|Dakar Rally 2013: Kurt Caselli and Paul Smith SS11 winner´s bike & quad.|
Although the 11th special was again affected by the weather, American Kurt Caselli obtained a 2nd stage victory on the Dakar, whilst general standings leader Cyril Despres further increased his lead.
The weather conditions have deteriorated further than forecast and the dry river beds that cross the route today are in a state of torrential flood. The rally organisers have decided to stop the special for the cars and trucks.
On the 11th special stage, shortened by 30 km due to the delicate state of the start following bad weather during the last few days over the region of Fiambala, Kurt Caselli (KTM, USA) again proved that he has not just replaced Marc Coma by chance. Having started 5th, the American took advantage of the sand made more stable by the last few days' rainfall, to show his power and skill on Baja types of terrains.
The outcome was a 2nd stage victory on his first Dakar for the newcomer nicknamed "Special K", 4:45 minutes ahead of Paulo Gonçalves and 6:24 mins in front of Cyril Despres. Despite a small navigational error at the start of the stage, the title holder nevertheless made up for it by the end and strengthened his leading position in the general standings.
Despres now leads team-mate Ruben Faria by 13:16 mins and "Chaleco" Lopez, who finished the stage in 5th place after losing his bearings somewhat toward the end of the stage, by 18:08. Finally, following a serious fall 50 km from the finishing line, Spaniard Joan Barreda injured his shoulder and is not sure of being able to start on Friday.
In the quad category, Australian Paul Smith also took advantage of the more sturdy sand than thought to pick up his 1st stage victory on the Dakar, 4:18 minutes ahead of Gaston Gonzalez and 5:42 mins in front of Marcos Patronelli.
This result has not changed much in the general standings, where the younger Patronelli brother is still way out in front, with a lead of 01:50:22 hours over Ignacio Casale and 02:46:59 hours over Rafal Sonik (Poland).
2013/01/16 | 19:49 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/ASO