliber of Daryl Curtis and Chris Birch (Roof of Africa top runners and Hardcore/extreme enduro exponest of highest order) can be issued with #110 etc. when they sign on for Dakar... and some of the "messieurs" with 50 - 80 numbers on their bikes leave you scrathing your head. :huh

    I've actually seen a number of top Aussie riders, that have fallen foul of this the last few years at Dakar ("unknowns" in the eyes of ASO), but their attitude has mostly been philosophical; "okay, I'm a nobody as far as the euro's are concerned... no drama, by the end of Day one or two, I'll be running where my results warrant/I deserve." And usually, by the end of day two, it is nearly always correct... they are towards the front if they are doing okay... and up the back if they've f#¤%ed up... just the way it should be.

    One relatively simple solution for this, is to ru a prologue as part of the pre-start formalities/procedures. PROLOGUE = a relatively short - between 5 km and 20 km - special stage: held after the inscription/documentation/technical inspection and before the official rally "start", which quite simply is used to rank the starting order (as per the time set by a competitor) for the events official start ie: LEG ONE.

    Prologue is not 100% failsafe (a "quick rider can stall, break down, crash etc. and STILL end up at the back of the conga line) but goes a long way to solving the "seeding" aspect of things.

    "Re-seeding" is what occurs (as in the case of Helder Rodrigues, Alain Duclos and David Casteau at Rallye Maroc) where a "priority" rider who has DNF'd a leg of the rally, is reassigned (as yet to be determined what formula is used) a start position, near the front of the field for a subsequent leg of a rally, despite the fact that their leg result (and general classification position) would normally entitle them to start near the rear of the field.

    Now the inequity of this "re-seeding" is that much of it is based on "who" you are, not "how" you are performing. Now to make a point; for the mostpart so far in regards to this topic we have discussed a "gun" rider who gets "re-seeded" back up the front, because their status as a "top 20" rider dictates it.

    Consider this alternative: "Joe Bloggs" experienced AA enduro rider from Eubanks New Somewhere-or-Other, signs on for the rally on hist privateer entered WRF 450 Yamaha and gets #118 issued in the "left overs" lottery for the Rallye Maroc 2013 start order...

    Due to the lack of a "prologue", Joe starts the 250 km long SS1, up in the back third of the pack with his fellow "never heard of's" and pretty soon finds himself passing a great number of excellent resumé authors in his way forward through the field of ordinary riders and shabby navigators.

    By day three (having passed 40 riders on day one, and 15 to 20 on day two), now Joe has moved up the general classification to 34th overall, and due to his Day Two scratch result will start the long 350 km SS3 in an admirable pos. 27; just behind the upcoming Kawasaki No Bull NRG drink rising star Josés Gottafootindadoor... waterboy to reigning FIM World Cup CCR Champ - Hellyeah Notwhoguess.

    Now on the tough stage three, both Joe and José enter the killer dune stage together and as a result of the cumulative effects of a sandstorm, a missed WPM and a faulty vapour lock on the tuppaware Kawasaki of José... the two riders both DNF the stage (in close proximity to each other) spend two hours out there together waiting for the sweeper truck, and arrive at the end of stage three carrying whopping 14 hour maximum time penalties.

    Miraculously, when the "restart" order for LEG 4 is published, later that evening... by some mathematical roulette wheel like turn of chance; Josés start position for SS4 is 27 (where he is nice and close to his #9 Kawasaki teamate Hellyeah... While by comparison Joe is back at 80... 90... or somewhere?

    Safety... fast riders vs. "slow rider" rationale...? Hang on a second... Joe was carrying the same speed and had attianed the same (similar) place on the ladder as the factory star... but now he is shuffled back down the pack towards the rear again. Somehow it is "safe" for fast privateer Joe to pass peoples dust... but it is not "safe" for second tier factory gun José, to have to do the same? :huh

    How do you spell inequity in French...? I dunno? :dunno But I can tell you it's spellt the same in West Australian. :wink:

    FACTORY vs HOMEGROWN vs UNKNOWN:

    From a purely ethical/purists standpoint, I agree 100% with Ned and Bluebulls expressed view, that a rider (regardless of who they are/how fast they are deemed to be) should start according to their leg result, and (except for DAKAR - where it's "one strike and your out") if that means up the rear in the cheap seats because you DNF's a stage... then so be it.

    I agree with Ned's point that the "re-start" rule is a big plus/incentive for amatuer riders; who - having invested a great deal of time, effort and money to get to the event - can seem a cery harsh to have the whole lot flushed due to what could be a five cent failure or minor misshap. So a "second chance" rule (maximum) is a fair way to keep field numbers to a respectable level (organisational consideration) and give the competitor a valuereturn on their inventment and get valuable seat time experience... instead of watching the money they spent blow off in the dust.

    As far as FIM "priority" riders is concerned...? Yeah, the grass roots and purists might be of the attitude that; "Hey... the factory star broke it, or binned it... Tough luck, they should pack it in (they can't win) and better luck next time."

    But looking at it from the sponsors/team/team management perspective; for sure I can see why they too could see value in having one of their riders (even a top "priority" rider) who has DNF'd a stage - and has no chance for the overall/podium - in still be allowed to continue in the rally. Testing, R&D miles, sticking around as the "waterboy" for the balance of the race... AND keeping the corporate flag up there and flying.

    So the "re-start/re-seed" rule does have a place for the "FIM priority" riders as well I believe... if not for the fact alone that it gives the people that "pay the bills" a chance to get value from their "investment". :evil That's anoither way to look at things eh fella's.

    Think of it this way... as the "formula 450" format proves itself, more manufacturers join the fray, what if other teams like Crackstar Spudzuki and Poopsi Cola Kanwasaki start thinking about three, four or five rider teams (more priority riders = more waterboys... = more paid/subsidized seats for up and comers), then the "re-start" rule makes a lot of commercial sense... not just privateers, but even for the "factory teams" in the sport.

    It is my firm belief, that any re-seeded (DNF'd) rider; be it a pro or a privateer should NOT be re-seeded back at the front of the field... what the formula used should be; is debatable... but in my opinion, it should be "hands off" the first 25 to 30 spots in any case... because that's where rallies are won and lost.

    I can agree that the guys up the back - just battling to make the finish and enjoy their experience - probably don't WANT the added strain and stress of being passed by Salizar Gofastazhit on his factory Kymco overtaking them at mach 2 and generally wouldn't care less if the stars were "re-seeded" futher up the field.

    By the same token, I can well imagine that Mitch Isavedfouryears-Toodoodis, who has worked his way into the top 30 general classification, would get just more than a bit pissed, when Jason Superstar gets ushered back up to a top ten start spot, after he blew his twenty thousand dollar factory titanium motor into bits yeaterday, and the team mechanics tossed a new one in last night, while he was at the team hotel. :1drink
  18. tehdutchie

    tehdutchie Long timer

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    That GasGas is a good deal at 16500 euros plus vat!!!
  19. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5oolery

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    True dat! Wonder how many the production run is for...? :ear
  20. neduro

    neduro Addict Super Moderator

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    Great comments, as usual, but one correction. Even in the best case scenario, all that money just blows off in the dust. :lol3

    Agree! About 2/3 price of a KTM, curious how reliable it proves to be.