SS9 Tucuman – Cordoba 852 km (176 km liaison – 593 km special – 83 km liaison)
After the rest day in Tucuman, Team HRC riders today tackled the longest stage of the Dakar 2013 with a 593-km long special split into 2 timed sections with 122 km of neutralised sector.
Starting second, Johnny Campbell was able to take advantage of the fast tracks followed by a more technical part. He rode with a good consistent pace, finishing the first special in third position behind Despres and Barreda. Despite a small crash at the beginning of the second stage that made him stop to replace the front brake lever, he finished in the top ten.
Team mate Rodrigues was 2nd at the CP1 but lost valuable time finishing 8th at the end of the first special stage, although he was able to recover in the second timed section. With today’s 5th position Helder moves up into 7th position overall, 31’23” behind Faria who leads the general classification.
A difficult day for Javier Pizzolito who was not comfortable on the rocky terrain and preferred not to take too many risks. Finishing 26th overall, the Argentinian rider lost 2 positions and now sits in 12th place overall.
Helder Rodrigues SS9 5th +8’47, 7th overall: “It was a long day, the navigation was not difficult but it was hard for the machine, the tyres and our bodies. I didn’t want to take too many risks as it was quite dangerous out there so I’m happy with my result”.
Johnny Campbell SS9 10th +14’56, 52nd overall: “I was third at the end of the first special but I made a mistake at the beginning of the second stage that spoiled today’s result. I came into a corner too fast and I couldn’t slow down so I lost the bike and I crashed, breaking the front brake lever which I had to replace. My bike was also damaged at the back but I managed to make it to the end, despite the pain in my ribs. Today’s terrain was tough for the machine and the tyres, but our Pirelli tyres worked very well”.
Javier Pizzolito SS9 26th +30’58, 12th overall: “It was a tricky and technical stage especially the rocky section in the mountains and I wasn’t comfortable so I preferred to ride safely and wait for the last part of the stage that had softer ground”.
SS9 Unofficial results 1. Despres (KTM), 2, Barreda (Husqvarna) +04’03, 3.Botturi (Husqvarna) +5’14, 4.Faria (KTM) +7’47, 5.Rodrigues Team HRC (Honda) +08’47… 10. Johnny Campbell Team HRC (Honda) +14’56” 26.Javier Pizzolito Team HRC (Honda) +30’58”
Overall standing: 1.Faria (KTM) 2.Despres (KTM) +5’23 3.Lopez (KTM) +09’03 4.Jakes (KTM) +16’56 5.Botturi (Husqvarna) +22’58… 7.Helder Rodrigues Team HRC (Honda) +31’23, 12. Javier Pizzolito Team HRC (Honda) +46’50, 52.Johnny Campbell Team HRC (Honda) 5h52’53
Daily Team HRC videos, including action footage, interviews with riders and behind-the-scenes activities are available in a special Dakar 2013 playlist on the Honda Pro Racing YouTube channel. To view, please click this link –http://bit.ly/TKxdxd