|Australasian Safari: Heavy day for the bikers - some changes in the overalls.|
The last days before the rally it has rained a lot in the "Golden Outback", so the landscape was more green then usual, everywhere again flowers and upgrowing vegetation during green bushes. But the bad point, the rain changed the very fast track, in some points were new washouts, stones or wadis, which were not marked in the roadbook and not changed - especially the fast bikers had their problems with this.
Todd Smith retained his lead, ahead of brother Jacob Smith by 10 minutes, and followed by Shane Diener. Last years winner Ben Grabham get technical problems with his KTM (and couldn´t drive the second stage), Cyril Despres and Damien Grabham were lost together for 20 minutes, Sam Sunderland from UK had another crash today after his "Kangoroo Contact" on Saturday, but nothing serious.
"The map reader stopped working, I looked down to see what was wrong with it and hit something and went straight over the handle bars," Damien Grabham, Ben Grabhams brother said. "I saw Cyril coming the wrong way, he was lost and we rode for 20 minutes together. I’m not happy and I’m really sore."
Annie Seel from Sweden had a bad experience with a roadbook-mistake in the second part. "It was only fast, very fast. Especially in the second stage, for this speed the roadbook wasn´t detailed enough. Big stones were not marked, deep creeks not signed. You came with 160 km/h through a curve, hit a unmarked stone in the middle of the road, jump and... uff, I had luck! The Rally is great, especially the organisation. But in my mind they should make the stages more different, not only fast - like last year. That was great!"
It was a rough day for Matt Fish as well. He moved from fifth position yesterday to receiving a one-hour penalty today. "I’m alive but that’s about it. About 50 kms before refuel it all went pear-shaped. The rear mousse (tyre) blew and I rode into refuel on the rim. I took a new tyre at refuel and have been penalised," Fish said.
Quad rider Paul Smith’s chance of retaining his 2010 title is over after breaking a leg on the last stage. Colin Lawson loved the day and retained his number one position in the quads. "They were perfect quad tracks today, I had a ball. We had a few little issues with a flat tyre and problems with the sway bar that made the bike feel like a canoe."
2011/09/26 | 17:16 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY