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Dakar Rally 2013: A difficult day for Honda rider Rodrigues and Campbell.





The Dakar marathon continues heading south reaching Nazca, famous for its enigmatic lines designing geometric shapes, animals and human figures visible only from the sky.

It was another demanding day for the riders with a 243-km long stage, characterized by fast tracks split by big dunes of white sands that are similar to the Mauritanian desert for their softness and difficulty, it is very easy to get stuck in this sand.

Chaleco Lopez claimed today’s stage win, gaining his second stage victory for this 2013 Dakar, ahead of Paolo Goncalves and Cyril Despres, who leads the general classification by 2'51" over Francisco López, second and 4:59 minutes over Ullevalseter, third.

It was a positive day for Javier Pizzolito, who secured his position in the top 10, finishing 7:39 mins behind the stage winner, while it was a difficult stage for his team mates, with Helder Rodrigues finishing 33rd because of a fuel problem that made him lose almost 20 minutes after a strong performance in the dunes that saw the Honda rider catching Cyril Despres.

A tough day also for Johnny Campbell who was obliged to stop at km 20 of the special as a result of a mechanical problem. Johnny succeeded in repairing the machine and continued his race, but lost a lot of time and energy in the heat of the Nazca Desert, finishing 158th.

Javier Pizzolito SS3 10th +7:08, 21st in the Overall: "I started 50th and there was a lot of dust and fech fech at the beginning so I tried to do more "off piste" to recover positions. When the way was clear I started to push and finishing 10th is a good result. It was a varied stage with some hard ground, fast track, big soft dunes and fech fech. I’m confident for tomorrow and my target is to do a good team result."

Helder Rodrigues SS3 33rd +25:24, 28th in the Overall: "It was another difficult day for me. At the beginning there was a lot of dust and fech fech so I couldn’t attack. Then I started to push and in the middle of the stage I caught Cyril. I was aiming to get a good result but I suffered again a fuel issue and I lost almost 20 minutes. It’s a real pity but Dakar is still long and we will work with the team to try and find some solutions."

Johnny Campbell SS3 158th +04:19:39, 146th in the Overall: "It was supposed to be a short day but it became a long one for me. Early in the stage the bike had some hesitations and at km 20 I had to stop and diagnose the problem. It was an issue with the fuel pump and I had to replace it. It took me a long time to fix the problem. Then the bike was ok but after 140 km i was struggling again with the machine so I had to ride conservative to finish the stage and arrive at the bivouac."

Henk Hellegers, Team HRC Manager: "It has been a difficult start for Team HRC, especially for Helder. Yesterday and today’s stages were two very long special in the deep dunes and hot temperature. We will analyse the information and will look for a solution to give Helder, Javier and Johnny the best possible bike."

Javier Pizzolito is now 21st in the Overall standing, while two problems in the second and third stage obliged Helder to concede 24:58 to the leader Cyril Despres. Johnny drops from 35th to 146th overall position.

2013/01/08 | 14:33 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/HRC











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