Stage 12 of the recent Dakar rally became exactly the challenge some had feared. What should normally have been dust turned into mud and waterholes following overnight rain. To make matters even more difficult, the trucks opened the route today, causing deep ruts and an extra hard time for the motorcycle riders. Overall not a fun day for the bikes.
The duo Frans Verhoeven and Pedro Bianchi Prata, of Team BMW Motorrad by speedbrain, was constantly searching for good lines around the mud pools. Verhoeven rode smart and managed all tricky passages without major problems. The Dutchman was rewarded with seventh place on the day, promoting him to 17th in the standings.
He´s determined to gain some further minutes during Saturday´s fast and rather short final special test, possibly targetting the Top 15 overall.
Bianchi Prata crashed early in the stage and had to pull his bike out of a ditch, which costed the Portuguese a lot of energy and time. He still delivered a good performance, as he was going alright through all the water. Bianchi Prata made up positions and is now sitting in 32nd spot, but wants to keep pushing for a finish inside the Top 30. Tomorrow sees the Dakar 2011 arrive back in Buenos Aires.
Dakar 2011, Stage 12
1. Marc Coma (SPA), KTM
2. Cyril Despres (FRA) KTM, 0:37 min behind 3. Helder Rodrigues (POR), Yamaha, 7:21 4. Francisco Lopez Contardo (CHI), Aprilia, 10:03 5. Quinn Cody (USA), Honda, 15:45 6. Ruben Faria (POR), KTM, 16:57 7. Frans Verhoeven (NEL), BMW Motorrad by speedbrain, 20:29 8. Juan Pedrero Garcia (SPA), KTM, 23:19 9. Jean Azevedo (BRA), KTM, 26:04 10. Jordi Viladoms (SPA), Yamaha, 26:40
32. Pedro Bianchi Prata (POR), BMW Motorrad by speedbrain, 1:28:02
2. Despres 16:36 min behind
3. Lopez Contardo 59:27
17. Verhoeven 7:25:08
32. Bianchi Prata, 12:49:41