|Day 4 Nazca – Arequipa 288 km special 430 liaison
With 720 km to cover, this was the longest stage since the start of the 2013 Dakar. The route for cars and bikes was slightly different this time. It was a spectacular stage with a sandy start with dunes following one another, each one like the next in a never ending desert capable of misleading even the more expert riders. Different from the first two stages there was a mix of rocks and sands and crossing dry rivers with tricky navigation. Competitors also tackled an incredible 2 km slide downhill in the first third of the stage.
All Team HRC riders did a great job regaining valuable positions with Helder Rodrigues finishing 5th in the special and sits now 16th in the overall, climbing 12 positions.
Argentinian Javier Pizzolito continues to improve consistently and today he secured the 7th position and is now 15th the general classification After the problem suffered yesterday, Johnny Campbell gave an incredible performance, gaining positions and finishing 38th.
Helder Rodrigues SS4 5th +11’43”, 16th in the Overall: “I’m pleased with today’s stage. My bike worked well and I was able to gain valuable positions and close the gap with the front riders a little. I started 23rd and there was a lot of dust and fech fech at the beginning but then I started to push and I’m happy with the result. Tomorrow I aim to continue like this and climb some more positions in the overall standing. Dakar is a special race and many unforeseen events may happen, so it’s important to maintain the concentration and avoid mistakes, especially in the navigation”.
Javier Pizzolito SS4 7th +12’32”, 15th in the Overall: I’m very pleased with the bike, it worked very well and I was very comfortable. It was a varied stage with dunes but also rocky terrain and tricky navigation. I’m very happy with my result that allows me to gain some valuable positions in the standing. All in all it was a very good stage for me and for the team”.
Johnny Campbell SS4 38th +37’11”, 120th in the Overall: “I started at the back so I struggled with the dust, especially at the beginning. I stopped to help Pedrero who had crashed in the rocks and then I continued. I also crashed due to a hole while I was riding downhill, fortunately without serious consequences. Now my ribs are sore but I was able to finish the stage without problems”.
Tomorrow the race will leave Peru and enter Chile reaching Arica. The first bike will start at 08:30 for a 135 km special and 275 liaison.
SS4 Unofficial Lap Times 1.Barreda (Husqvarna); 2.Pain (Yamaha) +8.23”, 3.Casteu (Yamaha) +10’42”, 4.Farres (Honda) +11’40”, 5.Rodrigues Team HRC (Honda) +11’43” … 7. Pizzolito Team HRC (Honda) +12’32, 38. Campbell Team HRC (Honda) +37’11
Overall Classification 1. Pain (Yamaha), 2. Casteu (Yamaha) +2’24” , 3. Depres (KTM) +3’09, 4.Barreda (Husqvarna) +5’38”, 5. Viladoms (Husqvarna) +7’22”……. 15. Pizzolito Team HRC (Honda) +19’12”, 16. Rodrigues Team HRC (Honda) +22’15, 120.Campbell Team HRC (Honda) + 4h53’29