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Italian Baja: Gadasin wins for the second time.

In 2007 victory was given to him as though it were handed to him on a plate right at the end of the race; Marc Blazquez Roura from Spain was always in front and then in the last stage was stopped due to a mechanical fault. But this time the Tsar of Russia can finally say triumphantly “I came, I saw, I conquered” when going back to St Petersburg. Boris Gadasin, with co-driver Vladimir Demyanenko, driving a Nissan Pick-up G-Force, dominated and won the sixteenth edition of the Italian Baja with a total time of 3h46’05’’, in front of the Czech crew Zapletal-Ourednicek (Mitsubishi L 200) with a 4’16’’ gap and the Dutch crew composed of Van Deijne-Rosegaar (Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution) with a gap of 5’41’’.

Slightly surprising was the first of the Italians, Riccardo Colombo (Mitsubishi L 200) from Milan with co-driver Rudi Briani, seventh overall with a gap of 25’41’’ from first position, preceding Valter and Stefano Benazzato (New Grand Vitara); father and son who saved the pride of Suzuki after the fiasco of the Italian champion Lorenzo Codecà, who stopped straight away during the Prologue on Friday due to the rupture of his engine.

Angelo Montico from Pordenone was also unlucky (Fornasari RR 450): even though constantly being slowed down by electrical problems, he was the first out of the Italians after the first leg on Saturday. Sunday morning he was racing very fast on the riverbed of the Cosa stream when he crashed into a small concrete pillar and detached the right posterior tyre. This was the end of his dreams of glory which also resulted in his long goodbye to this four-wheeled vehicle as for the rest of this year he will dedicate himself once again to quads in the European race.

The events of these three days of races saw Van Deijne’s (from Holland) ambition of being first extinguish itself; he was first only in the Prologue, but was always important in keeping the pace of the race. Gadasin however had the best times in four out of the five stages along the Selective Section “Baja Italia” - slightly shortened to 78.4 km (as a result of fords on the Tagliamento river) - and he only allowed his adversary some breathing space in the last stage due to the fact that he had already won. Zapletal’s performance was more consistent and he therefore arrived in second position.

As always the stages on the riverbeds, in particular that on the Tagliamento River, were spectacular especially when competitors had to challenge the masses of water. Only 27 out of the 39 cars at the start of the race reached the finishing line. The National Trophy became a sort of Emilian duel and was won by Andrea Lolli against Andrea Debbi (both driving a Suzuki New Grand Vitara), whilst Giorgio Facile (Suzuki Jimny) from Udine arrived in third place.

MOTORBIKES Victory for Nicola Dutto (Husqvarna Te) in 3h07’04’’ over Claudio Mana (Aprilia Rxv 550) with a gap of only 40’’, and Stefano Bosio (Ktm Excr 530) arrived third with a 6’02’’gap.

QUADS Josef Machacek (Yamaha Raptor) from the Czech Republic arrived first with a total time of 2h48’51’’, in front of Tiziano Sette (Polaris 525) from Vicenza and Martin Plechaty (Ktm 530) also from the Czech Republic. For the Italians, Sette was first in front of Massimiliano Masante (Kawasaki 450) and Gianmarco Fossà (Suzuki Ltr 450).

2009/03/25 | 22:21 CET | Editor: MR/Italian Baja/Rita Konya

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