|Dakar Rally 2013: Ales Botturi still up with the leaders in Dakar 6th stage.|
Dakar gets tough now with three tricky stages ahead of 13th January’s rest day at San Miguel de Tucuman. Alessandro Botturi really pushed his Speedbrain Husqvarna TE449RR hard finishing just behind the leaders in 5th place.
Botturi, however slips down to 10th position in the overall standings, due to a fifteen minute penalty imposed after he had his engine changed for precaution ahead of Friday’s marathon stage.
"Well, I’m very pleased. I got past the first three straight away the morning, and I was in control of the stage for most of the special" said Botturi. "It really was a long one, very dusty and tiring. But I’m very happy. Yesterday we decided to change the engine ahead of Friday’s marathon test."
Paulo Goncalves pushed hard too but was unlucky. Paulo won the first part of the special a minute ahead of Lopez, but an electrical problem at the start of the second stage caused him to slow down considerably, and he finished some way behind.
"It was a shame about the electrical problems or I would have easily won the special" said Goncalves. "I won the first part a minute ahead of Lopez. A couple of kilometres into the second stage I started to experience electrical problems. I lost a lot of time changing the fuses, otherwise I wouldn’t have come in so far back, and I’d have probably won the stage."
Jordi Viladoms, who set a tremendous pace in the initial special part amongst the top ten, likewise had difficulties with the TE449RR’s electrics. Joan Barreda finished the special test in twenty-ninth position after being involved in an ugly crash in the second part of the stage which leaves him nursing a heavily bruised right wrist. Matt Fish is managing to finish the race and solve same technical problems on his bike in order to start again Friday.
"I didn’t push for the whole of the stage, and I just wanted to find the right pace to set for the next few days" said Barreda. "I stopped to see if Paulo needed any help, and then set off again. But in all the dust I made a mistake and fell badly. My hand and wrist are hurting a lot. I don’t know if I’ll be able to start on Friday."
2013/01/11 | 14:43 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/SPEEDBRAIN