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Italian Baja: Gadasin - Al Attiyah duel at the Italian Baja

Russian-Arab duel in the Italian Baja: At the end of the first stage of about 200 km timed, the crew from St. Petersburg composed of Boris Gadasin and Aleksandr Mironenko on a Nissan Navara are in the lead, with a total time of 02:10:37 and a 3:35 gap from Nasser Al-Attiyah (from Qatar) driving a Bmw X3 CC, who had the best time on each selective sections but was not able to shorten the gap gained yesterday in the prologue. There is also the addition of a 3' penalty for a delay at check-in time. In third place so far Janis Naglis from Lithuania on a Mitsubishi Pajero with a 9:59 margin.

Yesterday on the Tagliamento and Cosa riverbed there were three passages only on one selective section of 63.31 km given the decision to cancel the one on Monte Jouf Friday. With a gap of 5:09 on his rival, Gadasin (42:56) had a surprise attack from Al-Attiya (40:17) who shortened the gap by 2:39 but then received a 3’ penalty and it became 6:30. In third place there is Daniele Canonico (Nissan Pathfinder), with co-driver Erika Pajer, but in the provisional general ranking order third position goes to Angelo Montico (Fornasari) the first of Italians.

Al-Attiyah shortens the time to 39:15; Gadasin loses 1:07; the first nine in the lead are foreign; in tenth place there is Franco Grigoletto from Padua with a 4:45 gap. Riccardo Colombo (Mitsubishi - problems with gears) and Andrea Toro with Italian co-driver Mauro Nadin (Navara Ermolli) were forced to stop. In the general ranking order Gadasin is first with a 5:23 margin on Al-Attiyah and a 6:01 margin on Naglis. Montico is fifth with a 6:45 gap, just after the Russian Berkut (33´ gap). Then in eighth position there is Grigoletto with a 7:20 gap. Codecà (Suzuki) and Ciampolini (Mitsubishi) are not doing too well.

It is still Al-Attiyah who dominates the rhythm of the race. His time of 37:32 is unattainable to the rest. Gadasin loses 1:38 but believes that continuing in this manner he can win without too many risks. Third is the Russian Leonid Novitskiy (Nissan Pathfinder) with a 3:57 gap. Seven foreign pilots precede the first Italian - Canonico (5:37). Bad surprise: Montico stops 10 km from the end of the stage and it is not certain that he will be able to start tomorrow. The day ends with Gadasin in the lead, Grigoletto sixth (12m), Canonico tenth (14:56).

Today the last two legs on the Tagliamento (cars at 7.40 and 11.45). In the afternoon the parade with finishing line in Piazza della Vittoria in Cordenons and prizes on the podium at 4 pm. After that last press conference at the Dream Village at 6 pm.

2008/03/16 | 11:49 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Italian Baja

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