And on the seventh day even the Dakar shalt rest... San Miguel de Tucuman in Argentina plays host today to the rest day for all the participants in the thirty-fifth edition of this fascinating rally. A muggy, hot day of 30°C (86°F). The Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain riders are taking a well deserved rest in their hotel after running eight stages, and some 4000 km. Meanwhile, the mechanics and technicians have been up since seven o’clock this morning working so that the four Husqvarna TE499RR by Speedbrain will be at their best for tomorrow.
With three victories in the bag for Joan Barreda, a second place for Paulo Goncalves and two fourth places for Alessandro Botturi, these are fine spoils indeed for the riders of the Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedrain. Italian Alessandro Botturi, Husqvarna’s best rider so far sits in twelfth overall, only thirty-six minutes behind the leading rider, in the standings which have very little difference between the leaders. Further down after same technical setbacks in the first few days of racing are Goncalves (23rd) and Barreda (41st), positions that don’t really do justice to the real performance made by these riders so far in this Rally.
Project Leader at BMW Motorrad, Berthold Hauser gives his assessment after a week of racing: ”Currently the leader board doesn’t reflect the real situation or the potential of this team. The bikes are going really well and they’ve proved themselves to be powerful and capable of high speeds. The riders have shown their riding capability and navigating skill in a rally as difficult as the Dakar. Unfortunately we are not in the running for the top places due to a few technical problems that we came up against early on, but we have shown that we are able to finish every stage amongst the leaders. In the second part we’ll do what ever is necessary to try and support our rider Alessandro Botturi who’s highest in the overall standings, as well as the other riders in every stage. The Dakar is a unique race and the experience that it offers is unrepeatable and incomparable with those of any other rally in the world. It’s an experience that ought to be seized as it only comes once a year. ”
It should be highlighted that all the riders of the Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain are on the leader board, and are ready to start out tomorrow from San Miguel de Tocuman for the second part of the Rally, as well as the other privateers on Husqvarna TE449 bikes still in the race: Jordi Viladoms, Simon Pavey, Alex Busquets and Bianchi Prata.
Another really long stage awaits tomorrow San Miguel De Tucuman - Cordoba some 852 km (532 miles) of which 593 km are timed.
Overall Standings After Eight Stages:
1. Casteau (F, Yamaha)
2. Faria (P, KTM) 11’16”
3. Lopez (Chile, KTM) 12’00”
4. Pain (Yamaha) 16’10”
5. Despres (FRA, KTM) 24’26”
12.Alessandro Botturi (ITA, Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain) 36’47”
23. Paulo Goncalves (PRT, Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain) 1h41’40”
41. Joan Barreda (ESP, Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain) 3h26’40”
68. Simon Pavey (Aus, Husqvarna ) 5h 42’40”
78. Alex Busquets (Spain, Husqvarna) 6h24’51”
90. Jordi Viladoms ( Spain, Husqvarna) 7h48’22”
92. Bianchi Prata ( PRT, Husqvarna) 7h52’04”
138.Matt Fish (AUS, Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain) 22h39’22”
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