|Dakar Rally 2013: Top 5 pos for Helder Rodrigues - Campbell with crash.|
After the rest day in Tucuman, Team Honda HRC riders Monday tackled the longest stage of the Dakar 2013 with a 593 km long special split into 2 timed sections with 122 km of neutralised sector.
Starting second, Johnny Campbell was able to take advantage of the fast tracks followed by a more technical part. He rode with a good consistent pace, finishing the first special in third position behind Despres and Barreda. Despite a small crash at the beginning of the second stage that made him stop to replace the front brake lever, he finished in the top ten.
"I was third at the end of the first special but I made a mistake at the beginning of the second stage that spoiled the result" said Campbell. "I came into a corner too fast and I couldn’t slow down so I lost the bike and I crashed, breaking the front brake lever which I had to replace."
"My bike was also damaged at the back but I managed to make it to the end, despite the pain in my ribs. Monday’s terrain was tough for the machine and the tyres, but our Pirelli tyres worked very well."
Team mate Rodrigues was 2nd at the CP1 but lost valuable time finishing 8th at the end of the first special stage, although he was able to recover in the second timed section. With Monday’s 5th position Helder moves up into 7th position overall, 31:23 minutes behind Ruben Faria who leads the general classification.
"It was a long day, the navigation was not difficult but it was hard for the machine, the tyres and our bodies" Rodrigues said. "I didn’t want to take too many risks as it was quite dangerous out there so I’m happy with my result."
A difficult day for Javier Pizzolito who was not comfortable on the rocky terrain and preferred not to take too many risks. Finishing 26th overall, the Argentinian rider lost 2 positions and now sits in 12th place overall.
"It was a tricky and technical stage especially the rocky section in the mountains and I wasn’t comfortable so I preferred to ride safely and wait for the last part of the stage that had softer ground" he said.
2013/01/15 | 11:03 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/HRC