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Baja Spain Aragon 2009 Special-Newssection (FIA Cross Country Bajas)

This is the single-news section of the special of the Baja Spain Aragon 2009, third round of the FIA Worldcup for Cross Country Bajas. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Baja Spain: Roma 2nd in cars, Farrés leading on two wheels.

The first stage of the Baja España Aragón 2009 in Spain on Saturday saw the Repsol team fighting to win the first stage from the very first kilometre and there is a very good chance for the team members can finish on the top of the podium in both the car and bike categories tomorrow. Nani Roma`s second position today, just 27 seconds behind the leader St#ephane Peterhansel, is a sign that there will be a very tight finish. 

Exactly the same is on the cards in the motorbike category, where Farrés and Viladoms, separated by just 2 minutes 2 seconds at the end of the first stage are 8 minutes ahead of the third placed rider.

On the first special of the day, 180km long between Belchite & Fendetodos, Nani Roma set the second fastest time, just 9 seconds slower than Stéphane Peterhansel. The Repsol driver started 4th thanks to his time in the prologue but was held up by Guerlain Chicherit who he took some time to overtake, losing precious seconds in the dust he kicked up.

At the same time the motorbike riders faced the La Muela special of 131km, and the Repsol riders were the fastest. The winner in 2007, Gerard Farrés, set the best time - 1 hour 33 minutes 41 seconds - followed by his teammate Jordi Viladoms at 1 minute 25 seconds.

After the assistance in Zaragoza motorbikes and cars changed routes; the participants in cars competed on the La Muela special and Farrés, Viladoms and company did the Belchite special. At the end of this section against the clock Nani Roma was second again, 16 seconds behind Peterhansel, and so he lost a total of 27 seconds in the overall with 311km left to cover tomorrow.
Once again Farrés dominated the race in the motorbike category. And the two Repsol riders found a terrain that was a bit more complicated than the first special due to the fact that the track had been churned up by the cars and trucks earlier in the day. Even so Farrés won with a gap of 34 seconds over his teammate who has a lead of almost 8 minutes over the third placed rider.

“We have done 310 km driving flat out, and only 27 seconds separate us from the leader, this shows just how intense the day`s racing has been. This morning I lost some time driving behind Guerlain Chicherit. It is very difficult to overtake in the Baja because there is a lot of dust kicked up, and until I got past him I wa not able to cut the gap on Peterhansel.

In the afternoon I drove flat out again and things went well but in the end with the heat and the weight of the cars the brakes were playing up. Anyway, I am second today and the race is not decided yet,” said Nani Roma.

“A lot went on today, and so we had to keep our eyes on the blackboard, battling in very short distances. On the first special it took me some time to pick up the pace but on the second things went better. The track was really churned up and you had to ride very carefully. I cut the gap on Gerard [Farrés], but then I fell - fortunately I was not injured - and so I took things more calmly from then on. We are riding very fast and as a team level we are performing at a very high level.

Tomorrow we will have to watch out even more because the cars will have covered the specials, and the terrain could even be worse than today`s. We will have to use our heads, not take any risks because the rider chasing us is far behind, obviously we will be trying to win the race though,” said Jordi Viladoms.

“I am very pleased with how the day went, because this is turning out to be a very tight race. At the beginning Barreda was also riding well but he had a problem and he left the way free for me. On the second special you had to concentrate much more because the cars had left the track in a really bad state, full of dust that covered stones and the marks of their wheels so you had to keep to the edge of the tracks so that you did not come across any nasty surprises.

Tomorrow will be even more difficult because the cars will have passed the same special two times; today the track was clean at first because the cars and trucks went on the special after us, so we will have to keep a keen eye on the whole track,” said Gerard Farres.

2009/07/26 | 20:22 CET | Editor: MR/Repsol/Rita Konya

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